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For all newbies- must read!!

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February 16, 2010, 09:36 PM
For all newbies- must read!!
I think everyone has had great advice. Yes, these costs are just the beginning. It can keep adding to the point an actor is so deep in debt that you don't know where to run.
A clever actor need to make a budget before coming out.
There are some great acting teachers that will work with your budget as well as reproductions for photos, reels, etc. Be resourceful.I'm all about sharing information so it takes the burden off those who are struggling.

Spend money wisely. There a many ways to cut corners on the list but I do appreciate Miss Stone putting this together. Its a great template on where to start.

I have said before, this business can be a succubus... it's luring, addictive, exciting and it take you for all you've got.

If you are going to make the plunge, make the right investments, make it smart. You need to invest on your career. Do it with planning, conviction, passion and always with a positive attitude... I mean, what else will you do with your life if its not acting right?
February 22, 2010, 01:54 PM
I'm an actor and used to work for a commercial casting director, you do not need to send commercial casting directors postcards. A lot of the time the assistants just throw them in the trash without the CD ever seeing them. Save them for the theatrical casting directors.

Also, LACasting is the site to be on for commercials. All casting directors except for 2 in LA use it to post their projects. AND when you come into audition, most places now use LACasting's audition posting thing. So the directors see your profile right next to your audition. It's really not as expensive as was listed. My account I paid, $70 for 5 photos and got media on my profile for $4.95 a month. But yeah that was the only site we used when i was working in casting. Hope this is helpful.
February 24, 2010, 01:31 PM
And now it is suggested to register and be on file with The Casting Frontier by the casting companies who use them. It's free to register and enter all your info and a photo. You can upgrade later if you feel it's necessary, but it's best to already be in the system, so you don't have to suddenly join when you show up at an audition that uses this service.

Here's a thread that discusses Casting Frontier.

- MIB -
"If you can dream, you can do. Making it happen is up to you!"
March 13, 2010, 12:19 PM
Wow thank you this was very helpful
March 16, 2010, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by miss stone:
Typical. I spend half my night putting together this helpful post and YOU have to nitpick numbers. Whatever..... Mad Fuck your number game. Not the point of this post.

I thought both posters gave a great POV.
Miss Stone gave us the skinny and Oh_hai_thair also reminded us how many people in this business aren't that serious about their craft. A little brightness. Smiler
April 13, 2010, 05:18 PM
Joe Bryant Photohrapher
Originally posted by Scott Grody:
Thats some really good advice.
Some questions for you...
I am now in my late 50's. My career has been in the travel industry and I now have the time to devote to my first and greatest passion, acting.
In my younger days I studied at Herbert Bergdoff Studios in NY. Did some indie films and recently have been on TC as a travel new guy.
I would really appreciate some advice on how to kick start an acting career while living in South Florida.
I have attached a head shot

If your ever in the LA area I would like to shoot you.

April 16, 2010, 11:14 PM
Awesome stuff
February 25, 2011, 07:37 AM
BUMP. I don't know what happened to Miss Stone, but this all still seems to be pretty accurate based on what I'm seeing other than I disagree about the AFTRA part and I think Oh_hai_thair makes a good point with his numbers game comment about those seriously in contention out of the "100,000s of people." A lot of people in New York also triple and quadruple up in small apartments to save on rent. I assume they do the same in LA.

Here also is a summary for New York that's been passed around between those in the college/conservatory set for a number of years ...

"My advice would be to make sure you have a financial cushion -- even with the promise of a job where you'll immediately start to make money, I would say you would need to come with a bare minimum of $5,000-10,000 in liquid savings, plus whatever you anticipate your move costs to be. If you will have to come and then look for a job, then obviously you would need much more to cover any period of unemployment. But to rent an apartment, plan on putting down in cash at least 2 months' rent (1st month + a security deposit equivalent to a month's rent), and then if you go through a broker (which is sometimes a necessary evil here) you'd have to pay typically a fee equivalent to 15% of the annual rent for the pleasure of working with them. All that can eat up $5,000-10,000 in the blink of an eye."

" Grocery shopping, and the difficulty/ease of it, can vary. It depends largely on where you live in the city; it can be very easy or very hard. I used to live in the midtown area, and the nearest decent-sized grocery store (not a deli; they're practically on every corner) was 8 blocks away -- that sucked. Where I live right now, it is ridiculously easy, as there is a large (for Manhattan) grocery store right on my corner. Depending on how long you've lived in the suburbs and how used to a big weekly shopping trip, it might take some adjusting, but we basically go to the store every day or every few days, and carry a few bags home. We don't buy in bulk like you might in the suburbs. Kitchens are tiny here anyway, so there's usually not room to store "value size" supplies anyway. The other really great option for most of New York at this point is Fresh Direct, which is an online delivery service. It's pretty inexpensive and delivers the next day (you pick a 2-hour period for them to deliver). I don't use it too much because of the convenience of our local store, but some people use it for the majority of their shopping.

- Safety also depends on where you live, I guess, though the majority of the city is pretty safe these days. Let me tell you, I feel MUCH safer here than in many smaller cities, including my hometown of Hartford! You can safely ride the subway until 1 or 2 in the morning and they will always be well populated, and one of the nice things about going out in the city is that there is no reason to drive after drinking (just stick out your hand and hail a cab!), so that to me is a huge step up from the suburbs in terms of safety.

- Increased cost of living is true -- especially in terms of rent and eating -- though at least you won't be paying for gas anymore and let's be honest, with the way those costs are going, most New Yorkers' $81 unlimited monthly metrocard is much more affordable than many suburban commuting costs."

" I'm pretty sure that many if not most landlords will require that you provide proof of annual income of 40-50x the monthly rent, not 25x. For guarantors, it's more like 80-100x. Often, it's made more difficult for those coming from outside the tri-state area, because sometimes guarantors are required to be from the area. If you have large cash assets that can easily cover 6 months or more of the rent, you may be able to get away without proving such an income. I've heard a decent rule of thumb in budgeting for rent in NYC is to expect to spend 25% of your gross annual income on rent. When I first moved here, I think I spent a little over 50% of my take-home salary on rent. (My parents had to be a guarantor on my first two apartments.)

It's not easy, especially just starting out."

February 26, 2011, 06:30 PM
everyones input is very helpful and realistic. unfortunately it can be a little discouraging. just reading it, i started getting a little anxious, being that i just moved here and i'm seeing it first hand. but at the same time its motivating. i like to think that all the $ i spend towards my acting career as an investment in myself. some people spend $ on college, books, dorms, etc. we spend $ on acting classes head shots, etc. and when it pays off, it pays off Wink
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -mark twain
we only live life once, go for it. but be exremely realistic. thats one main thing ive learned living in la and pursuing an acting career.
March 04, 2011, 10:18 AM

Rent 1K to 3K depending on where
travel- $104 a month
Food- $200 a month maybe $240
electric $100 month
cable/internet/cell phone-$300

So for NY I would assume about 2K a month, maybe 1.8K if one is frugal

As to all the other really depends on the individual

AA is nessesary
Backstage each week
lessons can run from$50 to $400 A WEEK depending on how many you take, figure Voice $75, Acting(Meisner) $65, Dance(Ballet, Jazz)2 x a week each $60, scene $50 etc etc...
March 15, 2011, 08:28 AM
March 26, 2011, 05:48 PM

- MIB -
"If you can dream, you can do. Making it happen is up to you!"
April 05, 2011, 06:28 AM
April 06, 2011, 09:39 PM
awesome info! Bump indeed!
April 25, 2011, 01:47 AM