5 Ways the Actor’s Life Might Change After the Coronavirus
It’s a whole new world out there, actors!
(by Tonya Tannenbaum)
(Photo: United Nations/Unsplash)
Buckle your safety belts, actors. Life as you used to know it is over! The #actorslife you’ve gotten accustomed to for however long you’ve been involved in it, is about to change forever!
COVID-19 is forcing the entire entertainment industry to adjust. Some of those adjustments will be temporary. But many of those adjustments will end up becoming a permanent way of life.
Some of these changes will be good for everyone. Some will not be so good for everyone. But good or bad, you must adjust.
Here are just some of the changes you might have to get used to in your post-COVID 19 actor’s life:
Even before the Coronavirus pandemic, the industry was already fast on its way toward embracing the self-tape as a mainstay in the audition process. It offered a quick, alternative way to screen actors for roles. It was particularly helpful in auditioning actors who lived far away.
The Coronavirus will place self-tape use on steroids. No longer will self-tape requests be occasional or situational. It may just become the overwhelmingly preferred method of auditions going forward, at least in the initial stages of the casting process.
And no longer will self-tape requests be limited to smaller projects, fast-turnaround jobs and indie films. It will now regularly include major films and television shows, and even national commercials featuring major brands.
#2: Fewer theaters/plays
The Coronavirus spreads best when human beings are packed closely indoors with poor ventilation. This is sometimes called a “super-spreader” environment. Theaters fit this description to a tee.
If you are an actor who does a lot of theater work, your life is going to change dramatically; perhaps more dramatically than any other aspect of the business.
Revenue will dry-up, as formerly avid theater-goers shun crowded theaters. There will be fewer and fewer opportunities for stage actors, as cash-strapped theaters close their doors.
Even the largest venues have not been spared. All 41 theaters on Broadway were shut down, leaving more than 50,000 people out of work.
When a vaccine does become available, the theater scene will face a long, slow road to recovery. And Lord only knows what “recovery” will ultimately look like.
#3: Fewer agencies and casting offices
Get ready for the fact that there will likely be fewer talent agencies and casting offices available when this is all over. Amid the chaos, most talent agencies will take a financial hit. Many will not survive.
Larger talent agencies will be strong enough to get by. But many smaller agencies will be forced to close their doors. In fact, sadly, this apocalypse has already begun.
This will greatly impact many actors, particularly those who are not already established, because it’s often the smaller talent agencies that are more willing to take a chance on new actors or actors without substantial credits.
#4: Fewer actors
Just as many talent agencies and casting offices will be forced to close their doors due to financial constraints, so too, will many actors.
Financial hardships, coupled with limited opportunities going forward, will have a catastrophic, snowball effect and will surely lead many actors to put their acting careers on-hold, or to retire from the business altogether.
Financial hardships will surely lead many actors to put their acting careers on-hold, or to retire from the business altogether
For the actors who survive, this might prove to be a blessing in disguise. Fewer competitors might mean more chances for success. On the other hand, with only a limited number of job opportunities, good roles might only be reserved for already-established actors, leaving up-and-coming actors with fewer chances to breakout.
#5: Fewer background jobs
If you’re a full-time background actor or you moonlight as an extra when you need a little extra money, get ready for a whole new way of life. In the new Coronavirus world, large scenes, featuring hundreds of background actors, will be next-to-impossible to pull off. Those jobs were already under pressure, with many slowly being outsourced to the future, by use of technology. The Coronavirus pandemic will wipe much of them out altogether.
Technology cannot catch the virus. Technology will not file a lawsuit against the production company, the way an actor could, if he or she catches the virus while on a set. So, look for companies to rely more on technology, and less on humans, to fill their backgrounds. And those that do use humans will try to find ways to use fewer of them than they did in the past.
Get ready, actors. It’s a whole new world out there!
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