Sunday, November 16, 2008

Portland Actors Working Regionally & in NYC

How many Portland, Oregon actors work regionally and in NYC?  How many work in L.A.? 

Why did Scott Coopwood and Wade McCollum have (want) to leave Portland?

Which mid or larger market cities should an actor think about living in?  On the list: Minneapolis, New Orleans, Atlanta, San Francisco.  

Can an actor live in Portland, Oregon, and work in these places as well?  If so, who's doing it?

Also, which Portland Talent Agencies are, today, getting actors work both in Portland and nationally?  How close to making a living in Portland can an actor get, today?  How close can an actor get to growing a satisfying theater/film career (as distinct from "making a living") while living in Portland, today?  How great is the need for credentialled teaching theater artists in Portland, today?


Harold Phillips said...

Wow David... that's a whole bunch of questions. I can't answer the first one... that might be a better post for PDXBackstage or the Oregon Media Network. I can think of a handful of actors in my personal acquaintance who live in Portland and travel, though.

I can't really answer the second question, either, other to say that New York does offer a larger volume of opportunities than samller markets like Portland and the others you've mentioned in question #3.

Now, as for the last question... generally speaking I don't know that Portland agencies are generally interested in "getting actors work... nationally." They usually focus on getting actors work locally, and expect that their actors will gain representation in other markets if they want to work outside town.

"How close to making a living in Portland can an actor get, today?" It depends on what you call living... I know a lot of actors who only have theater and/or film jobs. They have room mates and take the bus or drive older cars, for the most part. They also eat a lot of ramen. It can be done... but I couldn't tell you how many do it without having the security (and benefits) of a day job.

You ask "How close can an actor get to growing a satisfying theater/film career (as distinct from 'making a living') while living in Portland, today?" Again, this is a question that depends on definitions. You can certainly grow A career here... and, I'd argue, with work you can grow a career that expands beyond the borders of our city. It takes work, though, and networking. In the past ten years I've worked in Washington and Idaho, and have made connections in other cities which might yield work in those places... but that took ten years.

I can't answer the teaching artist question either... again, PDXBackstage or Oregon Media Network might be better places for that.

Hope that helped...

Ms Ashley said...

I'm also in the Portland (well Salem) area. I've been in acting/modeling off and on since I was 4, but always in bigger markets. I lived in Seattle when I first started, so I feel like the may have been more choices there. With that said, Portland does seem to have a decent market, with more movies being filmed and cast here. Although, I think the hot spots will always be NY and LA, with Las Vegas coming in 3rd.

This may seem a little a random, but I'd love to get to together and pick your brain. You seem extremely knowledgeable about the business, and I am just getting back into it after finishing up college. Let me know...