Life Lessons from Showbiz

According to Actors Equity Association, 90% of the best Broadway performers in America are chronically unemployed. 

I suspect the figures for television and film actors are even worse. This, despite that there are enough job opportunities out there to consistently employ far more. Obviously it means the same actors are getting most of the gigs.

What explains this?

Talent?
Training?
Looks?
Luck?
Perseverance?
Passion?
Connections? 

Do the performers who work regularly have better resumes, headshots, social media skills, and all the other things people commonly associate with the "biz"?

The truth is that every one of these things is fundamentally minor or irrelevant... in any field.  They are equally common among those who fail as among those who succeed.

So what is it? 

I created this blog for students, parents, and educators- in and out of the arts. 

It's to share what I've distilled from a half century of experience with young people. For the most part, this includes kids who, from all outward appearances, were more accomplished and successful than most of their peers. 

Other than a few hundred young Broadway and TV stars, who were they?

These were kids who excelled in the following:

  • Academics
  • Athletics
  • Gymnastics
  • Dance
  • Forensics
  • Technology
  • Science

... and lots of other things. 

Here's what I observed without exception:

Those who came to feel good about themselves and learned to take good care of themselves, embraced the kinds of choices and habits that led to success. 

In other words, in every case, it was not what these children and teens accomplished that impacted most on their futures- it was who they were

That's what I call the "Sklar Principle".

I believe that as educators, our effectiveness- indeed our primary mission-  lies in understanding and communicating this to our students. 

Perhaps you'll join me here in that effort each month. It should be an exciting, illuminating, life-changing journey.

Until next time, take good care of yourself.

Thanks.

Peter Sklar