Much like investing, acting looks but it isn’t easy. In fact, FT columnist, Soumaya Keynes says in this piece, “The problem with the profession is that so many people want to join it. London’s drama school Rada has 121 applicants per place…Early luck compounds. The top parts are only open to those with the top agents. And the top agents only scout out talent at so many final shows.

Life after drama school often involves lots of auditions, perhaps 15, 20 or even 60 to get just a single job. Whereas once that would have meant dashing around London, New York or Los Angeles, today it means running a home studio making “self-tapes”.”

Ms Keynes’ piece explains that unless you make it big early in your career, you have to live with intense competition throughout your career because several thousand other aspirants like you are staying in the game by doing part-time jobs. The result of intense competition is that your wages will be same as that of the median worker in the economy: “Bob Schroeder, an agent based in Chicago, guesses that only around 15 per cent of actors he represents make a living exclusively from acting. Aside from the obvious gigs as a bartender, waitress or even wedding singer, there’s always work as an extra. That pays $187 a day under union rates, plus an extra $19 if as a condition of employment you must have a natural full-grown beard.”

In America, actors and others in the film industry are trying to solve this problem of ‘excess supply meets limited demand’ by unionising and then going on strike to demand higher wages. With AI looming, this is perhaps the actors’ last chance to make a reasonable living out of acting.

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