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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

Artist Struggling to Make Ends Meet Would Love to Know Just Where the Hell Crisis Acting Gigs Are

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

by Matt Keeley. @reallymattkeeley.

CHICAGO - After a month of less than steady employment and looming due dates for his rent and credit cards, local struggling theatre artist Marshall Hitchens found himself wondering exactly where the hell all these high paying crisis acting gigs are anyway.

“Just this week I’ve been a standardized patient, taught improv at the senior center, and played Freddy Krueger in a haunted house - all in between getting up at 4:30 in the morning to make call time for background gigs on Chicago Med. It's barely covering my cost of living," sighed Hitchins, bitterly assembling his second peanut butter and jelly sandwich of the day. “But no, supposedly somewhere out there some secret shadow organization is paying top dollar to stage mass shootings as a pretext to curtail civil liberties. And here I am trying to stretch a $375 stipend over two months of rehearsals.”

And he wasn’t the only one. After a comprehensive review of all major casting sites and offices, The Broadway Beat was unable to locate any such postings any-f*cking-where. Hitchens would have to be content without participating in false flag operations by splinter cells of unelected intelligence officials, despite his exceptional qualifications to work as one.

“I admit, Marshall’s no stranger to hairy situations,” confided fellow dinner theatre troupe member Hannah Williams, donning a wrinkled trench coat from her reusable Aldi bag. “One time he had to play Dr. Robotnik at a ten year-old’s Sonic the Hedgehog-themed birthday party. He was so convincing that the kids all swarmed - hitting him and laughing - while he ran to hide in a storage closet.”

Particularly galling to Hitchens was the amount of online content espousing the prevalence of crisis actors coinciding each time a mass shooting took place. None of which ever turned out to be a goddamn casting call.

“Nope, haven’t seen any of those,” dismissed casting associate Miri Gorelow, who had only ever called Hitchins in for an ad for erectile dysfunction. “But I can understand the appeal. In an oblique way, it creates certainty in an uncertain and chaotic world. Where bad things happen because a sinister force has made it so, not from chance or a deep-rooted problem we’d rather ignore. It’s a tough business, but we’ve gotta stay realistic.”

In spite of his financial struggles, Hitchens returned to the audition hunt - gritting his teeth and resolutely scrolling past an image from InfoWars claiming Actor’s Equity offered EMC points to victims of gun violence.


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