I’ve met students interested in the arts who are understandably unsure how to begin their lives and careers as artists in Razorback nation. Some future artists express fears of becoming a broke, starving artists.
The truth is most working actors in Hollywood, Broadway, and Arkansas are well trained theater majors and many hold more than one theater degree. Working actors and actresses have committed to performing’s highs and lows because the business entails loads of rejection letters as well as the potential for national and international accolades.
Arkansas Shakespeare Theater actor David Bauman, for example, stars as the Rabbi in the company’s 2015 production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Bauman has held a number of fancy jobs along the way including teaching acting at UCLA, the place he received his Master of Fine Arts degree.
Chad Bradford stars as Bassanio in Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice”. Bradford is a Little Rock native with an MFA in acting from Penn State (2009). Bradford has seven film and television credits and has appeared on stage in over 30 roles, including his lead role as Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” on Broadway with the American Globe Theater.
Hannah Moulder stars as Jessica in the “Merchant of Venice” production. Moulder is an Arkansas native and UCA student unafraid to go against the grain in terms of identity and spirit. Moulder began her work in theater as costume and acting intern with the Arkansas Shakespeare theater in 2013. 2015 marks her first year officially acting with the company.
Currently, there are a number of acting companies in Arkansas that operate outside of colleges and universities: The Arkansas Repertory Theatre in Little Rock and the Arkansas Shakespeare Theater.
The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism has a few dinner theaters: The Imperial Dinner Theatre in Pocahontas, Center on the Square in Searcy, Murry’s Dinner Playhouse in Little Rock, The Five Star Theatre in Hot Springs, and Rogers Little Theater. Many actors in dinner theater are also teachers in the daytime.
There is no reason to believe that actors are broke or starving and there’s no reason to take that course in pursuit of an acting career. Actors generally have highly refined tastes and longings for those finer things in life that best represent the aesthetic values of their chosen careers.
The best equipped actors and actresses come from supportive families and networks. They’ve mastered in their studies and consequently possess the grace and ingenuity needed to thrive inside the industry. Grace comes to students and employees in many ways, and is largely built on a solid foundation that begins at home and in higher education studies, particularly the liberal arts education where students are encouraged to live by their beliefs and ideals.
Because most actors and artists have rejected the 9-5 government and corporate American work week, actors, authors and playwrights are constantly on the lookout for grants and awards to maintain their livelihoods.
For more information on studying theater at a community college or the college or university you wish to attend google Theater, University, college, Arkansas. See what you find close to you. You’ll be surprised.
The University of Central Arkansas leads the state in thespian scholarship as it has been named one of 52 US locations to host Shakespeare’s first folio.
UCA has already stated they will present the pages of “Hamlet” that features the famous “to be or not to be” suicidal ponderings of the Prince of Denmark. UCA presents the folio next month (June).
A good number of actresses and actors who perform in Arkansas dinner theaters are also teachers in the daytime, not struggling or starving artists.
But some of the more successful actors and actresses in Arkansas pursued a graduate degree where more personal work on an artist’s identity can be developed and prepared for presentation to larger audiences outside of university theater.