Ask Me!: Full-time work and acting?

Anonymous asked
How hard is it to balance full time work and acting jobs?

It depends on what your goals are.

If you are just dabbling in acting, taking the occasional 2-week run play, or doing a couple of student films here and there, I think you can make it work quite well.

If you are going for this full-on and intend to make a living at being an actor, holding on to a 9-5 job can be quite hard. It’s almost impossible.

That’s why so many actors opt for service industry work such as bartending, waitressing or catering, as it is generally an evening profession and can be flexible (servers can switch out their schedules with each other, etc).

Getting started as an actor and becoming successful at it relies a lot on your availability. The more flexible and available you can be the more work you will get. When you start working with agents it’s imperative that you be available for every audition they send you out on. If you turn down too many offers, they will tire of you and move on to a more available actor.

I used to work at a clothing store during the day. In my interview I was careful to alert them to my need to be available for auditions, etc. We agreed that as much as possible I would use my lunch hours to do this and schedule those in accordance to my auditions. It worked OK for a little while, but then the manager began to tire of it. One day I booked a commercial very last minute and had to fly to Boston for the shoot. She told me I couldn’t take the time off. Of course I did the commercial but my job suffered and eventually I had to leave.

My advice to new actors who have 9-5 jobs is to consider alternative work options or find a way to negotiate a schedule at your current job that would allow you to go to auditions and bookings if and when they arise.

About The NYC Actor

Angela Dee is a professional actress working in Film, Theatre, TV, Commercials and Voiceovers. She currently lives in New York.

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