A Materialist Feminist Perspective on Time in Actor-Training: the commodity of illusion

Stamatiou, Evi (2019) A Materialist Feminist Perspective on Time in Actor-Training: the commodity of illusion. In: Time and Performer Training. Routledge, London and New York, pp. 50-62. ISBN 9780815396284

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Abstract

Writing from the perspective of an actor and actor-trainer, I aim to raise awareness about the fact that temporality in actor-training, considered in socio-economic terms, is different for women. I will explore temporality using Gary Becker’s concept of ‘human capital’ (2009: 12) which enables me to analyse the risks of a woman’s time investment in actor training for her future socio-economic prospects. A socio-economic notion of time emerges from this analysis: time as a commodity of illusion. Using a materialist feminist approach, I critically analyse the use of time in actor-training. I use quantitative data, such as gender-related statistics relating to employment and training from Purple Seven and the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). I also use qualitative data, such as reports about undergraduate students’ rights under consumer law from Competition & Markets Authority (CMA); key findings about employability from The Higher Education Academy (HEA); actor-training practices, such as classical text-based training and cross-casting; and, anonymized participants’ testimonies. This analysis highlights the fact that it is paradoxical for a person to invest their time in actor training if their gender, race, ability and other embodied characteristics mean that their commodified body is a less desirable product. I coin the term actor-entrepreneur and I suggest that time in actor training should be invested both in acting and entrepreneurship skills, with an entrepreneurial environment being a priority in non-prestigious actor-training institutions. I invite policy bodies to develop tools that investigate how the unequal experience of time affects the agency and well-being of female trainees and encourage actor-training institutions to take positive action.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Section II: About time: narratives of time, Chapter 6
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2041 Performance studies
Divisions: Departments > Performing Arts
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Evi Stamatiou
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2019 15:45
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2019 13:34
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/4463

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