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Did you know, A-List film stars are some of the most gainfully employed people on the planet?

Alright, there’s this thing that has been causing me to go “hmmm” for a good long while, and last night it came to a boil while YB and I sat watching through all the HBO previews that scrolled across the screen before Westworld season two came on.  There has been this trend the past few years, I can’t put my finger on when exactly it began, but where feature film stars have started to come “down” to television.

Back in the day, not that long ago, when I was still busting my ass trying to get an acting career up off the ground, where there film actors and there were TV actors.  Film thought that television was beneath them, and theater actors thought the only authentic acting art-form was the stage.  Each stuck firmly to their medium.  So the television actors were happy.  That acting landscape belonged exclusively to them.  Now, Yannick and I have always been of the mindset that being on TV every single week is the way to go.  You’re consistently in people’s lives, and homes.  Plus who doesn’t want a regular steady paycheque??

But, very recently, as in within the last five years, film actors, and stage, have clearly figured out what television actors have known all along.  That TV is a great gig IF you can get it.

And get it they’re now ALL DOING.

I mean HELLO Oscar winning actresses, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are doing Big Little Lies, and then killing it with nominations in that medium as well.  Now, we have Thandie Newton and Evan Rachel Wood on Westworld.  Sarah Jessica Parker has always danced between all three, she began on stage in New York, from there she went to television with Square Pegs, and then did countless films, and then back to TV with Sex In The City, then back to films, and now back on TV with Divorce.  But last night, was the nail in the coffin of my frustration when I saw ads for Sharp Objects, starring multi Golden Globe winning, and Oscar nominated actress Amy Adams.  Now this always busy actress also gone “down to TV.”  And I’ve met Amy, stood beside her at Universal Studios in a line for a good ten minutes, we chatted, her daughter chatted with me and my girls, she’s LOVELY.  I’ve always been a fan of her work, that moment made me a fan of her as a person.  So I don’t begrudge her work, but I do have a deep empathy for all the television actresses who were on the cusp of “making it” who might never now.  I mean, honestly, even my absolute favourite, and most winning actress/actor of all times Meryl Streep is doing it.

WTAF people???

Like, seriously, don’t you all have enough work, money, awards, accolades etc?? Can’t you leave some of this acting shit for other talented people trying to fulfill their heart’s desire??  I feel the same way whenever I see a musical film that easily could have been brilliantly cast with theater performers, yet they choose A-list names with mediocre singing voices.  Makes me sad.

My heart goes out to all the other actors and actresses, my husband included, who used to have a shot at getting a TV show in the States.  Not anymore folks, the film actors are snapping up all the high end, critically acclaimed television AND film roles.  It just doesn’t seem right.  It now works like this:  when studios and producers are looking to cast new TV shows, whether they’re for a broadcaster, or a cable channel, or one of the online networks, like Netflix or Hulu they start at the top.  Because they can.  So the offers for the roles go out to bonafide film stars, meaning actors/actresses that can still open a film at the box office.  Should they turn it down, then the powers that be start sniffing around at the actors who “used” to open a movie, like Orlando Bloom, Christian Slater, Patrick Demspey.  Should those actors pass, they then ask performers who used to be on a hit TV series, like Katherine Heigl, Rachel Bilson, Ian Somerhalder.  If all those people turn down the chance for a new series, then they ask washed up haven’t had a series since I gave birth to Mikaela if they would like the job.  If miracles of all miracles happens that all these people say NO, then, and only then do they have auditions for actors who maybe haven’t had the gift of having a US series yet in their lifetime.

Crazy town.  It used to be that only 10% of all actors registered within actors unions were making a living wage, now, with this current trend I’d put that number down to 5%, maybe even lower.  All I can say is that man oh man am I counting my blessings that Yanny Bissony is not only a gainfully employed actor, but has been for the past twelve years straight.  Thank you baby Jesus, and thank you to all of you for watching MM for all these years.

Who loves you guys?

This bitch does!

xo SB

 

13 Comments

  1. I too remember when the two were separate. It’s funny, I thought the same thing..but this morning when they had TONY nominations. Same question..aren’t there wonderful theater actors? There are..I know some. They are still doing dinner theater because movie actors want to take the Broadway stage. With the exception of those that have one foot in each( Andrew Garfield) it’s tough to understand why some get cast…and then I remember. This business is about money. The best chance actors have is to get a foot in the door as a bit part and hope to be noticed. I do feel bad that all the great parts are being taken by those whovdont really need the work but the industry is not altruistic. I fear we have missed some really great performances from actors working at IHOP instead of tv, film,etc. There is a part of me that knows Hollywood writes for Julia, Meryl and Tom. The actors like Evan R. Wood came up through Indies and I fear even in the case of Ed Harris, Hollywood does not know where to put them. I think that’s what draws them. I felt that watching the ALCHEMIST recently. Daniel Bruhl, Luke Evans ..all in movies, but not that often. Anyway, I agree and still think that YB should be in a show in the states, tv or film. I stopped watching HALLMARK when they took off the strong male characters.

