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  • How do you guys survive? 05/25/2018  10:14pm

    We all love acting and obviously have willingly accepted there are many sacrifices, but how do you all survive while pursuing this career with how much you have to spend?

    You have basics like rent, food, insurance etc.

    But then acting classes, voice lessons, vocal coaching, dance classes, all of which are very expensive.

    How do you guys deal with the anxiety and stress of trying to survive pursing this career? I doubt most aspiring professional actors are making $80,000+ a year.


    Even people on Broadway are not making $80,000 a year! taxes are a bitch. lol

    I mean...I've racked up a bit of credit card debt, which is from paying for those classes and I'd say that's how I manage keeping my stuff current. But I also don't take classes incessantly...I don't quite understand performers who feel like they have to be in some type of acting class every night of the week. Once I found my groove in the industry I've honestly kind of been good with only taking class once in a while, or with a casting person I've been dying to meet.

    Once you know what your product is it's much easier to navigate which classes to take/when to take them/which auditions to go to/etc. So to SURVIVE I'd say invest more time in finding out who you are as an artist...and you do that by just being a human. Sorry that's a little vague, but take class to discover more about yourself...not to try to "be better than your competition"—think of it as continuing education...go where your interests are...not where you THINK you HAVE to go to be successful. Does that make sense? That'll ease some tension for sure.

    AFTC 05/26/2018  12:25am

    Live below your means!!!

    I make about $1900 a month, and i'm able to pay my rent, and all of my bills, while contributing to a savings and a roth IRA (if anyone doesn't already have some kind of retirement plan you need to get on it asap!!!!) Yes sometimes those contributions could be $10-30 dollars a pay check, but they are still better than nothing. I live where I can afford my rent, and I very rarely eat out. that's the killer one it seems here is eating out. I've been doing this since i got here six years ago, so i've got a decent savings account going now to where if i NEED to treat myself I can or if something bad happens i'm gonna be okay. It is definitely doable!

    YouShouldTryItInHeels 05/26/2018  7:17am

    huh? Broadway min = $2200/week. if you work a year thats greater than $100K per year. LEss taxes of course, but thats the same with any job.

    dopplegang 05/26/2018  8:46am

    ^^^^You’re forgetting that they’ll likely have a lot of taxes taken out, and very possibly actually OWE come tax time and then they have union dues also, annual and the (what I believe is) 2% of what they make take out also AND agent dues. So it gets to be not as high as one thinks, but heaven knows it’s still higher than what the vast majority of us are making.
    It’s hard to make it work. It’s only gotten harder over the years. Even 20 years ago, you could more easily afford to live here and do your thing but these days? It’s nigh impossible. I applaud “youshouldtry...” for making it work but having survival jobs that pay enough to begin with and don’t suck your energy dry is just as hard as making this lifestyle work. When people say that’s what they make, It’s usually because they have 6-7 survival jobs that they juggle pretty much daily, are never home except at night to sleep, don’t seem to have a life, and frankly I worry about that. A friend of mine lives like this and I wonder how she’s still standing and I do worry about her health, physical and mental. Apart from the health issues this introduces, how are we going to be artists if we don’t actually have a LIFE to live? Granted an economy that doesn’t allow for it is a whole different issue but, no human is built to go 100 miles an hour every day. Some are better at it than others, but even those people will crash and burn out eventually. This is just what I’ve observed over the years.

    Showbizdreamer 05/26/2018  10:11am

    Dopplegang, you have to remember that Broadway actors don't always work all year every year. They book a role, they work for 6 months or a year if they're lucky, the show closes, and then it's back to the audition grind. Maybe they get another show right away; maybe it takes 6 months before they land the next role; maybe they get a dry streak for several years. Sure, if you are Nathan Lane or Sutton Foster, you were constantly. But for regular actors, there are no guarantees. So even if you broke a Broadway roll, there's no guarantee you'll make $100,000 a year every year.

    actorsmom 05/26/2018  10:38am