When I started acting people tried to warn me that it was a tough profession. I figured most people who said that were referring to the constant auditioning and rejection. Since I don’t mind making a fool of myself in a room full of strangers, I thought that part wouldn’t be a problem for me. Turns out that wasn’t the hardest part.
The hardest part.
For me the hardest part of being an actor has always been financial.
When the breakdowns of what is casting come out every day, our agents submit our pictures to the casting directors and suggest that we may be right for a particular role.
Often you don’t know when the auditions will be held or if casting is going to agree to see you in the first place. Then you end up getting the call at 8pm saying, “good news, you have an audition tomorrow at 10am”.
“But I’m working tomorrow! What do I do!”
This is the bane of every actor I know. How do you earn a living not knowing from one day to the next when you are available to work?
It’s why so many actors work as waiters or bartenders. You can usually work nights, or get someone to switch shifts with you last minute if you get an audition. This works great if you are younger, but those jobs are limited when you are 40 years old.
Keeping your expenses low, staying out of debt and building up passive income can be the difference between making it and not making it in this business.
If you racked up your credit card, leased an expensive car and rented an expensive condo downtown, you would probably need to work full-time just to keep up with your monthly bills. It can make it very difficult to make it to auditions if you are working full-time.
If you want to land the role, you first need to make it to the audition!
By keeping your expenses low and staying out of debt, you are actually buying back your time. When you have more time to put into your craft (because you don’t need to work so much) you will land more roles, earn more money, and be able to buy back more of your time.
If you want to improve your acting career, I suggest you improve you balance sheet!