E = mc2

If Einstein can do it, so can we.

I decided to go a little crazy at the end is this year and create a little Christmas present for all my acting readers out there. It’s designed to work out and highlight where your annual acting income comes from in a nice easy visual form. I believe if you want to generate more work, you also want to know where your money is coming in from. Right? Leoni Dawson talks about this in detail in her workbook which a friend bought for me last year and which I intend to  buy again for Jan 2014. To take that principle one step further, if you are a working actor and all your income is coming specially from three areas, it’s probably a good idea to know what they are. Why? Well we will go into more detail about that later in a future blog but for now think about the ways people find you for work and if you are capitalising on those. If your work mainly comes from corporate jobs, do you have photos that show you off as a corporate girl, is your SEO getting you on the first page of google etc.

So here goes… *geek alert*. I love Excel spreadsheets. I once attended an advanced level course and didn’t learn anything because I already knew more than they were instructing. But today I’ll keep it pretty simple. On the downloadable spreadsheet you can input what you do as an actor…
Theatre – The West End
Film – feature
Film – Short

Simply add in your criteria and then the total amount you earned in each category. It’s absolutely up to you how you divide it. I suggest that you be as detailed as possible (refer to the graph and you will see that I have broken short films and feature films into two separate categories as well as theatre for The West End and Fringe).

Are you really game? Ok. Game on. Then now you’ll also want to complete the next part which looks at time spent doing non paid work vs those jobs that were paid.

Remember if you want to be a professional actor, your goal is to be a paid working actor. Free acting would be the same as a surgeon doing freebies. Nobody wants that right? I think I would trust the guy who gets paid lots of money to perform a difficult heart operation. Now, in a day and age where actors are a dime a dozen you may have to succumb to doing non paid work. Showreel footage, perhaps on set experience, even just to have a chance to work with a director whose work you like, might all be legitimate reasons for you taking work that’s not paid. You don’t have to hang your head in shame for doing so. Just know your own personal limits.

As many of you know, I sometimes work one on one with new actors who are starting out, or actors who are wanting to get to the next level and need a fresh business approach. One thing that comes up time and time again is experience, and showreel footage. Both are important. Debates on casting websites aside, it is your career. You call the shots on what you want to work on. Equally though, I will always say to my clients, if your end goal is not on making a living as an actor then are you really a “professional”. So you need to know how much of your time is spent annually working on non paid work vs the stuff that pays for your rent and holidays.

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