How to make money as an actor
The grim fact is that many of us are struggling to bring the bacon home, let alone continue our acting careers.
I often joked that my overrated bachelor of fine arts degree prepared me for only two different vocations: acting and waiting tables. However, you are not obligated to auction your soul to the food and beverage industry, or any other industry. Because I’m going to show you 3 simple ideas to make money if you are an actor in these dark economic times.
1. Be an extra:
For those who haven’t, head over to Central Casting and apply. They are America’s best firm when it comes to casting extras in movies, TV shows, and TV commercials. (And they have been around for over a hundred years!) All you need to do is fill out the registration papers, take a photo, give a simple interview, then go home and wait for the phone to ring.
Central Casting has offices in both New York and Los Angeles. But what if you live anywhere else in the United States? Does that mean you can’t become an extra? In fact, do they take pictures in other cities?
They sure do. In the last 10 years, the price of filming has skyrocketed, about 519 percent to be exact. Because of that, growers are fleeing to cheaper urban centers: Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, Montreal, Vancouver, Philadelphia and Toronto.
You can easily find casting offices in all of these metropolitan areas. Just do a quick search on the internet and find out when they will make open calls.
Now what are some of the rewards of working as an extra? Good thing you asked …
For starters, your age doesn’t make a difference. As long as you can stand, move, jog, and sit, you’re employed! Besides that, your appearance doesn’t matter much either. Everyone knows that the camera prefers a pretty face, but my face is not that pretty and I get along well.
Oh, and they’ll feed you. Appetizers, hot dinners and all served. Some of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten turned out to be in a photo shoot. All I was missing was a cold glass of Pinot Blanc.
And it’s fast money. Most of the day, you’re hanging out inside the waiting area, checking the daily news, working on the crossword, and calling your grandmother. But if he’s smart, he’ll grab his computer and look for future jobs. Or you can network with all the other extras near you.
I once filmed a television commercial for Carnival Cruise Lines that paid me $ 150 for eight hours of work. Almost $ 20 an hour. Show me any temp jobs in Manhattan that dove out anything over twelve to fifteen. (And that’s certainly being nice.) The most difficult aspect was getting to the five o’clock call on time.
You may have heard the old saying: “Those who cannot do, teach.” Well, I personally subscribe to an edited variation of that tragic saying: “Those who cannot earn money, teach in the meantime.”
The answer to getting a job as a coach or private trainer is to decide on a specific topic. You not only teach to act, you instruct scene study. You instruct monologue methodology. You train young adult actors. Pick a particular area that you shine in and share it with your local area.
In marketing, this is what is called positioning. You can most likely list six or seven acting instructors where you live. So, in the minds of your potential customers, you are just another to throw on the pile. In short, the category of acting teacher It is already full.
But if you create a new category like monologue tutor gold acting consultant, then you will completely dominate in that category, as well as in the heads of all your potential prospects.
Make some cool flyers, drop them in the area, and voila! You will have a successful part-time business.
3. Read at auditions:
Casting agencies require actors for much more than completing projects. Also, they require us to read with other actors who are coming in for a role.
I cannot underestimate the benefits of reading at auditions. The main reason, as expected, is that you get paid for your time.
The second reason, and the most obvious, is that you are in the audition room with a director and his staff. Commonly for hours on end. It’s like a continuous audition. If you do it right, they won’t need to spend more time playing the role, they’ll just use you as a replacement.
Of the three, reading can become the most difficult to achieve. You must know someone with inside information who vouches for you.
And finally, let me tell you that I have used these three strategies to get additional work. That’s the way it happens in the acting business. Work begets work. In fact, the more people you meet, the more work they bring you on board.