Tuesday, August 21, 2007

ON ACTING: Revolution

Many studios and big producers in the Producers Association are thinking of entering the next round of Screen Actors Guild negotiations with a call for ending the actor's residual system (an ongoing flow of payments for repeated use/viewing of an actor's filmed/taped performance)!

Is the Producer's Association serious? Isn't it bad enough that acting is now a "rich-or-poor" profession: an actor's ability to maintain a middle class acting lifestyle is being wiped out by increasing "scale (minimum) + 10%" payments to most non-starring actors? Is producer's lack of respect for actors finally become so transparent? Have reality shows and animation emboldened them to the point of view where they adhere to a complete dismissal or the art and craft of acting: they are convinced anybody--or in the case of animation, nobody...can do it? Is acting no longer an ongoing profession in their eyes; a serious, long-term mainstream economic endeavor? Do producers wish to push acting back to medieval times, when performers were nothing but itinerant street performers and clowns, marginalized by society, considered akin to vagabonds and whores, performing for nothing but coins tossed by the viewers?

The wealthy nobility's cry "Let them eat cake" led once to one of the great defining revolutions in the history of modern Western civilization. It must happen again in the acting profession. An actors' revolutionary posture is necessary.


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