A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from August 07, 2019
“How do you make an actor moan?"/"Give them a job.”

Actors aren’t happy when they’re out of work, and many still complain when they do find work. “Here’s a joke: How do you make an actor bitch? Give him a job.” was printed in TV Guide in 2000. “One of my favorite jokes about the craft has always been the gem that begins, ‘How do you make an actor complain?’ The punch line is ‘Give him a job’” was printed in Back Stage (New York, NY) on March 5, 2009.

“ How do you make an actor moan? Give him a job” was posted on Twitter by Alison Newman on June 4, 2009. “Q: How do you make an actor moan? A: Give them a job” was posted on the blog The Working Actress on February 28, 2013.

It’s not known who first came up with the joke about actors.


Google Books
TV Guide
Volume 48
2000
Pg. ?:
“Here’s a joke: How do you make an actor bitch? Give him a job.”

5 March 2009, Back Stage (New York, NY), “Advice: Take 5: New Attitudes, Old Projects,” pg. 12:
Julian Miller, Philadelphia
‘TUDE ‘JUSTMENT
One of my favorite jokes about the craft has always been the gem that begins, “How do you make an actor complain?” The punch line is “Give him a job.” I began to fall into that category a bit this last month. I’ve been doing great work and have had great opportunities, but a bit of the classic complaint “Why aren’t I on Broadway yet?” flows in the undercurrent of my psyche

Twitter
Alison Newman
@alisonnewman
Replying to @jimeroo
@jimeroo How do you make an actor moan? Give him a job. Boom boom...x
7:27 PM · Jun 4, 2009·Twitter Web Client

Google Groups: SpoilerTV
[Spoiler TV] Breaking Bad - Interview with Jonathan Banks
Ramon
8/6/11
You’ve been on a lot of sets over the course of your career. How is Breaking Bad’s different?
First of all, the old saw: How do you make an actor bitch? You give him a job.

Twitter
westendproducer
@westendproducer
How do you make an actor moan? Give them a job, dear.
5:45 AM · Oct 9, 2011·Twitter Web Client

Google Books
Act Like It’s Your Business:
Branding and Marketing Strategies for Actors

By Jonathan Flom
Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.
2013
Pg. 122:
You know, there is an old joke that goes, “How do you make an actor complain? Give him a job.”

The Working Actress
Actor’s Paradox
28/2/2013
(...)
Q: How do you make an actor moan?
A: Give them a job.

Twitter
Danny Mac
@dannymaconline
Q: How do you make an Actor moan?
A: Give them a job.
#HappyMonday
3:18 AM · Jul 7, 2014·Twitter for iPhone

independent.ie
The Big Story: Deirdre and Stephen sell home to get ‘Noble’ movie made
They bring their jobs home, but it works for them. Actress Deirdre O’Kane and her producer husband Stephen Bradley tell Barry Egan how they met in the Liberties 21 years ago, and how they sold their home in Dublin to get their movie about Christina Noble made
Barry Egan
September 14 2014 12:00 AM
(...)
I ask Steve to explain his wife’s neuroses. “You know the old joke: ‘How do you make an actor unhappy?’” he asks, but before he can get the punch-line out, Deirdre delivers it herself: “Give them a job!’”

14 September 2014, Mail on Sunday (London, UK), “Meet the Greatest Showman in Town: Is Michael Crawford a tough act to follow in Barnum? So far, says Brian Conley, it’s cost me a broken finger, a cut knee and a twisted ankle!” by Andrew Preston, pg. 19:
‘I (Brian Conley—ed.) love that line, “How do you get an actor to moan? Give him a job!” But I’ve never been like that, I’ve never been a luvvie.’

Stage Review (UK)
BRADLEY WALSH IS HOOKED ON PANTO AT MILTON KEYNES THEATRE!
Anne Cox | October 6, 2014 | Features
(...)
“They say how do you make an actor moan? Give him a job. Well I absolutely love my job.”
(Spoken by Bradley Walsh.—ed.)

Schön! Magazine
interview | joanna vanderham
by Schön! Magazine / September 15th, 2015
(...)
There’s that common joke, how do you make an actor complain? Give them a job. I try not to fall into that bracket. I’ve got enough people around me to keep me grounded,” she admits.

Simply Theatre
An American In Paris - 2 part Interview with Haydn Oakley: Part 1
Posted by Kate Lemon on Jun 16, 2017 6:09:33 PM
(...)
The old saying goes “How do you make an actor unhappy?… Give them a job!” and it’s sadly true. There’s always another rung up the ladder and it’s hard to stay in the moment sometimes.

29 November 2018, The Stage (London, UK), “How do I not become bitter towards fellow actors and not only see them as competition?,” pg. 26:
Everyone’s heard: “How do you make an actor moan? Give them a job."There’s another more truthful saying: “How do you make an actor moan? Don’t give them a job.” It’s those in-between periods when the temptation to feel jealousy and bitterness is most apparent. But as a Jedi Master once said: “Don’t get bitter, get better.” It’s a silly saying, but there’s a big truth in it.

Twitter
paulbales
@undeadpaulbales
Replying to @fincherism
Reminds me of one of my favorite jokes:
“How do you get an actor to complain?”
“Give him a job.”
11:46 AM · Feb 21, 2019 from California, USA·Twitter for iPhone

The Stage
The Green Room: What annoys you most about your fellow actors?
by Jon Dryden Taylor - Aug 6, 2019
(...)
Peter They moan about not having work and then moan like hell about the job when they get it.

Jon Ha. yes. As the old joke goes: “How do you make an actor complain? Give them a job.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film/Circus • Wednesday, August 07, 2019 • Permalink