Acting : Being an actor with a day job by Michelle Sabato

Michelle Sabato

Being an actor with a day job

Does anyone else worry about this: I need a full time job, yet I am not able to go on as many auditions as I would like. I feel like I'm wasting so much time and it is getting me pretty depressed about my acting career. I live in Cleveland and it is a heavy commercial market. That is not the path I want to take with my career, but I need to try to work. Any advice is appreciated :)

A. Ma

Michelle, seems like Two different desires are getting conflicted here, the "job" and the "Passion". Is very understandable that you are feeling this way specially when you are on your way to manifest what seems to be what really makes you feel alive "Acting/creating". If that is the case, seeking for stability with work or money perhaps this can be an obstacle on your goal. Is like trying to eat healthy but all you can afford is junk food ... type of scenario! Somehow eventually you will have to pick the side (sooner or later) that makes you feel better. The one that will give you "peace" in the end. Sometimes what personally experience with actors is that they are trap between what they want to do and the advices of people that perhaps don't understand what really is your passion. This happens a lot. And they confuse "nice help" with "real help". Their intentions of these people around you are wonderful but you have to stick with what you really need and that's only. Simply cause is "Your Life". for example: if i want to learn Kung fu and there's three person giving me advises : Donald Trump, Jennifer Lawrence and Bruce lee. The decision is obvious. Bruce Lee is the one to follow. In the case of acting and creating follow people who are in the direction you want to be. Everybody will give you advices (even me here) but be loyal to yourself. Another thing that helps is to "let go", clean the things that Michelle is not any more and allow "the actress to shine" frame your name with the lights you need. Make a commitment about what you really want to be doing. Put it on a piece of paper and stick it on your mirror or in the roof in front of your bed so is the first thing you see in the morning when you wake up. Take risks and apply for things outside your range. Do a Reel and apply for roles in other cities as well, States, big cities, even other continents. Open your mind to more of what Cleveland can offer you. Keep working if you need the money but have in mind the goal of your "art". Ask and meet people in the media and ask them for help and/or advices. The right person will respond. Trust, Trust, Trust what you love to do. Draw a line between who you were and who you want to be (or i will say who you "really are). All the best , Michelle Alancillo!

Alexander D Carney

I never worry about this. I do what is in front of me and build my faith in the PROCESS. Be ENCOURAGED sister. You will find a way.

Chris Connell

Give up the security job, move to LA/NY, get a survival job, be more broke but happier, work on getting a parallel career going that allows you have more financial income while maintaining flexibility. Like being a teacher or real estate or medical billing from home business, or personal fitness instructor. Or whatever other parallel thing you might enjoy while building your career. But that soul sucking you feel is for a reason. Actors need to act And they need to audition to feel connected to themselves and like they life is on the right path. Make the necessary leap to create that. Millions have. YOu can too :) That's my 2 cents. You can email me chrisc@actorbasics.com anytime. Hope this helps :)

Michelle Sabato

What about a job with benefits? Is that even an option?

Barbara Faye Glover

Like being in the 5% of Sag/aftra who actually make enough in a year to qualify.

Bobby Johnson

What is the difference between SAG/AFTRA?

Regina Walker

I feel ya. I live alone and help my mom so I have to work and I'm in the same situation. T he comment, was eventually you pick a side or have it as a goal. Its like constant internal conflict. Right now, I'm networking and taking roles when I can. Another option is doing a creative job that pays while you act. I'm trying to go back into a creative field with regular pay while I act. Its still the same situation BUT I'm doing something I like while I act which is good. Don't get down, not everyone can jump without a safety net but you can still reach your goals.

Jacob Ayers

My three Ps: passion, patience, perseverance. You have to do this if you’ve got to be a filmmaker. - Robert Wise

JD Hartman

Lets be serious, who doesn't need the money? Most aren't 19 and living in their parent's basement. At some point you might look for a day job with more flexibility so you can make more auditions on short notice. Or a job that's second shift.

Matthew Cornwell

I believe Starbucks offers benefits at 25hrs a week. Although I heard that a few years ago, so the requirements may have changed. SAG insurance just raised the minimum wage requirement to $16K/year to be eligible, so unless you're booking a lot of consistent UNION work, that will be hard to sustain. As far as what to do? Some people above have offered good advice. In the end, it's your life and your happiness on the line. Think/pray/meditate on what you want, and start taking steps in that direction. It might mean moving to a bigger market. It might mean taking a full-time job to build up savings while you put acting on the back burner. It might mean finding a compromise that lets you have it all (just maybe not to the extent you dream of).

Gabe Reyes

You got it girl! Balancing both is not easy but if you keep it up long enough you may not need to work a full time job. You've been acting your whole life, if it's your passion I think you shouldn't feel hopeless but determined! Also most actors tend to think commercial work has less integrity- commercial work is great, you need to be seen/heard somewhere. It also looks much better on a reel than a lesser-featured role in a non-commercial production.

Karim Davis

Hey Michelle The model I use is that I work 6 hours a day as an aviation educator 5 x a week, then 2x month as a media educator for around 5 hours (part time obviously) then around 3-4 hours a day are dedicated to filmmaking in one way or the other, the model it self took me 3 months until I was settled, important is plenty of water and a healthy diet : D no joke otherwise when your acting stuff comes around you won't be up to it... maybe 2 free weekdays is more what you need for readings perhaps? Either way, you will find a way, stick to it and don't neglect the rent : D! GooD luck

Clay Space

What I'm doing, and I know this doesn't/wouldn't work for everyone, is I am a day trader. The money I make from day trading and my acting gigs has so far kept me solvent... But there is a steep learning curve to the freedom day trading provides. I guess the idea I'm getting at here is that there is a lot of money to be made online, be it trading like I do or writing for bloggers/companies, or what have you. And online jobs can also offer a lot more flexibility.

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