That broadaay you’re watching onstage tonight? He or she might well have skin in the game. And I speak not just of art or hunger for applause. I talk of cold, hard cash. One of the more interesting and perhaps lesser noticed changes in show business these last few years has been the transition of touring shows away from fixed salaries to compensation models based on how many seats are filled. Not so long ago, back in the glory of the early s when multiple companies of «The Phantom of the Opera» convoyed across the Midwest, most touring Broadway shows offered actors production contracts, which meant financial rewards and working conditions that mirrored those hw Broadway. In fact, for your average Broadway actor especially the younger and freer varietygoing on tour with a show could mean a more attractive deal than in New York. On the road, actors got nice per diems with no obligation to spend all that money if they could stay with friends. They could live on their per diem and bank the salary. The production contract, the holy grail for actors, still exists how much money does a broadway actor make a year touring theater. But almost every other Equity show on the road — «Peter Pan,» «Priscilla Queen of the Desert,» even «Les Miserables» — operates under a different contract with a far lower minimum salary for actors. Under the now-common contracts called short engagement touring agreements or SETAssalaries are less than half the full rates.
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The curtain rises, and the audience applauds as Broadway actors transport them to another time and place. It takes hard work and dedication to get to Broadway. It’s a lucrative career for a few. Hamilton producers have also profited from the enormous success of the show. Most actors who make it to Broadway do not achieve that level of wealth or fame. They do it because they love performing on stage. Actors bring a story to life by creating characters from a playwright’s script and directions. Unlike acting for television or film, the theater is live. There are no second takes. Actors must memorize their lines and deliver them convincingly. Depending on the show, actors may be expected to sing, dance or perform stunts. Some actors study several roles to be prepared to stand in should an actor not be able to take the stage. There are no specific education requirements for a Broadway actor. Some have formal training from acting classes or earn a degree in theater from a college or university. You can gain experience in local productions, beginning with high school and moving on to community and regional theater. Develop your talents by employing a voice coach and studying movement and dance. Broadway actors learn lines on their own and come to rehearsals prepared to go through the script with other actors. They work with directors, music conductors, costume designers, make-up artists, hair stylists and other behind-the-scenes personnel. The work can be physically demanding because shows are usually performed nightly and may also have one or more matinee performances. There are small increases for additional duties. Actors with name recognition or years of successful shows under their belt make considerably more than the union minimum. Competition for roles on Broadway is fierce. Hundreds of people can show up for an audition, and you can be dismissed if you don’t fit a casting director’s vision of a character, even before you’ve had a chance to show what you can do. Shows like «Phantom of the Opera» and «The Lion King» have run for years, while some unsuccessful productions are shuttered within a week. You never know how long you’ll be employed, and there’s no guarantee that your next gig is just around the corner. Denise Dayton is a a freelance writer who specializes in business, education and technology.
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How to Make MONEY as an Actor (how much money do actors really make??)
The reality is, you do not usually break even when doing a Broadway show if you are from out of town. Even if you live there, money is tight. Every contract and every situation is different! Here are some tips from our experts:. So make sure to ask what exactly is included in broqdway pay rate. This can really make things confusing. The thing to know is that Equity has a minimum pay rate for each contract and that is not negotiable downward. Contact Equity and ask what scale is for the contract the show mone. Split roles can also mean a split salary. The actors may odes additional payments for holidays and public relations events. After all those deductions, you might break even if you live in NYC.