Actor in The Attic: Suffering for Your Art


Do actors still really suffer for their art? Is waiting tables more painful when you aspire to fame and fortune? Is it acting the craft, they hanker for, or celebrity, the status? There is no denying that putting your dreams on hold and getting a proper job can furnish your life with things like a car, a mortgage, and a modest amount of money in the bank. Whereas the wannabe actor gnashes his or her teeth in relative poverty and most likely is forced to take public transport. Big dreams cost and the admission price is short term comfort.

Actor in The Attic: Suffering for Your Art

The stereotypical wannabe actor cannot hold down a normal job because they are constantly going to auditions. They do acting classes in the evenings and they often work for nothing in productions designed to grab the attention of producers and directors. Actors, in their pre-star phase, are usually portrayed as emotionally fraught and uptight. They are throwing themselves upon the mercies of indifferent casting agents. They are being rejected for parts again and again…and again. Life is hard and nobody really understands them.

This incredibly difficult state of affairs can lead them to substance abuse in a bid to lessen the blows reigning down upon their fragile egos. Drinking too much and getting out of it on cheap drugs can be a crack they fall into and which they may never emerge from the same again. They may require debt assistance to stave off personal bankruptcy. Why do they go through this graceless hellish experience, which can last for years, and for some, forever? Is the payoff that amazing? Is the high of success so good that it makes it all worthwhile? Standing up there on stage as the audience rapturously applauds, appearing as a giant on the silver screen and attending industry black tie award nights, not to mention cosy chats with smarmy talk show hosts, are these experiences so wonderful that all the former neglect is forgiven?

That actor in the attic: suffering for their art, is it, perhaps, a necessary initiation into the realm of the thespian? Does the suffering hone the blade of talent? Do the tears of frustration and hurt reveal the beating heart of the true actor? Is it all about developing habits like not eating, so that they can remain thin for the camera that puts ten pounds on the frame? Actor in the attic: suffering for your art, we salute you.

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