  2. Yes! I’ve been noticing the trend in the last 8 years or so! I’m trying to remember which movie actor went the tv route; it’s escaping my mind at the moment.
    Maybe Netflix was the platform?

  3. I think you’re teasing your readers Mrs. Bisson. The answer to the question is obvious…money. By and large, these folks live an extravagant lifestyle that requires significant cashflow plus they usually have an army of agents/manager/PR folks/assistants for their professional business and then other staff to maintain their properties, etc. Then there are all the “not covered by insurance” medical costs…those little injections and nip & tucks cost money too. Given how some major motion picture contracts are written, the lure of a steady TV series paycheck plus residuals is likely a major temptation. Although, made for TV movies for channels like Hallmark are likely pretty low budget affairs. I assume Candace Cameron Bure had that thought in-mind, when they sent YB’s recurring character off in search of something, never to return on her executive produced series of Hallmark movies…or was she just plain afraid of YB outshining her “leading” role??? LOL!!!

  4. Thank You to Yannick Bisson for sharing your gift and talent with us. We’re praying for as many more years as he would like to give us, I really enjoy Murdoch Mysteries !!! Thank You Miss Lady for letting us enjoy him and yourself. Your blogs touch on so many thoughts and feelings I have… you give them a voice.

  5. You are growing on me, Shantelle. Even though I don’t always agree with you, I admire your frankness, openness, and vulnerability. I especially like that you are open to other viewpoints and rethink things, aka the blog about your encounter with the locksmith in LA,

    I would like to link this article to my Facebook DifferentDrummer.cc account that is a Movie Review Website for Film-Loving Foodies. Ok with you? You have some terrific inside insights on the industry. I have also reviewed Murdoch Mysteries, and I am a tremendous fan down here in Austin, Texas.

    https://www.differentdrummer.cc

    https://www.differentdrummer.cc/main/murdoch-mysteries-toronto-three-cheese-scalloped-potato-reci.html?rq=Murdoch%20Mysteries

  6. Ah, the power of the almighty Dollar at work. Methinks it’s all tied up in the way media works now – it’s not just tv vs. big screen vs. stage anymore: streaming has opened up a whole new world, a whole new way of experiencing stories. And the powers that be want to make money on all platforms, so they hang on to the people that have made money for them before.

  7. And we appreciate all of those 12 years and hopefully many more in the future. Being in peoples home every week is a great way to be appreciated for your talent. But does anyone really think that any of these “A-List” persona could carry a series for 12 seasons on their a-list status, with a new story every single week? I don’t think so! Mind you they are all talented. I just can’t see them in their new roles. And wouldn’t watch just because of a name. Well not true. I will watch anything with the name Yannick Bisson and have gotten to most of them 🙂 But… the point is I wonder why the migration, hmmm is right

  8. Shantelle, I think they are having too much fun acting to think of the little guy. Glad MM is doing so well. Great blog.

  9. Great insight into the actors life and dilemmas they face. Years ago…before you and YB were born, when soap operas were done live, they were populated by out of work theater actors. Don’t know if that still happens as much because I don’t watch soaps anymore. Also, in the early days of TV a lot of famous actors both stage & big screen showed up on live TV dramas too. I feel for you guys and I hope Murdoch goes on forever.
    PS: I’m an American Murdoch fan 🙂
    PPS: Online I’m GrannyMumantoog buy my real life initials are SB too 🙂 🙂

  10. It’s like that in other industries as well. Recruiters are always looking for the “A Listers” to fill out their rosters.

    For TV, movies, and plays, it’s particularly difficult since the budgets are so exorbitant. The thing is, the public can — and should — speak up , financially, when choosing their entertainment. I get tired of seeing the same faces, regardless of how well-acted a role is. I love discovering new artists! I relish the surprise that comes with new talent. I am not above specifically avoiding the latest “greatest” show that casts a big name in lead. I will also avoid like the plague a film that gets endless hype because how revelatory can it be if it has the same people from the last big movie?

    It’s a bore to be served chicken at every meal (regardless of the other ingredients) and that’s what studios are doing to our entertainment. Give me variety if you want my money.

  11. Hadn’t realized this. Are these movie actors not finding parts they like in film? Are they wanting a more predictable lifestyle? I don’t thinks it’s them deliberately taking jobs away so much as TV itself is offering them for name recognition. The film industry at least in the US seems to be blockbusters and fairly shallow fare. Maybe TV is offering them more artistic satisfaction?

    British actors have happily rotated between film, TV and stage forever. I prefer British, Canadian and Australian TV and film to American. It’s more complex emotionally and less pigeon holed into genre. I too am glad Yannick took a chance on Murdoch and that his success assures other Canadian actors, plus crew, writers, props, art, cgi people have employment. He’s doing a great thing for Canadian TV. I know he doesn’t do it alone, but he’s the team leader, so bravo!

  12. And we love you both right back❤ You have both worked long and hard for your success in the precarious entertainment field.

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