Acting Advice

Ask Me: Paying the rent!

Anonymous asked
First of all, I just stumbled upon this site and I think it’s great! It’s awesome that you’re giving out answers that I cannot find anywhere else. My question is really more about living in NYC as an actor. I’m curious about apartments–everything on Craigslist is soooo expensive and I don’t know how I could afford it! Can waiters really afford to pay $700/month just by waiting tables? How much do you really have to work in order to afford this ludicrously expensive (yet amazing) city? How much do waiters make during the week and is it easy to pay the rent? I know small acting roles won’t pay that much… I’m coming from small town Georgia but I’m scared I’ll be living on the street within a week that I get there!

It is a very expensive city indeed! It is possible to make a living here, though.

$700 is probably what you’ll pay if you live in an apartment with a roommate and is a very manageable amount of money to raise. You will have utilities and other expenses, too, so I’d plan on raising at least double that if you can.

Depending on where you work (which is generally based on your experience) a waiter can make anywhere from $100-300/day. If you bartend, it can be more. But, to be realistic, I’d plan on it being at the lower end of the scale. especially if you’re just starting out. Which means that you will have to work at least 4 days a week.

It is a big leap of faith you’re taking, and I am a firm believer in the quote “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid” but I will add a caution that you should be absolutely sure that this is the path for you before you do it. I don’t think you’ll end up on the street, but if you don’t have drive (which comes from either loving something passionately or an A-type personality..) you will be miserable after a while.

That being said, if you do go for it, I’m excited for you!

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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