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  • Non-Union Actors in NYC 05/21/2018  9:43pm

    This isn't really a bitch, but an honest question - I'm also Non-Union, so don't take this as snark, but how the heck do you all afford to work at theaters like Engleman/Westchester where they pay you like $300-400 a week and you're doing a full 8 shows a week so you can't work your normal survival night-time job? And no I've not been offered any contracts, etc, just asking this.


    you don't. you figure out a way to join AEA then you make appointments for yourself for shows that actually pay money. play the game. fuck the "rules"

    lkjefbglkjbsdfg 05/21/2018  10:24pm

    But I mean, even the Equity minimum for the Argyle Hairspray is like $300-something. How do you live off that? I just don't get it.

    Smactor 05/21/2018  10:36pm

    trust me I get it. even broadway stars are not rich. max salary seems to be $2000 a week for a contract. real money is in big budget films / series regular on hit TV shows season 3+. that's why this game is so difficult to pursue. until you are so established in film and tv you're not making legit money, even people who work consistently, until they are a name they really don't make real money. most actors I know have a spouse in finance, or are young and come from a family of money, or are older and poor. its crazy trust me i get it.

    lkjefbglkjbsdfg 05/21/2018  10:52pm

    That Equity logic is the stupidest crap I've ever heard. So many people take their card too soon and don't work for so long, if at all.

    You just have to find a way to make it work with your survival job. Hope for off days to work a restaurant or babysit or something, and hopefully have a sublet and budget if the work takes you out of the city.

    Baby_Groot 05/22/2018  10:03am

    i know people who do 5-8 shows a week but because they’re survival job is either a tour guide or a dog walker, it kinda works for them. fitness trainers who are actors works a similar way too.

    What Is Insurance? 05/22/2018  11:12am

    I work in a restaurant, and just can't fathom how to make it work. Going from $1000 a week at my restaurant - on a good week - to making $400. With the ability to only pick up one shift - a Monday - at best.

    Smactor 05/22/2018  11:44am

    I mean, maybe I’m crazy, but $300-$400 seems plenty if they’re offering housing. Sublet your place in NYC, only bills you really have are food and student loans (ugh). Maybe I’m just used to living on a lot less, haha.

    madelinepurr 05/22/2018  12:49pm

    ^^^Thats the issue. These theaters mentioned DONT offer housing. I know Engeman doesn’t, and Gateway I THINK does...not sure. But White Plains, both Westchesters (aka Sandbox and Broadway), and maybe one I’m missing, don’t offer housing. So it especially makes it more difficult depending on where YOU live. If you live in Queens or Brooklyn it’s easier to make working at Engeman or Gateway a tad more worth it, but the Westchesters and White Plains? Not so much...and vice versa of course. And to my knowledge even Papermill doesn’t house either...not that it has to of course, all their casts are NYC based anyway and don’t even start traveling to the theater itself until more or less tech week, and while the commute can be dragging, at least they pay well enough to make it worth it.

    Showbizdreamer 05/22/2018  1:00pm

    AEA minimums are minimums and are a starting point, negotiable. And btw that isn't the minimum at Argyle.

    dopplegang 05/22/2018  10:58pm

    the minimum for non-equity actors in argyle’s hairspray is indeed $300. says it right on the email they sent us!

    beltingbadass 05/22/2018  11:09pm

    Live more frugally! Find an apartment somewhere less expensive, don't/rarely eat out, save your money from your contracts to subsidize your rent when you're working in the city, sublet your room when you're not. Having a savings account is a huge help. You don't have to live like a monk to save.

    redshoes5678 05/22/2018  11:34pm

    I did a Westchester Broadway show back in the day and was making $400/wk, and paying about $730/month in rent. I somehow made it work, but I've now been working at a restaurant making 700-1000 a week, so the idea of going back is kind of daunting. I don't know how I did it in the past, ha.

    Smactor 05/22/2018  11:54pm

    Find a job that you can do remotely. Good examples are:

    arranging audition cuts
    teaching english online
    customer service
    data entry
    transcribing services
    voice over work/books on tape (You must invest in a good portable system to make this work)
    online personal stylist (justfab, dia and co, etc..)
    remote research
    Graphic Design/website design

    there is a variety of remote jobs. They are competitive, so you want to apply to as many and as often as you can. But if you can find a good remote job it can help make up the difference when you want to take those lower paying jobs.

    Aibryan 05/25/2018  3:40pm