Following up on my recent post about the Theatre Communications Group, one of the grants the organization administers is the “Resident Actor Fellowship” program of the Fox Foundation, an initiative designed to "provide substantial support for exceptionally talented actors to further their artistic and professional growth and to encourage theatre organizations to deepen their relationships with actors.”

The application, for which the deadline is June 15th, requires actors to self-identify and apply in either of two categories:

(1) Extraordinary Potential--Exceptionally talented, early- to mid-career actors who demonstrate a strong interest and a commitment to continued training; or,

(2) Distinguished Achievement--Exceptionally talented actors who have demonstrated considerable experience in professional theatre, with a substantial body of work.

You could probably translate those into "Young" and "Old" but that would be ageist. The bigger question is whether those two choices unfairly block many fine actors from getting fellowships. Personally, I’d like the Fox Foundation to expand the program to include a few more categories:

(3) Fading Prospects—Talented actors who demonstrate a strong interest in continuing to work on stage, but for whom roles are getting hard to find because, frankly, we love your work but you're not quite the look we're going for this time.

(4) Unfounded Optimism—Mediocre actors who demonstrate unwarranted hope of sustaining a stage career such that a small fellowship will sustain the dream another few months.

(5) Limited range—Exceptionally good actors with considerable experience who have been playing essentially the same role for years and years.

(6) Dialect challenged—Otherwise decent actors who just need a little help to keep from slipping in and out of an Irish accent when the role calls for Cockney.

Can our readers suggest any additions? While you're thinking about it, enjoy this video of singer-songwriter St. Vincent (Annie Clark) singing “Actor Out Of Work.” She’ll be performing at the Aladdin Theatre on Monday, May 25, 2009.


culturejock said...

Hahah. I love it. And I have a few nominations.

Unknown said...

I suggest the Jules Feiffer Fellowship, for actors and directors who have demonstrated outstanding ability to hone in relentlessly on the Deep and Brooding Tragedy of Life, even when they're doing Neil Simon. (I know, I know: Jules' great cartoon creation was a contemporary interpretive dancer. But we live in a cross-disciplinary world.)

MightyToyCannon said...

I like the addition of a Deep and Brooding category, and have been a fervent Feiffer fan forever. (Say that quickly).

Two more additions: (1) fellowships for exceptionally talented actors who aspire to become mediocre directors; (2) fellowships for mediocre directors who aspire to launch struggling theater companies; and (3) grants for struggling theater companies that just want to get back to hiring exceptionally talented actors.

t-love said...

MTC, I totally thought of the actor mediocre director one, too!

one more: 1) grant to pay off famous musicians trying to be actors to keep roles for hard-working emerging, talented actors.