From Surviving to Thriving [Part 2]: Jobs For Actors – 10 Ways to Support Yourself As An Actor
This is Part Two of a two-part series on jobs for actors aka how to go from surviving to thriving in your acting career.
Part 1: 7 Truths About Supporting Yourself As An Actor
Part 2: [You Are Here] 10 Ways to Support Yourself As An Actor
Two words every actor should take seriously…
Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that he was pretty darn smart in HOW he transitioned from professional bodybuilder (day job) to professional actor (dream job).
Well before he moved on to a career in politics, there’s one thing he did that every actor needs to focus on…
He built a successful acting career because he treated it like a business.
This is such an important truth to remember when it comes to supporting yourself as an actor.
And in just a sec, I’ll share with you 10 ways you can do it that.
But first take note of this:
Arnold didn’t just go into bodybuilding to compete; he was in it to win it.
He had that winning mentality down pat right from the start.
“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
He got cast in his first major role in a feature as Conan the Barbarian in the early 80s, but it still took some time before he was really considered a “real”, mainstream actor.
He had some work to do to get to that point. Still, he was smart about the business side of his acting career, even back then.
Arnold understood the bigger picture.
If you’re going to create a successful acting career, keep your eye on the big picture.Click To Tweet
Author Tim Ferriss explains this in his book, Tools of The Titans. Arnold told Ferriss in an interview how, early in his acting career, he would go to the gym and see a lot of other actors working out. He listened intently as they talked about how they were struggling to get by, just barely surviving.
But Arnold refused to think that way.
He understood that if he created a thriving income stream, he could set himself up to be selective in his acting career.
He could study, get better, make connections and THRIVE.
This way, he wouldn’t have to stress about jumping from job to job. So, he threw himself into the real estate market and learned how to flip properties.
He created a plan; he took his time. And he set himself up so he wouldn’t have to struggle as an actor.
He created a thriving income stream (business) to support his passion (acting career).
This is how he was able to do the creative things he wanted to do.
You can, too. And you don’t have to start a business to get there. You can create a thriving income stream that’s either a business OR a job.
You have options (10 of which you’ll see below).
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to build a successful acting career.
So, how do you find the time to devote yourself to your acting career?
Get creative with your time…
Use your lunch breaks. Your sick days. Your vacation or personal days. Use your nights and your weekends.
It’s amazing what you can get done when you channel your passion in small focused bursts.
But remember, as we discussed in Part One of this series…
In order to invest in your acting career (AKA YOUR BUSINESS), you need an income stream to support you.
So, let’s dive into some ways you can go about doing this.
Here are some examples of flexible jobs for actors you might consider to support your acting business…
10 Ways To Create A Thriving, Flexible Income Stream To Support Your Acting Career
1. Virtual Assistant
The great thing about being a Virtual Assistant is that oftentimes the hours are flexible and it’s a chance to use many of the regular “office skills” you might already have, except not in an office environment. It’s a great option for giving yourself the freedom to build your acting career while creating a steady income stream at the same time.
2. Social Media Manager
If you’re constantly on your Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook or Twitter feed, posting, scrolling and liking, you’re already developing the basic skills of a social media manager. Why not do it for someone else, and get paid for it? Build upon your existing skills and learn how to manage other people’s online platforms. #easypeasy
3. Uber/Lyft Driver
Maybe there’s something about turning up the volume in the car and going for a long drive that really gets you excited. Or you’re a people person, and you like meeting and making friends with strangers. You can easily combine these skills and make an income as an Uber or Lyft Driver. In terms of jobs for actors, this one has tons of flexibility.
4. Product Flipper
Here’s your chance to channel your inner Arnold. Except rather than flipping properties (which requires a significant investment up front), consider buying products on eBay, and then selling them somewhere else. I actually know someone who is making a lot of money buying expensive sneakers from a hot, trendy brand and then flipping them, because they’re so sought after. Don’t be afraid to get creative here. You can flip anything as long as there is demand.
5. Personal Trainer
You’re an actor. You probably find yourself dedicating a lot of time to staying fit. Why not extend your passion to help other people do the same? It gives the words “flexible income” for actors a whole new meaning.
Maybe you have a love for stringing the words together. Have you considered getting paid to write for someone else? There are several sites online, like Freelancer.com and Upwork.com, where you can apply for freelance work and build up a portfolio. Or if you have some skills in graphic design, etc., you can offer your services online through those same sites, and others like Fiverr.com.
7. Dog Walker/Pet Sitter
This is a great job for actors who are animal lovers, and a potentially lucrative side gig (especially if you’re living in Los Angeles, where people tend to value their dogs almost more than people). #doggiedaycare
8. Professional Organizer
Are you a hyper organized person? Consider organizing for other people. You can start your own organizing business; or, if you’re not as entrepreneurial, you can work for an organizing company – the hours are usually pretty flexible.
Take advantage of those book smarts. There are always opportunities for tutoring, and this is an especially great option if you’re looking for extra work on evenings and weekends.
10. Video Editor
Maybe you have a knack for video editing. You don’t have to be a professional videographer to edit people’s videos. There are plenty of business owners, bloggers or YouTubers who will pay you to edit their marketing videos…not to mention actors who need demo reels!
These are just some ideas to get you started. When it comes to flexible businesses and jobs for actors, the list really is endless.
You don’t have to just wait tables or be an office slave anymore (if you don’t want to).
When you open your mind to new ways to support your acting career, the ideas will start flowing! Click To Tweet
REMEMBER: You don’t have to love your side job, but you don’t want to hate it either. You have options.
Start thinking outside of the box.
And create multiple, flexible income streams to support you along the way.
Create a plan. Take your time.
Give your acting career the space it needs to thrive.
Your turn! Were these tips for supporting yourself as an actor helpful? What other flexible income streams would you add to the list? Let’s hear it in the comments below… :-)
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Amy Jo Berman’s Tips On Acting & Auditioning Blog
“I show actors how to be better, book more jobs and live The Red Carpet life!”
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