Acting: Worse Than Working on an Oil Rig?

Is this starting to look more inviting then your next audition?

Is this starting to look more inviting then your next audition?

According to (via the Wall Street Journal), these are the five best jobs of 2013:
1 Actuary
2 Biomedical Engineer
3 Software Engineer
4 Audiologist
5 Financial Planner

According to the same survey of 200 jobs, these are the five worst jobs of 2013:
196 Oil Rig Worker
197 Actor
198 Enlisted Military Personnel
199 Lumberjack
200 Reporter (Newspaper)

I didn’t know what an actuary was until I read the linked article and I still don’t want to be one but I found this article and the complete list pretty fascinating. According to WSJ the list was “based on five criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook. To compile its list, the firm primarily used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other government agencies”

As we prepare for the upcoming StageSource Theater Conference (Saturday, June 29th)  where we will be tackling the issue of “Reframing Success” it got me thinking about what “best” and “worst” mean in connection to the criteria listed above. Granted, this is just one list and is by no means the be all and end all, it got me wondering about our actors and what keeps you going?

What jumped out at me is that Actor is listed in between Oil Rig Worker and Enlisted Military Personnel which sounds crazy on one hand but not so crazy on the other. I chose to “reframe” this for myself; sustaining a career in the arts takes guts, tenacity, confidence, discipline, dedication and perhaps a touch of crazy. As you look at the career you’ve built or are building, does it look like what you expected or is working on an oil rig looking better every day? What does reframing success around your career choice look like to you? When we don’t have steady pay raises, promotions and fat retirement accounts as bench marks, what do you use to tell yourself you are on the beam or moving in a direction that feel fulfilling and right to you? So much of our idea of success comes down to our own personal attitude towards what we are doing and whether it works for us. How do you do this for yourself?

We’d love your comments below as we start this conversation approaching the conference!

About jjstagesource

Jeremy Johnson is the Member Services Mananger at StageSource and has been since graduating Emerson College in 2000. He has also worked as a freelance director throughout New England at companies including Gloucester Stage, Foothills Theatre, Stoneham Theatre, The Theater Offensive, Mill 6 and Boston Directors' Lab. He's worked backstage at "Blue Man Group" and onstage at "Shear Madness". His production of "Speech & Debate" at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston won the 2009 Elliot Norton Award for Best Production for a Mid-Size Company. He has also taught at The Cambridge School of Weston, Beaver Country Day School, Gann Academy, The Winsor School and Walnut Hill School for the Arts.
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