Even if acting isn’t your full-time job, the hours spent with agents, auditions and rehearsals can make it seem like it. Unfortunately, for many aspiring actors and those trying to get started in acting, they pay you make at first isn’t nearly enough to pay the bills. The idea of holding down a full-time job while pursuing your dream career in acting may sound daunting, and the truth is it can be difficult. However, it’s far from impossible, and the hard work and long hours you put in now will pay off later. Here are some tips for following your acting passion while keeping a roof over your head with a full-time job.
Look for a Job with Flexibility
As many auditions and rehearsals take place during the day, a full-time job that gives you the ability to create or adjust your own schedule can be extremely helpful. If possible, consider trying to find full-time work in an industry known for its flexibility. There’s a reason that the stereotype of actor/waiter or actor/bartender exists. The flexible hours and schedule available in many service industry jobs can be very attractive to aspiring actors. This is often also the case for jobs in retail. When interviewing for these positions, be up front about your acting career and need for flexibility. Try to accept all requests for schedule alterations and be the first to offer to take over a shift when a co-worker needs it; being helpful and accommodating to others will make them more likely to want to return the favor when you need it.
Another option may be working for yourself as a freelance contractor in your field, allowing you to have control over your working hours. This could include careers in writing, graphic design, business consulting, or tutoring students.
Seek Acting Jobs with Evening or Weekend Hours
If you can’t work in a field that can provide flexible work hours, look for acting jobs that can. Though your options may be more limited, put your energy into looking for auditions outside of regular working hours and roles that rehearse, film or perform on weekends or evenings. If you work with an agent, make sure they know of your time restrictions.
Use Your Days Off Wisely
If your job offers vacation and sick days, don’t be afraid to use them – but use them wisely. Though many employers require advance notice for time off, these days can still be used for upcoming performances or even last minute auditions, if you have an understanding boss. Remember: as tempting as it may be to call in “sick” sometimes simply because it’s a Monday with beautiful weather, keep in mind that’s one fewer day available to use when you land an audition for that dream role.
Still Have More Questions?
KD Conservatory has acting, musical theatre, and film production programs to help prepare students for careers in the entertainment industry. Contact us with any of your questions, or check us out on Facebook for ongoing updates and information!