PAYING THE CO$T TO BE THE BO$$

By: Brian Gilleece

Acting is a pricey proposition, but have we thought about just HOW expensive it can be and why it is so imperative to be strategic and thoughtful with you actions, auditions, talents, time, reps, etc...


Below is a list of typical required spending on acting through the course of a year.


ACTING COSTS PER MONTH:

  • Class - $300

  • Actors Access - $19.99

  • LA Casting - $14.99

  • Casting Frontier/Billboard/Other - $10.00

  • IMDb Pro - $19.99

YEARLY COSTS:

  • New Headshots $400 (Let's settle on this number)

  • Headshots Printed - $70

  • Website - $149

  • SAG-AFTRA DUES - $800 (Let's Settle on this, it varies)

ONE OFF COSTS:

  • Regional Travel/Flights - $500 (Let's Settle on This)

  • Marketing (IG, Business Cards, Post Cards ect ) - $100

TOTAL YEARLY BASE EXPENSES = $6398.64


As an actor, your base overhead (the minimum amount of money required to operate your business) for the year is $6398.64, not including gas, depreciation on a vehicle, clothing, phone etc....


As a business, you need to make this number PLUS 20% to account for agency requirements, so your breakeven number is $7678.37 per year or $639.85 per month, not even be profitable, just to have a business in the black and breakeven.


DUM DUM DUMMMM.... Hey Hey, don't fret...

Good News!! It's not that hard to hit this number:

  • (7) Co-Stars,

  • (1) TOS Guest Star,

  • (2) Week Rates,

  • (1) SAG Feature Lead/Supporting,

  • (2) MLB Feature Lead,

  • (4) ULB Feature Leads

  • (1) National Commercial

Are just some options or of course, Series Reg and your pretty much all set right?.......


BUSINESS REVIEW: We talk about it a lot, the business of YOU as an actor, how to improve it. If a business owner could not be profitable he would have to look at some things, his employees, his processes, the market, and of course his product.


Are they delivering a product to the market that people are looking for or are they missing the mark? Does the product not connect with the people they need buy it? Does the product need to be tweeked? Does it need new branding?


It's easy to see how to apply this thought process to your acting business if business seems to be slow and these are the things your agent and manager are working to support you with. Delivering you to the market and making you as attractive a product as possible.


PLAY SMALL BALL: Of course, the arts are different and career trajectory is different for all BUT, could you scrape together $639.85 a month every month as an actor if you really gritted your teeth? Three days on a Scotty Mullen movie? Non-union Commercial? One network co star? If you move the needle every month before you know it that number does not seem so big anymore, and your career is in a much different place just a year later.


POINT: Do the BEST you can do, every day, month, year and it will be amazing to see what is on the other side of all those daily wins.


HAVE A GREAT WEEK, ONLY ONE LIKE IT!!


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