During this strike, news of networks on the lookout to sign up more reality TV to use in place of scripted shows might be causing you some concern for our future.
Well, first, it’s not actually reality TV, it’s a “semi-scripted” TV. Which means that a few producers found a way to get around union minimums and build a show dependent on a constant flow of newcomers. Those shows aren’t about exposing the reality of the cast, they are about editing the endless boring hours of coverage into 30 minutes of scandal or eye scratching competition. It’s not reality, it’s the reality a producer creates. And what is a scripted show? Same thing. A writer/producers vision handed to actors to create.
This exposes two things: 1. Editing can make anyone into a compelling character. 2. The audience really does want stories with characters that are compelling. Scripted shows will never go away and actors will never be obsolete. The person who decides to forego any training and signs up for their 15 min of fame and gets on a reality show, won’t really have a future after that. That’s been proven over and over. But the artist who gets better with every role gives all those producers something to build on. The USA’s biggest (non-weapon related) export is entertainment, so you will be needed until such time we receive news that the world has sworn off live action entertainment. When that becomes a reality, being an actor won’t be the problem. Finding edible food will be the problem.