Cusp This!

Friday, January 27, 2006


My friend CB is visiting. He graduated a year ahead of me from my high school's rival high school in Hometown, TN. He is here to audition for 4 Graduate School Acting Programs. He lives in Washington DC and has a nice little totally un-paid acting career while working as an admin in a large anti-smoking non-profit. He smokes, though he has cut down.

CB and I had several long talks throughout his entire application process. Having gone to a serious and reputable BFA conservatory program, I am very jaded about the whole thing. Now, I loved college. I had an amazing time, met amazing people, and felt like I was fully prepared to change the world upon graduation. It has really been since I left school that I learned all the lessons that they tried to teach: that being an artist is an intensely personal experience that no one can teach you. That there are no answers, that success is fleeting and not owed to anyone anywhere and even less so to anyone attempting a creative profession.

Of people that are celebrities I would guess less than 1% have been formally trained. Of people who are eking out a living, or those that are comfortably working in theater I would guess maybe 20% have a degree--though I think that's growing. I worked with a guy at a high end regional theater who at 23 I thought had serious star potential. He is now at his 3rd year at Yale Drama. I have less faith in his ability to make it now, he's a little less individual. I actually think in his case, he will have to overcome his training.

So, while all this stuff runs through my head, I'm trying to be supportive of CB who already has huge financial debt and is a year older than me. Now as I've been bitching earlier, I don't think CB has any less of a chance of being famous than Lana Turner, but I don't he has a better chance than my roommate St. Matthew who has a degree in political science and is a great actor.


  • I love that feel when you first think you are totally prepared and can do no wrong. Then, you send out applications (or go to auditions in your case) and get no response. You sleep until 11 every day until you finally score a part-time gig at a reputable place and then almost two years later you haven't got full-time and are living at home again. Sigh. Good times. If only university trained you for THAT.

    By Blogger OutInLeftField, at 1:56 PM  

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