The New Year.
Award season. Resolutions. New hope. A new congress.
Things will have to get better in 2011. They got a little better last year, didn't they? So much bickering among the smarty pants group. What I do know is that I've been hearing the same things for the last 24 years; Broadway is on its last legs and the movie biz is broke.
I remember the days when I was new and heard about the glory days when you made good money and there were plays and movies to be had at every turn in the road. I always had the feeling that I had just missed out on the period when being an actor was easy. Agents and older actors started many sentences with; "there was a time when you could count on certain things…" and they'd go on to discuss how great things were and the sentence would always end with "but nowadays, you got kids running things. Kids! You got attorneys directing shows because they made the company money last year, and they aren't paying what they used to…" and on it went.
Much of that may be true, but know one thing; there has never been a time in my years that actors looked at one another and said "Gosh this is the hey day of acting! We have it great! Producers understand our plight and aren't out just for profits, they care and they pay us too much! Directors are all so sweet and caring! And my agent really knows and listens to me." Never. We never know how good things are until we decide to pronounce them good or bad. looking back, well…I'd say things are about the same. Always someone trying to do it for less, and always someone breaking through with a new idea that makes everyone say " Why didn't I try that?"
There was always a better time than now. It was always better back whenever. Times now are in fact rough. Everything and everyone will reinforce that. Stuff sells for less, costs go up, profits are squeezed, new products are realized.The cycle continues.
What has changed in my eyes is the corporatization of entertainment. It really does feel like the product has had a harder time finding meaning. The Producer's eye has always been on profits but I do believe that there was a time when producers believed that a good product was needed to make a profit. That artists actually had to make the art. Now I feel that there is a group with a check list that fills in the blanks with the requirements for what sells and that is how movies are made. The good films are the result of the people bucking that system on small budgets and make a good product. It then gets sold to a corporate god and makes money.
But otherwise, don't believe how good it used to be. It was always about like now, but with maybe 20,000 less people trying to get your same job, and 1000 less places looking for content. Those figures, of course, are just my speculation but you get the idea.