Self Selecting Reasons Why People Don't Make It In The Arts

Hello world,

As I've mentioned in previous blog posts, I've tried to maximize this time under quarantine by radically decluttering my possessions. This means, among many other things, getting rid of the myriad of notebooks I've kept over the years by transcribing some of the wisdom I've gained (particularly from Williamstown Theatre Festival's phenomenal Acting Apprentice Program, which I can't recommend highly enough!). These are some notes that I took on my own theories and observations of why it seems like the older I get, the less and less of my peers are pursuing acting, particularly on the professional level. On one hand, I think that it can partially be attributed to the fact that every girl and their mother does a musical or two in their youth because, let's face it, they're really fun. However, I actually think that the main reasons that most people trickle out of theatre by the time they hit say, 30, are because of the following:

Self Selecting Reasons People Don't Make It In the Arts

1) They don't like/can't handle NYC or LA. In other words, city life isn't for them. This can be problematic because most actors (with perhaps the exception of voiceover actors/actors who do projects that enable them to work remotely) need to live somewhat close to a major city because that's simply where the majority of the jobs are. Even with places like Williamstown Theatre Festival typically conduct auditions for their Equity company from New York (although with the coronavirus epidemic, it's possible that they're doing more self tapes).

2) They choose to prioritize marriage and family. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this decision, but the reality is that a career in acting isn't always conducive to family life, and I've spoken with many actors (particularly women) who feel that they have to choose one or the other.

3) They're afraid of the competition

4) They don't like auditioning

5) They don't know how to handle rejection in a healthy way. (It took me years to learn how to deal with this, but that's a separate post entirely.)

6) They don't like the business side of things. I recently worked with an actor who expressed his dislike for having to feel like he's a "brand." I personally enjoy this part of the work, but I understand that many people want to be able to just focus on their art without those external pressures.

Are there any reasons that I missed? Please let me know in the comments below!

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