This is a very good question and one that has tasked or taxed the mind of any actor who wants a career that actually not only enriches their life but also their bank balance. If someone has taken the traditional drama school route of study and training over a three year period on a full-time basis, then the figures I looked at recently, when taken in with living expense (in London at least,) one could be spending in the region of £48,000GBP over a three year period. That is a significant investment on par with someone doing an MBA at a prestigious university.
Whether one goes the traditional drama school route and trains over a three year period or not, one thing is clear. Anyone embarking on an acting career is going to be making a significant investment in their career, probably more than someone embarking on a career in Accountancy or Banking say for example. Unfortunately in the UK at least (I can only talk about where I live,) this is very much lost on people who are putting projects together and not just at the lower end of the scale. We invest in ourselves far more than anyone in our industry (or anywhere else for that matter,) and to stay in the Industry and to have any chance of success, we have to continue to not only invest in ourselves but in our work and continually update our skills. We, like everyone else are on a journey in terms of our career and ambitions.
I have written about this situation in the past. I have talked about ‘A Something for Nothing Culture’, how I have stopped working for free, tired of being exploited etc. None of this makes any difference to what is happening in the big wide world out there. It continues unabated. So how does one move beyond this situation while keeping friends, good relations and not making enemies? For myself, I may not have being diplomatic but I was certainly forthright. And I recognise not every actor can be as brazen or forthright as my Good Self. However to those who are overly diplomatic for their own good, there is a solution. And her name is Dallas Travers.
I recently signed up to her weekly emails via her Website (www.dallastravers.com) which I have found very informative. As she is based State-side, her advice is very much about the US Industry but given Hollywood is and has been the Capital of Film Making for more than a Century, it is well worth taking on many of the points she and her counterparts over there make, given that Hollywood invests huge amounts of money in Film and Television in the UK. Warner Brothers, have completely rebuilt Leavesdon Studios in Hertfordshire (a huge, significant investment,) and believe it or not, the big Hollywood Studios have a long history of making films here. The James Bond franchise is a survivor of such Hollywood investment and backing in our (UK,) domestic film industry. But I digress.
To answer the question ‘How Do You Go From Play to Pay?’ I will let Ms. Travers answer the question herself, via the link below :-