New York City is one of the world’s most expensive places to live. Struggling theater makers have to work long hours to pay for rent and other essentials. Even people who are pursuing conventional careers often find it difficult to make ends meet. Actors, writers and directors may start out working for free in Lower East Side theaters. These performances give agents and others the chance to discover new talent. They also allow you to practice your craft. Unfortunately, these opportunities will not help you pay the rent.
In order to pursue their craft, theater workers usually take a low-level office job or service position. These jobs will cover your rent, but very little else. Headshots, classes and mailings cost money. You will need them in order to make progress in your career.
While the city gives you the chance for wide exposure, you will also find that there is plenty of competition for the spotlight. Thousands of people come to New York each year because they want to be on Broadway. There may be only a handful of roles available. How you handle the intense competition will figure prominently into your success or failure in New York.
Pursing a theater career in the Big Apple can be stressful. If you can manage your money and keep your confidence in check, New York City might be the right spot for you. It will depend on your personality. But whatever you decide, remember that you can always go home again.