I’ve always envisioned an individual’s ambition, drive, energy, and zeal as a bright flame. The Greeks, the inventors of theater, have a phrase for it—the flame of life.
I hope that by recording the events and impressions of my theatrical life, as well as the values I’ve absorbed, I might reach some future actors and fuel this flame that I believe all actors possess.
Early in my career, I fled New York City after two years of frustration. This decision spurred me to pursue a career in regional theater. I was fortunate enough to work with talented actors and directors, acting at least 40 weeks each year on Equity stages for 11 years, qualifying for an Equity pension.
I think it fair to recognize the young stage actor’s pursuit of stardom. Most dream of achieving it, and the route to stardom lies through New York City. Yet, the odds of being recognized and working regularly are slim. Just think: 50,000 actors carry Equity cards and there are twice as many actors in New York who are without a card. Even the union actors can’t make a living, so many wait on tables, year in and year out—talented, attractive young people never get enough stage time and never have a career.
Working in front of subscription audiences at resident theaters season after season develops talent and solidifies the craft. It allows for a career, while only taking acting classes in NYC does not. The country’s many regional theaters are an antidote, and my story is the proof.