Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Plight of the Starving Artist

     Just had a wonderful conversation with one of my close friends today who is also an actress.  We were talking about our financial struggles and how actors rarely ever share the hardships of the business.  You just know folks are going on auditions booking small projects here bigger projects there but the inbetween time the in the meantime is where it can get challenging.  The crazy thing about this business is that you can make $100,000.00 one year and $9,000.00 the next.  Even though there are millions of starving artist out there this is not really a business where being close to broke will help you move at a faster pace up the latter to your career goals.  Headshots cost, Workshops and Classes cost, Gas to and from auditions cost, keeping your beauty up (which is part of the job) cost and the list goes on and on.  So many of my artist friends have the challenge of finding "regular" jobs that will pay enough to keep food in their mouths but are not so time consuming that they have to put acting on the back seat.  Agents dont want to hear I cant get to that great audition because my boss and my regular job says I cant leave today.  Although there are many making a solid living soely from acting the rest of the bunch are struggling personally while making positive upward strides in their artisitic careers. I know some actors who have put acting on the back burner just so they can catch up financially to breathe and i know some actors who struggle and are determined not to let anything take priority over their dream and are damn near homeless.  Where is the middle ground for the starving artist?  Sleeping on friends couaches, sleeping in cars, moving from apartment to apartment because of late rent payments, filing for unemployment or even food stamps forget its hard out here for a pimp its hard out here for a starving artist. I know an actor who booked a film, but you know it takes a while for those checks to roll in , had to cancel one of the shoot days because she didnt have gas money nor money to take the bus. 
     So we ended the conversation wishing that more actors would share with each other and be honest about their situations.  You would be suprised at how many people are going through exactly what you are going through or have been there at some point.  Closed mouths dont get fed is a fav quote of mine.  Actors please lets stop thinking of each other as competition and start thinking of ourselves as a community.  More collaborations, more support groups, more mentors- less haters, less selfishness, less judgement. God is LOVE. So lets LOVE.
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