Should actors be paid for their contribution to shows that go on to be hits?
I’ve been going to the theater regularly since I turned 10 (1962, the Martin Beck, Jerry Herman’s “Milk and Honey,” with Molly Picon) and as an ink-stained kvetch since “for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf” (1976, the Public).
One constant that has endured across those decades is my reverence for actors.
I’m in awe of them, the mystery of their talent, the ferocity of their commitment and perhaps above all their generosity. They strip themselves bare emotionally and sometimes physically for our entertainment. They bind themselves body and soul to needy writers, sadistic directors, calculating producers and hallucinating designers for the sake of their art, not infrequently for less than carfare. They know when they’re in a flop, but deliver the goods unstintingly. They are generous with their time and talent beyond any reasonable demand.