If you had a son or daughter who announced they wanted to be a stage actor, whatever would you say to them?

In Japan today, as in centuries past, this still remains a dreaded scenario for many "respectable" parents hoping to raise children who will better their lots materially and in the all-important eyes of society.

Many strict, conservative families would simply order a stagestruck offspring to "think again," while less dogmatic parents (and grandparents) would point out that acting is a difficult, insecure job that often pays little. In Japanese, actors and beggars are both referred to as kawaramono (literally, "riverbank dwellers").