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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: July ::
Re: Exploitation of Actors
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1369  Monday, 10 July 2000.

[1]     From:   Frank Whigham <
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        Date:   Friday, 07 Jul 2000 08:16:05 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1365 Re: Exploitation of Actors

[2]     From:   Andrew W. White <
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        Date:   Friday, 7 Jul 2000 09:58:05 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1365 Re: Exploitation of Actors

[3]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Friday, 07 Jul 2000 10:23:21 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1365 Re: Exploitation of Actors

[4]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Friday, 7 Jul 2000 18:44:48 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1360 Re: Exploitation of Actors

[5]     From:   Michael Meyers <
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        Date:   Friday, 7 Jul 2000 22:42:58 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.1365 Re: Exploitation of Actors

[6]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Sun, 9 Jul 2000 21:20:36 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1360 Re: Exploitation of Actors

[7]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Sun, 9 Jul 2000 21:20:36 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1360 Re: Exploitation of Actors


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Frank Whigham <
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Date:           Friday, 07 Jul 2000 08:16:05 -0500
Subject: 11.1365 Re: Exploitation of Actors
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1365 Re: Exploitation of Actors

> It's simple, people who . . .

Beats me how many people, on this of all lists, think this kind of talk
is useful. Last I looked, when our undergraduates talk like this they
gets Cs.

Ick.

Frank Whigham

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew W. White <
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Date:           Friday, 7 Jul 2000 09:58:05 -0400
Subject: 11.1365 Re: Exploitation of Actors
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1365 Re: Exploitation of Actors

Pat Dolan writes:

>my wife, member of a union and Ph.D. candidate, thinks
>tenure is a much bigger scam.

Perhaps the acid test would be to ask tenured professors how they feel
about unionizing their TA's.  I have had to bite my lip with tenured
profs who claim that unionization lowers the standard and makes TAs lazy
(as if we all got 'lazy' shots with our union cards?).  And given the
lack of standards among tenured profs, _especially_  when it comes to
pedagogical skills, perhaps your wife isn't too far off the mark in some
cases.

As for the original question on actors:  exploitation is a vexed term,
but the bottom line is whether the hired players in Shakespeare's troupe
earned a decent, living wage.  Were they forced to work 2-3 jobs outside
the Globe to make ends meet?  Not an easy question to answer I'll
warrant, but that's the kind of thing I look for when the 'exploitation'
question comes up.

Andrew White
Arlington, VA

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Friday, 07 Jul 2000 10:23:21 -0700
Subject: 11.1365 Re: Exploitation of Actors
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1365 Re: Exploitation of Actors

I just wanted to congratulate Pat Dolan on his last note:

>I think the whole discussion leads to a consideration of the nature of
>work in sixteenth/seventeenth century England. I can't see "jobs" or
>"careers" in the period, if what we mean is the same thing we mean of
>today.

No, I don't think we can.  I remember one of my old history profs
arguing that the horrible working conditions of the industrial
revolution followed from applying agricultural standards of labour
(which are outdoors, familial, and with hours that last until the light
fails) to industry (which is indoors, alienated in the Marxist sense,
and until the factory whistle blows).  We could just say, though, that
working long hours in a more of less familial setting is the condition
of most of the premodern world.  While the 'family' setting of masters
and apprentices is as open to abuse as real families, it doesn't have
the coldness of a commercial relation.

>Does anyone know precisely the scope of the labour laws specifying the
>length of the work day in Elizabethan England? I assume players weren't
>covered.

One of my old mentors has an article out to the effect that the length
of the work-day and hence the payment for day labourers, had to vary
seasonally in northern England, since the seasons changed the number of
hours of sunlight.

Incidentally, I'm given to understand that there was great resistance to
the introduction of clocks, since they implied a new view of the
workday, one that told you when to eat lunch mechanically, rather than
based on when you're hungry.

And by the way, I witnessed the failure of trying to industrialize
pre-modern practices in a Cree community a few years ago, when they set
up a snowshoe factory.  It didn't work out, since the traditional
economics of making them requires that a lot of unpaid labour be used,
and that a lot of the costs be piggybacked on other things:  you cut
suitable peices of wood while out hunting anyway, for instance, and
certain elements of the process were done in "down time" from other
pursuits.

Cheers,
Se

 

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