Returning to an industry built on the illusion of scarcity during a time of actual scarcity without legal or moral guardrails has traumatic & devastating implications for talent and the future of #Broadway.
Producers already doubling down on take-it-or-leave-it-because-we-know-your-unemployment-runs-out-in-September-and-your-health-insurance-depends-on-working-during-a-global-pandemic-and-oh-we-need-an-answer-tomorrow has the power to decimate an entire generation of artists.
Maintaining equitability and a culture that fosters new waves of talent will require massive socio-economic shifts at the state and federal levels, such as #MedicareForAll and 100% #StudentLoanForgiveness. We’re nowhere close and most theater owners & producers vote against it.
This billion dollar biz whose profit margins barely made sense before the pandemic makes little sense now. And thousands of seasoned professionals whose careers weren’t “peaking” before shutdown are already eyeing pivots as they realize they missed the first round of Sept jobs.
When someone like Jeffrey Seller is getting $30 - $50 million in PPP loans for one of the most successful shows ever produced but actors are drowning in student loans and unpaid back rents only to be offered less money & opportunity than 2 years ago, you’re past a tipping point.
And none of this is new, btw. I’m old enough to remember working ensemble in 2003 when it was industry standard to be paid an extra 10% every week to supplant agent fees. I made more starring in a national tour in 2007 than I made on any single theater job after the '08 crisis.
In terms of actor wages, theater has been in decline for decades. And while we freelancers that make up the industry are doing our damndest to culturally level the playing field on our end, the lack of lever-puller engagement has real life consequences. Something’s gotta give.
There was no producer or theater-owner-backed Broadway Fund to keep gig workers around. No freelancer rescue packages. Zilch. @ActorsEquity tried in Albany, but we’re ants. It doesn’t matter how much we love our #craft when survival becomes paramount.
Short-term bandaids aside (live-streaming B'way is a producer fav and probable death knell) I do hope theater owners & producers are paying attention. Without total systemic reform and/or unparalleled gov’t investment IN US, #scarcity is coming for you next. And then kaboom. Fin.

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More from @zacharyprince

8 Jan
1) My 8th grade history teacher, Mrs. Billingsly, used to casually microagress the Jewish kids in front of the class.
“You people and your holidays 🙄”
“Any excuse not to take a test, huh?”
“I thought you guys were the smart ones”…
2) “Ah, I could tell you were Jewish”
“You think you’re white?”
“You sure you didn’t cheat?”
And on. And on. And on.
Orange County… it’s nothing new. We all coped differently.
3) Jewish people watching the news on Jan 6 experienced their wildest dreams and worst nightmares playing out simultaneously:
Read 11 tweets

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