Monday, September 9, 2013

How much should it cost to become an actor?

Sorry for the long lapse in posts.  It is good to be back.  It takes some motivation to add a post to the blog and for some time, as you can see, I have not been properly motivated to do so.  But now I am.

I recently read an article about Senator Marco Rubio (R, FL) in which he was quoted as wanting the government to pay for degree programs for all students.  While I adamantly disagree with him, this would solve the problem of the high cost of education. Well, it would for the student for the moment.  But the high cost would create a new entitlement and add to the national debt and deficit. 

I don't think going to college is a Right anymore than I think becoming an actor if one chooses to is a Right.  What I do think is that colleges under the thumb of the teacher's unions, and  under their own bureaucracies have become preposterously expensive. University professors are far over paid and the cost of operating a college or university has been artificially inflated to astronomical levels.  That being the case, few but the very wealthy can attend college without government help mostly in the form of student loans. 

But the prospective actor who graduates college with a huge debt of student loans is almost certain not to succeed as an actor. The burden of debt most liable will force the student out of acting and into something that has a regular pay check.

Acting schools are as bad as universities when it comes to inflated costs. Why should it cost thirty or forty thousand dollars a year to study to become an actor when it is almost certain that you will not become one?   What is to be done about the cost of acting training when both the colleges and the academies are so expensive?

Indeed, why isn't acting training free?  And I mean without the government paying for it as Senator Rubio desires.

The only answer is GREED.  We find that when a well known, successful actor teaches as a college or academy, he commands a large fee.  I submit that he only needs bare expenses and that he should teach essentially for free.  He doesn't need the money, and his instruction is not guaranteed to have a positive result. So why does he charge at all?  Whatever happened to the traditional and noble idea of serving the art of acting?

At my website,, I offer all the instruction in how to become an actor that I can. And I offer it for nothing.  Acting and the theatre have been my life. They provided me with a modest income, and a modest retirement. But, in fact, I do not need any more money. So everything I have to offer is free.  As it should be. 

I remember as a young man meeting Sir Tyrone Guthrie, founder of the Stratford Ontario Shakespeare Festival and the theatre that bears his name in St. Paul/Minneapolis.  And I remember his writing that his work was to SERVE the theatre and that he believed that as a service to GOD.  On my website I write a little about this in my essay "Theater, Religion, and Football."  Back on the issue, however, when one works as a service, he does not do it for money.  So my info is free and my acting lessons are free.

I believe that Free is the right price given how next to impossible it is to succeed as an actor.  I invite all to visit my web site and to contact me regarding questions about acting and having a career as an actor.

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