By Cait Powers
During our panels on Tuesday we met with working professionals from both sides of the table.
In our first session we spoke with actors who have been making a living doing their craft since graduating Emerson. They were full of pearls of wisdom, funny anecdotes and support for our performance seniors. Jumping in to life as a working actor can be stressful, so several of the panelists suggested having a plan. If going home and making some extra money is what you need to do, go and do it! But you have to set yourself some goals. Set a certain amount of money, or a time line, that way you know when you move to the big city you have the security of being able to sustain yourself, and you can worry about finding the job instead of if you are going to eat. Once you are searching for the job, remember, nothing is perfect. You aren’t going to land the perfect job in five seconds! But, by doing prep working and continuing to work on your craft after school, you can make yourself castable by staying yourself. Remember, casting folk want you to be the answer when you walk into the room by being you, not by being who you think they want. As our fearless leader Melia said… Make a life in the theatre- career takes care of itself.
Find out more about our acting panelists!
Our second panel was made up of commercial producers. One of the most interesting parts of this discussion was the paths these people took to get to where they are today. All of them have held numerous jobs in the theatre, and some still do. This emphasized the point they made, that there is no right or wrong way to live your life. You can change your mind. You can find what you like or don’t like over the course of time. They stressed that the business is always growing and that by know what your strengths and weaknesses are you can improve, while making yourself more marketable. But they maintained that you can change your mind and still remain in the business. The business is always changing, so you need to constantly keep adjusting. And to remember that when it stops being fun, do something else. Don’t give up because it is scary. Stability is nice, but the ability to create and the unknown is exciting. Try to embrace it. You don’t know what you are doing tomorrow, but take baby steps to your ten year goal.
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Cait Powers is a senior BFA Stage/Production Management major.