A few interesting posts went up over the weekend, both asking the same question: Where does an actor find work around here? Granted, this question is visited pretty frequently to varying degrees of urgency, but that doesn’t make it any less of a concern. Two pretty big names spoke up recently regarding the lack of acting jobs for local talent.
On our very own forum, Kent Phillips (Artistic Director of Bellevue Civic Theatre, host of Northwest Afternoon, Radio host, the guy has done it all) posits the hypothesis: perhaps the jobs are just moving slightly east:
The Rep has only 20 local positions this year.. Bellevue Civic will hire more local actors for our production of Two Gents next season than the Rep will for the entire season. Village, BCT and Kirkland Rep all hire Equity actors and pay full benefits. BCT has hired as many as nine Equity actors for a single show.
His post was in response to an article by The Seattle Times’ Misha Berson. Misha talks with local actress Hana Lass about the current state of Seattle theatre. Hana was in last year’s The Tempest at Seattle Shakespeare and was even featured on the poster. Since then, it’s been pretty slim pickings for her:
“It looks like I’m probably not going to be working for at least a year,” says Lass. “It’s just a tough time. The crazy thing is, there isn’t even much to audition for.”
Hana is union, which makes it pretty difficult to find enough work in the Northwest – as Rik Deskin pointed out in the TPS forum, many local union talents have had to relocate in order to find better financial security.
Not a pretty picture for anyone hoping to make a living in the arts.. but is it ever easy? Do we rise and fall with the economy? There are plenty of discussions going on in Misha’s article, Kent’s post, and even on our Facebook page. Join in on this very important issue!