Making money as theater professionals
Joe has raised an interesting issue--one that I would love to do further research on. In fact, I'd love to find a graduate student willing to do some in-depth quantitative research about theater as a career in flyover communities.
For a long time, all I ever heard was that if you wanted to make money in theater, you had to go to Chicago or New York. Lately, I've been wondering if that still holds true. Granted, you're unlikely to become rich or famous working in Michigan. Yet, there has been plenty of interesting anecdotal evidence in which people are moving back to Michigan to pursue theater and arts-related careers because this is where they want to live.
This despite the fact that we've had some pretty rough years as far as arts funding from the government goes. In fact, "pretty rough" is an understatement.
That said, in the past few years, two new Equity houses have opened in the state and I've talked to many performers who are choosing to stay here to make their living. Most of those people are those who can also teach--either at schools or in studio settings. They're also people who are versatile and willing to do commercial and industrial work.
My curiosity is aroused now: What does it take to make a livable career in theater and what sacrifices to you make to do so?
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