Things are changing in Hollywood.
Video auditions are king. Los Angeles casting directors are under investigation for violating the Talent Scam Prevention Act, and social media followers have more of an impact on an actor’s success than their actual talent.
Now, acting studios are going out of business. Last December, the New York Times interviewed and investigated the Acting Studios business.
Hilary Howard, of the New York Times, asked Mary Boyer, an acting teacher and director who opened an acting school in New York, how business is doing and it does not sound like the industry is growing.
“The economy changed,” Ms. Boyer said, “and what actors and audiences wanted sort of changed all at the same time.”
Boyer added that more aspiring actors were expecting “instant gratification,” and as a result “craft classes” started decreasing in attendance. Ultimately, auditioning classes became her new business model.
Business was doing so poorly, that Ms. Boyer gave up her studio space and her teaching responsibilities to move back to her hometown in Toledo, Ohio.
From the New York Times:
“I just could not keep doing it,” Ms. Boyer said. The lease for her school was up for renewal, and she had realized two things: her rent would continue to increase, and the only way to survive would be to teach more audition classes. “My creative soul was crumbling,” she said.
But, Boyer is not alone. Two other acting schools, the Atlantic Acting School and the T. Schreiber studio, had to make significant changes to keep open their doors in Manhattan.
Pamela Moller, the executive director of the Neighborhood Playhouse explained colleges became their biggest competition. Moller explained the number of applications to join the Playhouse’s conservatory program, which teaches the Sanford Meisner acting techniques, dropped a decade ago. The school had to invest in recruitment to keep up their business.
Ultimately, acting schools had to raise prices, join university programs, or go out of business to deal with the changing business.
You can read the full story here.
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