Acting jobs drying up?

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Malleus, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. Malleus

    Malleus Admiral Admiral

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

    Source: http://www.startrek.com/article/interview-with-jonathan-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.
     
  2. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    i don't think he's exaggerating.

    the combination of getting old and getting type-casted is a death sentence in hollywood.
     
  3. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  4. od0_ital

    od0_ital Admiral Admiral

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    And that's why the make convention appearances.
     
  5. RapidNadion

    RapidNadion Commander Red Shirt

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    The past ten years or so of reality programming haven't helped much, either.
     
  6. Kirk1980

    Kirk1980 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, reality TV... the death knell of a lot of acting careers for legitimate actors and actresses.
     
  7. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    At least they aren't bitter over doing Trek and still have appreciation for it.
     
  8. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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
     
  9. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The scenario from Galaxy Quest doesn't come out of nowhere. ;)
     
  10. Nardpuncher

    Nardpuncher Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. LeadHead

    LeadHead Director of Comedy Premium Member

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    Not to mention writers, set designers and lots of other people.
     
  12. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, Brendan Frasier is a Shakespearean Actor (believe it or not) so he always has the stage.
     
  13. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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. :lol:

    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.
     
  14. Jeff O'Connor

    Jeff O'Connor Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  15. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, he's that guy. ;)
     
  16. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I wrote two episodes of TNG about twenty years ago, and that's the extent of my professional career as a television writer - I was a fortunate enthusiast who was able to take advantage of an opportunity that presented itself.
     
  17. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    I couldn't have said it better myself, Gary 2.

    Dennis, 'First Contact' is one of my favourite episodes of TNG! Have you spoke about your experience working about it elsewhere on the board? If not, would you be okay with me starting a thread to ask you some more specific questions about it? I love hearing behind-the-scenes info from writers.
     
  18. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    As for how big residuals are- once a show goes into syndication they are pretty big- particularly one that gets rerun all around the world like TNG does.
     
  19. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I've talked about it with respect to specific aspects of it, when someone asks. I'm not sure that what I can tell you is worth a thread. I agree that it's a fine episode, but Dave Bischoff and I only saw it through its first draft - credit for the episode should go mainly to the later writers and particularly to Michael Piller.

    Yeah, the "we do things the way we do because of a disastrous first contact with the Klingons" was my idea.

    No - I absolutely love the Bebe Neuwirth "I want to sleep with an alien" stuff but it was not in our draft - credit to later writers.

    Mirasta Yale was conceived - at the suggestion of the producers - as a possible continuing character (they knew that Wheaton was leaving). They developed Ro Laren instead.

    The writing credits were determined by WGA arbitration - all of the drafts are submitted to a WGA review panel and they decide who's entitled to what.
     
  20. Jeff O'Connor

    Jeff O'Connor Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, neat. Thanks, NCC-1701.

    Ah, yeah, I see that now. Not too shabby. Pretty good episodes, too. Color me impressed.
     

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