For the last five or so years here in New York City, there have been virtually no beggars on the streets. I have that face that everybody either asks for directions (which I gladly oblige) or asks for money. Five years at least, where I was not approached anywhere or anytime.
During the last six months, however, there has been a massive uptick of beggars on the streets. Where have they come from? I leave the theatre and walk to the subway and I am approached twice. I get to the Port Authority building and I'm approached, yet again. Three times in one day, every day.
This new breed is very aggressive, too. They don't take No for an answer. They badger, they plead. Or they tell you "Have a nice day," with such venemous persecution.
I mention this because as actors we are subject to equally aggressive money-grubbing beggars in the industry. They are, but not limited to:
a.) Photographers. The headshot industry is one big racket. Always has been, but with digital photography it really shows how ludicrous the posed "headshot" has become. You can decide who you would sleep with by an amatuer's snapshot of themselves with their digital camera. Surely you can figure out if you want to call in an actor from the same photo. Racket!
b.) Agents who send you for new headshots. Hey agent friend of mine, can you send your old friend the photographer some new meat?
c.) Casting directors who send you for new headshots or who insist you need "a reel." Who are you kidding? You barely peruse people's resumes but you're going to be watching their reels? You want my reel? I have it on digital video, uploaded to Youtube. Sorry I didn't pay your friend to have it done.
d.) Acting schools. Please. How long are you going to train? Get out.
e.) Workshops. Smarmy way of getting you to pay them to accept your resume.
And so it goes. Grub all you want. Badger all you want. Plead all you want. I'll give you directions, but I'm not giving you money.