Sunday, December 14, 2008


I posted on Facebook a request for comments about Philadelphia as a good union theater town, close to NYC and the rest of the east coast, as a place to live, work, and base myself, as I work out-of-town for regional theater and Shakespeare Festivals.  Comments have already begun to accrue.  I--and other readers--would love to extend this conversation to this space.

Pros for moving to Philadelphia:
  • inexpensive for big city
  • 9o minutes or less to NYC
  • close to D.C. and regional theater up-and-down east coast and midwest
  • good amount of union work (I'd like to start getting insurance in the next couple of years)
  • likelihood of getting lots of stage time, both in the city and venues in driving distance (I'm a non-union theater's dream:  over-40, leading man-type, male, non-union--soon to be EMC--actor.  This does not conflict with 'pro' of Philly as union town.)
  • I love the west coast and, when I have the choice, spend a LOT of time outdoors, hiking, skiing, motorcycling, sailing--harder to do in PHILADELPHIA?  (Though, I'd be close to Chesapeake Bay, as well as closer to Vermont, where I have family.)
  • I've spent a lot of energy and time putting down roots, creating friends, in Portland, Oregon.  Starting over--AGAIN--is a small nightmare.
Of course, as always, I'm up for adventure....

The other thing is this:  Portland is growing, albeit slowly, as a theater town.  It'd be exciting and rewarding to remain a part of that.  I just don't know that if I'll grow as an actor as quickly as I'd like, there.  I might make a better contribution to Portland theater if I'm patient about building my chops elsewhere, before coming back to town.  After all, I've been away for less than two years, so far.  That's nothing, in the life of an artist....


Dennis Baker said...

There is definitely more regional theater opportunities in the East Coast. But they hold all their auditions in New York.

I live an hour outside of NYC and its a pain in the ass (and time consuming) to get into the city for auditions. So coming from Philly, sounds like it would not happen as often as you think it would. Plus train is expensive and driving is crazy.

You are right about Non-Union, Philly (or DC?) might be good for that. See if you can talk to some actors through Philly Theater Alliance to get some insight to the area.

Rob Freedman said...

Except for food and closeness to the Jersey Shore, I'd prefer Portland. By the bye, nobody raised in Philadelphia refers to it as Philly.

Jon said...

"By the bye, nobody raised in Philadelphia refers to it as Philly."

Yes, I've sometimes heard (or read) this. But I've lived 45 minutes from the city for a quarter-century, and absolutely everybody I know, raised there and otherwise, refers to it as Philly. Maybe I just know the wrong people.