Do You Have The Guts Not To Be Famous?

Do You Have The Guts Not To Be Famous?

Ultimately, life as an actor means wrestling with the idea that the success you desire may never materialize.  I think we can all agree based on the evidence that you have a better chance of getting a seat on the first manned mission to Mars than you do of booking a lead in a Marvel franchise.  So the question becomes – is that OK with you?

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"I Never Call Out" is the Theatre Equivalent of "Most of My Friends are Guys"

"I Never Call Out" is the Theatre Equivalent of "Most of My Friends are Guys"

We don’t question the eight-show-a-week model, or the demands of score, or the press events the actors are expected to attend. We blame the actor. The show must go on. If it doesn’t, that actor is either lazy or they have bad technique. It’s a lose-lose situation.

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The Vietnam War In The Words of The Women Who Served at 59 E 59th

The Vietnam War In The Words of The Women Who Served at 59 E 59th

In Their Footsteps is a celebration of real women in a messy and complicated war. The women in this play all served willingly, did the work, and then “went back into the shadows” when the war was over, with little or no recognition.

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Not Us, Too! Cleaning Up Nonprofit Theatre's #MeToo Mess

Not Us, Too! Cleaning Up Nonprofit Theatre's #MeToo Mess

Every arts organization needs to craft policies and procedures that state a zero-tolerance policy for abusive, bullying, and similar conduct by any employee or volunteer.  That goes for the board, too. Board members, in particular, must train themselves to understand the law.  They need to know what local, state and federal laws have to say about harassment and abuse.  They need to make this training a regular and ongoing part of board orientation and development.

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If You Work in Theatre, You Know a Sex Worker

If You Work in Theatre, You Know a Sex Worker

Trust me when I say I lost count of how many actors have told me in confidence that they had once danced or done live videos on the Internet or had sex for money. Trust me when I tell you how relieved they were to come out about it to someone who understood not only the risks of revealing their past but also the circumstances around their choice to do that work…

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Top Ten Excuses for When An Audition Makes You Late to Work

Top Ten Excuses for When An Audition Makes You Late to Work

…you will, as an auditioning actor, occasionally find yourself between a rock and a place where you need a convincing excuse fast: it’s inevitable.   Professional jobs cast during the day, semi- and non-professional jobs often cast at night, all three can appear at a moment’s notice, and there are going to be times when you have to be in two places at once. 

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“Why Did I Bother Training?” The Paradox of Being Over-Competent & Under-Utilized

“Why Did I Bother Training?” The Paradox of Being Over-Competent & Under-Utilized

As part of my ongoing investigation into actors and their spiritual health, I recently conducted a work-satisfaction survey of several dozen actors at various points in their careers, from those just starting out to long-term professionals.   Some answers were surprising, many followed patterns you would expect, but the frequency of one answer, in particular, startled me.  Of the approximately sixty actors surveyed, over 75% expressed frustration that their training and ability seemed to have little or no bearing on whether or not they got cast.

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Reaping Your Own Harvest: How to Use Powerful Questions to Overcome Resistance to Self-Promotion

Reaping Your Own Harvest: How to Use Powerful Questions to Overcome Resistance to Self-Promotion

My fear says: Don’t expect anything to come of this. Don’t be too showy about what you created. Don’t look too confident, too needy, too self-centered, or too anything, really.

My fear asks: What if someone doesn’t like it? What if it’s not good enough? What if someone else can do it better?

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"We Want Poems that Kill": Removing the White Gaze from Black Stories Onstage

"We Want Poems that Kill": Removing the White Gaze from Black Stories Onstage

My community has been traumatized, and yet has dealt with the wounds of history, and the present. A Small Oak Tree Runs Red was birthed from my trauma. Even though the play focuses on an actual event that took place 100 years ago, I found it devastatingly beautiful and tragic to discover how I could so easily place my own fears, emotions and anger into the mouths of those victims.

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Buyer Beware: The Case Against Getting an M.F.A.

Buyer Beware: The Case Against Getting an M.F.A.

If I were to tally up all the money I’ve made as an actor since getting my M.F.A., my basic calculations total less than half of what I owe for my degree.  This is with an Equity card that I’ve had for 15 years, and booking gigs on TV, in films, in commercials and onstage in a national tour.  

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