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“Money makes the vorld go round, the vorld go round, the vorld go round… A mark, a yen, a buck or a pound that clinky clanky sound” Emcee and Sally Bowles sung these words in Cabaret in 1972 and they are still as true as ever.
Money and actors
Money can be so scarce as an actor in the early days when you need to keep updating your head shot and CV, have money to travel to auditions as well as fund your training, not to mention living day to day. There’s no wonder then that it is the main deciding factor in many actors quitting prematurely.
I have this conversation many times with actors I’ve worked with professionally and the actors that train at StandBy. Most actors are unsure whether to keep following their heart; doing what they love and have tremendous passion for (albeit living hand to mouth) or whether to go back to the 9-5 world and work their way up the career ladder.
Why does money play the leading role?
- Seeing friends climbing up the career ladder, whilst you work a dead end job to go to auditions can be hard
- Not being able to buy all the nice things you would like because you work a low wage job to fund your acting career can be difficult also
- Working a flexi/bank job means the hours are not always guaranteed yet you need to be flexible to attend auditions
- Living off fresh air doesn’t work out so well – the bills need paying.
- Money does restrict you when there isn’t as much of it as you’d like (or so it seems)
- Having a career and working towards an acting career simultaneously doesn’t work so well; acting needs your full attention.
How can I fix this?
- Make sure 150% that acting is the industry you want to go into. This sounds so cliche but if it’s in your heart then you must follow it.
- Be prepared to ride the wave of financial hardships.
- BUDGET – (so many actors don’t do this) Create good money habits by creating a money tracker of everythingthat comes in and goes out. What do you have as disposable income each month/week? What do you need to set aside for auditions/promo materials/classes? Can you project what your income/expenditure will be each month? Yes it sounds boring but it is essential for financial survival.
- BE RUTHLESS – Have you identified any bad spending habits? Do you fritter your money on unnecessary items? What can you cut back on that you don’t need? We all need treats and little perks but is it really essential to have a Starbucks everyday? You know what your vice is.
- SAVE – If you know you want your next head shots taken by that expensive photographer who does a great job, budget what you can put to one side each week/month then save it.
- Take extra shifts – offering to cover other people’s shifts for them or take on an extra shift that needs cover when you know you don’t have an audition can work out great for you; you earn extra money and your boss/work collegue appreciates the favour (and will be more likely to cover your shift for you when that audition does crop up).
- Can you find a way to supplement your income? Is there anything else “out there” you can do alongside your current job. Can you freelance some acting workshops for children on evenings/weekends for example?
- Use meal planners to help budget your shopping list.
NEED MORE INSPIRATION & EFFECTIVE ACTOR TIPS?
If you found these tips useful, you can grab yourself more tips completely FREE. Louise O’Leary is a professional method actress, acting coach and CEO of StandBy Method Acting Studio. Her mission is to help as many actors as she can achieve their acting dreams and become the best actor they can be. Join the hundreds of actors around the world who have downloaded her eBook “Respect your craft, discover my top 45 method acting secrets to launch your career”. bit.ly/free45tipsbook and be on your way to acting success today!
You can also head over to facebook.com/standBymethodactingstudio for inspirational advice and tips every day.