Did you go into theatre because you had no head for business? Let the re-education begin.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the nearly five years I’ve spent in New York, it’s that most successful actors have some semblance of their shit together. The reason we make labor service representatives smile is because they know they won’t have to worry about us sitting on our butts. If you’ve worked consistently as an actor, chances are you have employed some level of business strategy in your daily operations, whether you know it or not. It’s not all luck—there just isn’t enough of that to go around. As fellow actor Noah Brody, a Brown/Trinity Repertory Company alumnus and founding member of Fiasco Theater, told me: “Hoping to win the lottery is not a business plan.”
A dozen theatre artists (and those who teach them) share tips, and tales, and becoming entrepreneurs
Why should I choose you over someone else? That’s the question a good entrepreneur obsesses about. You should do the same. The alternative is being seen as “just like everyone else.”
Theatremakers talk of blood, sweat and tears, but are they enough?
Connected to the need for business acumen is the need for these theatre makers to adopt an entrepreneurial identity. The research identified a need to develop a skillset suitable for a portfolio career, where theatre makers can market and sell themselves and their work, and where they can develop portable skills and networks. In other words, they need to self-identify as professionals, with principles of entrepreneurialism and production skills as well as emotional commitment to their work.