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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old September 14 2010, 05:55 AM   #1
Malleus
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Acting jobs drying up?

Jonathan Frakes had these words to say in the most recent interview:

“Thank God I learned this second craft [directing],” he said. “I really don’t know how I’d be supporting my family. I’d be looking for another kind of gig.”
Other actors, including his wife Genie Francis, and his Star Trek co-workers have also seen jobs dry up, with one notable exception. “Genie isn’t working the way she used to and my peers as actors – at least from the Star Trek guys, with the exception of Patrick [Stewart] – are struggling as well,” said Frakes. “Some of it is by choice, granted, some of it is just by the double-edged sword that Star Trek has been for all of us.”
Source: http://www.startrek.com/article/inte...onathan-frakes

I know Brent Spiner has been seeking new acting roles, but I would really like to know if Frakes is accurate or is exaggerating.
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Old September 14 2010, 06:26 AM   #2
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

i don't think he's exaggerating.

the combination of getting old and getting type-casted is a death sentence in hollywood.
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Old September 14 2010, 06:34 AM   #3
Destructor
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

Most actors never get cast in a single TV role, the second largest group of actors get one TV role and that's it. It's actually a numerically very small group that gets cast in roles over and over in different roles, usually because they are very attractive, but sometimes also because they are exceptionally talented or resonate with the public for some reason. Frakes did very well to parlay his TNG career into a directing career, as did Dawson, McNeill and Burton, but even Sirtis and Dorn will be sitting pretty on the massive residual checks they will get every time a TNG episode or film airs in syndication anywhere around the world. They are made, financially, for the rest of their lives. Sure, that's not very satisfying creatively when you think of yourself as an 'actor', but it's hard to drum up sympathy for them when pretty much every actor lives in near-poverty until they 'make it' (which, and let's be clear, the vast majority never do). Which the cast of TNG almost certainly did. It's not 'typecasting', it's just 'casting'. You get cast for a role and then the machine moves on to other people.
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Old September 14 2010, 06:43 AM   #4
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

And that's why the make convention appearances.
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Old September 14 2010, 07:28 AM   #5
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

The past ten years or so of reality programming haven't helped much, either.
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Old September 14 2010, 09:43 AM   #6
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

Yeah, reality TV... the death knell of a lot of acting careers for legitimate actors and actresses.
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Old September 14 2010, 02:13 PM   #7
Anwar
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

At least they aren't bitter over doing Trek and still have appreciation for it.
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Old September 14 2010, 02:38 PM   #8
Doug Otte
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

Destructor wrote: View Post
Most actors never get cast in a single TV role, the second largest group of actors get one TV role and that's it. It's actually a numerically very small group that gets cast in roles over and over in different roles, usually because they are very attractive, but sometimes also because they are exceptionally talented or resonate with the public for some reason. Frakes did very well to parlay his TNG career into a directing career, as did Dawson, McNeill and Burton, but even Sirtis and Dorn will be sitting pretty on the massive residual checks they will get every time a TNG episode or film airs in syndication anywhere around the world. They are made, financially, for the rest of their lives. Sure, that's not very satisfying creatively when you think of yourself as an 'actor', but it's hard to drum up sympathy for them when pretty much every actor lives in near-poverty until they 'make it' (which, and let's be clear, the vast majority never do). Which the cast of TNG almost certainly did. It's not 'typecasting', it's just 'casting'. You get cast for a role and then the machine moves on to other people.
I agree with nearly everything above, but I question "massive residual checks..." just because I don't really know how "massive" they are. Do you know?

Doug
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Old September 14 2010, 03:00 PM   #9
JarodRussell
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

The scenario from Galaxy Quest doesn't come out of nowhere.
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Old September 14 2010, 03:54 PM   #10
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

Sometimes you forget about how many actors there are out there that do a little role on a sitcom here, another one on CSI there and basically make about $30000 a year or something. Only their mother knows their name.
Sure if you're near the top acting is great, but sometimes you can famous for a while then you're done, and it's hard to get back up anywhere near the top.
Sometimes I think about guys like Brendan Frasier. What's he up to? Sure he may not be 'hurting' yet, but maybe that poor guy's going to be forgotten by casting people soon.
Women seem to get it worse. They are flavor of the month, do 4 or 5 movies, then accept some crappy romantic comedies to keep themselves in somewhat of a spotlight, but then they're left behind too.
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Old September 14 2010, 04:22 PM   #11
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

Kirk1980 wrote: View Post
Yeah, reality TV... the death knell of a lot of acting careers for legitimate actors and actresses.
Not to mention writers, set designers and lots of other people.
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Old September 14 2010, 05:33 PM   #12
Anwar
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

Nardpuncher wrote: View Post
Sometimes I think about guys like Brendan Frasier. What's he up to? Sure he may not be 'hurting' yet, but maybe that poor guy's going to be forgotten by casting people soon.
Women seem to get it worse. They are flavor of the month, do 4 or 5 movies, then accept some crappy romantic comedies to keep themselves in somewhat of a spotlight, but then they're left behind too.
Well, Brendan Frasier is a Shakespearean Actor (believe it or not) so he always has the stage.
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Old September 14 2010, 06:26 PM   #13
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

Doug Otte wrote: View Post
I agree with nearly everything above, but I question "massive residual checks..." just because I don't really know how "massive" they are. Do you know?
I don't.

I can tell you, based on my brief experience under the WGA contract, that if I had written a substantial number of Trek shows for several seasons I could have lived really nicely for many years on the residuals and they would still substantially supplement any other income. If I'd done that and invested well, I might easily be comfortably retired. Star Trek is a rare beast in that it continues to return substantial money to the studio, year after year, for many decades. I have a residual check to cash right now, in fact - it's not a lot, but I'm grateful every time I receive one.

A couple of caveats - although actors in a continuing, successful series may be paid a great deal more per episode than writers I've no idea if that's reflected in their residuals. For all I know, they get less there than the writers. Secondly, when I say "live really, really nicely" I mean relative to the standards of a middle class American professional - somewhere other than in Los Angeles.

You know who, IMAO, gets screwed are the visual design artists. These people probably contributed more to the success of Trek through their creation of that "future" which fans and other viewers immediately recognize as "Star Trek" than any group other than the actors (and yeah, just edging out writers there) and as far as I know most if not all just get paid once. When someone sells a model of the NCC-1701 or any variation of it, the designer gets bupkis (someone correct me if I'm wrong or misunderstand - I'd love to be, in this instance). And - again, IMAO - while the producers and writers may have sometimes let Star Trek down over the decades, the artists never ever have.
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Old September 14 2010, 10:08 PM   #14
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

Acting jobs drying up. Boy, do I love reading that left and right. As someone who's making it a mid-term goal to get into acting, I can't tell you how pleased I am to read this statement every week.

Dennis, if you don't mind asking, what's your history with the WGA? What have you done? If for any reason you don't feel comfortable answering, that's cool.
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Old September 14 2010, 10:37 PM   #15
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Re: Acting jobs drying up?

Jeff O'Connor wrote: View Post
Dennis, if you don't mind asking, what's your history with the WGA? What have you done? If for any reason you don't feel comfortable answering, that's cool.
Well, he's that guy.
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