Acting - an option only for the privileged?

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Dodger'smum
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Acting - an option only for the privileged?

Postby Dodger'smum » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:56 pm

I've just watched an interesting piece on Channel 4 News this evening (Sunday 7th) highlighting how only 16% of actors are currently from a working class background. It is definitely not a level playing field, and it was really highlighted for me recently when I asked a friend of mine her opinion on my DS's steps into the profession after GCSEs. All her options (which she has pursued with her own DCs) would leave us completely destitute.

As well as money, I would also add location to the mix as well - how many opportunities are available only for youngsters in London? It made interesting viewing, and it just made me think how much talent we must lose every year when determined and hardworking youngsters simply can't do a Cumberbach or Redmayne and keep themselves alive financially whilst studying and seeking work. It is a shame.

jennifer1972
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Re: Acting - an option only for the privileged?

Postby jennifer1972 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:02 pm

I think it is do-able but there is a tendency for us parents to panic and start throwing money unnecessarily at our DCs performing education. If everyone seems to be having more acting, singing, dancing classes than our kids, we sign them up for more. If everyone does a foundation course, we panic and assume that's the best option.We are unable to judge our own child's talent. If they are an A grade student, we know how to advise them. If they are a performer, who constantly gets minor roles or gets overlooked for the main parts, do we advise them that maybe a life on the stage isn't for them? Of course not, we tell them to follow their dreams!! We need to be a bit more realistic but of course, we aren't!! :lol:

lawn
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Re: Acting - an option only for the privileged?

Postby lawn » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:27 pm

It's a funding issue combined with the arts being poorly represented in schools. My daughter's ability has come from the outside of school drama teaching she has had, which I've paid for. If I'd been reliant on her schools she'd be nowhere near as developed as she currently is.

Same thing will happen when she gets to 16. She wants to do a performing arts BTEC, but the only one with a high enough calibre is a commute away. I've guesstimated it will cost us £4K+ in travel expenses alone. Compare this to her older brother recently finished his first year of BTEC level 3 computing, his travel expenses have amounted to around £300 and he had 3 different colleges to choose from!

Foundation is another one and I totally agree about location. We could afford the course fees but not the accommodation/living costs on top. If we lived nearer London or had a conveniently suitated and accommodating granny or auntie, it wouldn't be an issue.

willowtree
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Re: Acting - an option only for the privileged?

Postby willowtree » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:11 pm

This is something that really interests me as I had noticed this myself! Whenever I have watched a movie with an actor or actress that I really loved, I always looked up their wikipedia and read about their early life and upbringing. Nine times out of ten I noticed that they went to an independent school. I actually always love it when I find a great actor/actress who has not had such a privileged start to life (cheering on the underdog!). James McAvoy was the most recent example of this after I watched the film 'Split'. He is absolutely amazing and from a very humble background. I'm not sure why the industry is domininated by so many from much more privileged backgrounds and I wish I knew the answer. It's a shame as there must be lots of raw talent out there that is overlooked or perhaps not nurtured as well as it could be.

lawn
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Re: Acting - an option only for the privileged?

Postby lawn » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:37 pm

willowtree wrote:I'm not sure why the industry is domininated by so many from much more privileged backgrounds and I wish I knew the answer. It's a shame as there must be lots of raw talent out there that is overlooked or perhaps not nurtured as well as it could be.
Funding. Look at the threads on training where people are hoping their DC is awarded a Dada and having to deline the offer of a place if one isn't awarded. Straight acting courses often don't want to take as young as 18 year olds, but the 18yo wants to go do a degree like their peers, using up their entitlement years to student funding and many parents can't afford to pay the tuition fees for them to do another one in acting as well. Foundation courses which is another hot potato subject on here, usually no funding for them. Parent/s who have been in a position to be able to afford private school fees are more likely to be able to still afford to fund their child throughout the drama training years.

RoseTowers4
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Re: Acting - an option only for the privileged?

Postby RoseTowers4 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:45 am

Actors need to be available to attend castings sometimes at very short notice and therefore trying to support themselves in a full time job would be very difficult. The cost of travelling to castings on a regular basis must surely come into the equation too. I met a young man recently at a London casting who had driven down from Birmingham. That would have been half a day if not the whole day off work (if he were having to pay for his own way), plus the cost of petrol. The cost of a good Spotlight photo plus the cost of Spotlight, any acting lessons to keep their work fresh, plus possible singing lessons, dance lessons etc. and it starts to add up. It's a job in itself trying to get work as an actor but no one wants to pay you to do this work.

Brighterthanstars
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Re: Acting - an option only for the privileged?

Postby Brighterthanstars » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:34 am

RoseTowers4 wrote: The cost of a good Spotlight photo plus the cost of Spotlight, any acting lessons to keep their work fresh, plus possible singing lessons, dance lessons etc. and it starts to add up.

All of this and then when you think about the circles that people from more affluent areas work in as well. We already know this is a who you know industry and if your parents are having dinner parties with people like producers or others high ranking jobs, then you'll be a little more set up to get off to a good start because people champion those they know and like.
If you think that you're too small to make an impact, try sleeping with a mosquito in the room.

Griffer
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Re: Acting - an option only for the privileged?

Postby Griffer » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:18 am

You can also add into the equation who you know/are related to as well! There are countless times I too have looked up on Wikipedia actors that I admire, to find that they are such and such's son/daughter/nephew/niece, cousin etc. Nepotism is rife but who wouldn't use connections if they were there. Cumberbatch had the double whammy - top school and successful acting parents.

RoseTowers4
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Re: Acting - an option only for the privileged?

Postby RoseTowers4 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:44 pm

It must help to get a foot in the door to begin with but then it's down to their own talent as they often have to prove themselves. I don't think they last very long if they can't cut the mustard so to speak. I do believe, however, that the kids who can afford private lessons alongside school are going to be better prepared when it comes to applying for drama/dance schools later on. I asked Jo Hawes which dance/drama lessons were the best to take as a child and she replied, "as many as you can afford".

TalyaB
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Re: Acting - an option only for the privileged?

Postby TalyaB » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:17 pm

RoseTowers4 wrote:It must help to get a foot in the door to begin with but then it's down to their own talent as they often have to prove themselves. I don't think they last very long if they can't cut the mustard so to speak. I do believe, however, that the kids who can afford private lessons alongside school are going to be better prepared when it comes to applying for drama/dance schools later on. I asked Jo Hawes which dance/drama lessons were the best to take as a child and she replied, "as many as you can afford".


As well as that, if a child does get any part, they generally learn such a lot from doing that part that they are more likely to get future roles.

lotsolaffs
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Re: Acting - an option only for the privileged?

Postby lotsolaffs » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:11 pm

I guess Cumberbatch never had an audition that had the word Penguin in it...

RoseTowers4
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Re: Acting - an option only for the privileged?

Postby RoseTowers4 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:47 am

lotsolaffs wrote:I guess Cumberbatch never had an audition that had the word Penguin in it...


Just got that :lol: :lol:


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