A good piece at the theater blog A Poor Player, about the “indie actor”, which is where most actors start out and many remain, if they remain actors at all. I consider myself an indie acting teacher, so I feel y’all on this one.
Anyway, apparently there was survey done recently by an outfit called the New York Innovative Theater Awards of actors working in Off Off Broadway in New York. It’s, um, not pretty. The blogger at A Poor Player summarizes the outlook thus:
if youâ€™re now in college studying as a theatre major at the graduate or undergraduate level planning to break into the theatre scene in NYC via the indie route, the statistics say that, for your educational and monetary investment, hereâ€™s what statistically you are/will become: a white, female, single, childless degree-holding actor holding down two or three jobs, and making $18.37 an hour at the career you educated and trained yourself for, all the while living in one of the most expensive geographic areas in the US. The stats also say that by 40 years old you will have left the indie scene at the very least; the odds are you will have moved on to something else entirely.
So you can’t say we didn’t warn you.
But I can also say that if you have found the thing to do in life that, after you have done it, you feel a palpable contentment, like you have done what Someone put you here to do, that’s a very precious gift, and warrants a fair amount of adversity to keep on keepin’ on.