I’ve been here for about six years, and regardless of the fact that Peekskill is an artsy town, filled with galleries, cafés, and a theater, there’s really no outlet for actors.
Where I live in Peekskill is near the Artist District in Downtown. There are a plethora of artist lofts, but they’re only available for certified artists with certificates of proof. They, along with musicians, have many outlets to showcase their talents: the Peekskill Coffee House, many restaurants, the Bean Runner Café, the library, etc., where they could either perform (not in the library, of course!) or have said establishments hang the artists’ work onto their walls for people to view, with an option to buy. Musicians and artists have the advantage. But, although we have the renovated Paramount Center for the Arts, a theater that has been around since 1930, there’s no community theatre or ANY sense of community for local actors. If you want to perform, you’d have to go either out of town, find work in NYC, or wait until the opportunity of background work for films shooting in Peekskill comes about.
It’s extremely bad considering that not only does the Paramount Center NOT do local community theater, but they’ve just recently suspended operation due to failed fundraising efforts to keep the place open for business. It’s also bad for the people who’ve bought tickets to upcoming shows that have been cancelled as a result.
Honestly, and I may sound naive, but I feel they wouldn’t have had to temporarily close until further notice unless they’d made it possible for local actors, playwrights, producers, directors to make use of the theater and create plays for people to attend and enjoy. The Performing Arts Center in White Plains does just that, and they’re still thriving.
If anyone has any rebuttal, feel free to leave it in the comments. I need to be proven wrong, that there is an actors’ community here in Northern Westchester County, and how I can be a part of it. If not, I’d like to know how such a community can be created, because I feel I can only go to NYC for auditions so many times.
I want to grow as an actor. I want to create plays. I want to be a part of it and learn through experience. There’s only so much that drama school can teach you…