What defines a working actor?

    I have, for the last 15 years, made my living solely from performing.  For that reason, I have defined myself as a working actor.  The majority of that work has been in theme parks and dinner theaters in Orlando, FL.

    There came a time, however, when I grew tired of this type of corporate performing.  Yes, I was an actor, but I was equally a mimic.  For every role in this town, there are several performers who share the character.  In order to maintain a standard of performance, some creativity is stripped from the individual performers to maintain a level of uniformity.

    I took a job outside of entertainment here in Orlando.  I still walk the boards, which really only pays a stipend, but allows for the level of creativity that I now need in my performances.  I am beginning to create my own content again.

    As my previous post stated, I have a big project coming out.  I have several more irons in the fire.  My biggest challenge has been to find partners with whom I can work.  Actors come to this town to train in those theme parks and dinner theaters.  Some so they can move on to cities like New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Toronto.  Some so they can build a larger performing life here in Orlando.  As such, many of them don't want to step away from those gigs to work on outside projects.

    I understand.  I really do.

    I am not paying my bills through performance.  Am I still a working actor?

    Yes, I think I am.  I am a working actor because I am still creating performances.  No, I am not getting paid for the majority of them anymore, but at this point in my career, that is just to allow the next phase of my performing life to take shape.

Spill Your Guts

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