Is studying acting important anymore?

Hilary Howard wrote a piece in the New York Times about the shrinking number of acting studios in NYC. They have been impacted by an outrageous real estate market, the changing focus of actors wanting to make it big instead of learning the craft of acting, and the surge of university departments.

The long and short is that the studios that seem to be surviving the best are ones affiliated with universities where tuition can be over $50,000 per year. The studios that haven’t folded are facing huge rents. Some are letting go large chunks of their spaces.

The real estate in New York has already devastated many smaller theater spaces. You can see a list of them on the League of Independent Theater’s Lost Spaces page. I am furious that Google is going to force out Atlantic’s Acting Studio from its building by charging commercial rent.

Really, Google, are you hurting that badly for money?

I hope the mayor and the city council will look into this. New York isn’t New York without great theater. Theater isn’t great without actors with serious training and chops. This training needs to be accessible to people across the spectrum and not just the wealthy or the ones willing to take on three decades worth of debt.

Theater used to be the entertainment for the working class. Now it’s by the rich and for the richer. That’s a real shame.

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