Are Bethpage Masquer’s Guild members just in it for some musical theatre experience, building up for a career later? Or are they just in it for fun? Bethpage Masquer’s Guild is more than a club: it is a family, from the directors to the actors in the shows.
Even if acting isn’t a Guild member’s dream, those in the Masquers Guild love working on the different productions, and they love the “feel” of the club. However, the question remains: are these actors and singers planning on pursuing this field in the future?
I thought most would say a definitive YES. It was interesting to find out that many club members who participate in these shows don’t actually want to act or sing professionally. Many factors contribute to why it’s not an interest…or why they won’t pursue acting. Some feel that acting or singing will not benefit them financially. This statement is not wrong.
In recent years, according to Chron.com, the lowest-paid 10 percent of actors and singers made $9.39 hourly, and the highest-paid 10 percent earned over $100 hourly. Success stories (those who were actually working) worked in the motion picture and video industries to make a mean hourly rate of $50.88. So, usually, if you are not a famous or vastly popular actor or singer, you will have to be willing to work extra-hard with multiple jobs to “make it…” which you may never do.
Gaetano Re, a senior member of Bethpage Masquer’s Guild, said, “I love acting. I really do, but it doesn’t mean I would like to do it for a career. I would like a job that gets me enough money to support myself, to live on my own. That doesn’t really mean I won’t think about doing acting in the future. I plan on being a computer science major and becoming a software developer so that I can pull a decent living on my own, but I can do acting on the side, along with animation.”
Gaetano continued, “I would like to think of them as hobbies that I enjoy doing, not as a career to support myself with. Maybe those hobbies in the future could turn into careers that I enjoy doing, but right now, I would like to pick a job that allows me to live on my own, without support from other people.”
Despite the economic disadvantages of becoming an actor, many still choose to follow their dreams, simply for the love of acting. Others are deterred and move on to other careers. More so than not many do not try to become an actor or singer professionally.
What actors and singers or theatrical performers have in common is struggle. Whether the struggles come after you start just singing in bars to get by until you’re discovered. Or acting audition after audition to the deeper reason all of us become entertainers in some way. Which is the void that we need to fill as well as the art we want to express.
Alexa Rolleri, a senior at Bethpage High School, said she “wouldn’t do theatre in the future” because she wouldn’t want her whole life to be auditions due to her “anxiety and mental draining.” Also, she doesn’t want to “wait tables” her whole life either. “However, doing [acting] on the side would be fun”.
Alexa wants to be a “pediatric orthodontist and she interns at an oral surgeon’s office to get her foot in the door.” Alexa, much like others would not even attempt a musical or theatrical profession due to the amount of struggle financially and like Alexa said mental draining it takes to be part of this business.
The Masquer’s Guild is not only for future actors, it is a space to be free to express yourself and grow close to your company. Those who choose to be members become a part of a family regardless of their future plans. So, regardless of whether you plan to pursue a career in acting or theater, you can be part of the Masquer’s Guild.