Can I make a living from being an actor? 17 March 2018
If you are exceptionally lucky, you will go for an audition, be cast in a major film, earn millions and never have to worry about working again. But, in real life, most actors struggle to make ends meet. You are constantly chasing work, having to spend money on your annual memberships and new headshots, as well as having to pay your bills. It can be really hard going from very short periods of paid work to the next or long term periods.
Most professional actors (unless they are exceedingly lucky) survive by working a variety of temporary jobs that they can give up at fairly short notice and that they can fit in around the amount of time they need to spend each day looking at castings, submitting themselves for roles, learning lines, auditioning, and attending rehearsals. But lots of actors work in call centres (some, like RSVP, actively recruit actors), whilst many work as bar staff, or in catering and hospitality roles. In a lot of cases, this is low paid and unrewarding, but people stick with it because they need the flexibility to go for auditions and castings at extremely short notice.
If you want a job that provides you with security with a steady income, then acting probably isn't the right career for you. But don't despair - your talent doesn't have to go to waste as there are lots of incredibly good amateur drama groups out there that will welcome you and allow you to satisfy your performing needs, without giving up a decent job. If you've never actually acted in front of an audience, its worth trying it out first anyway, so take a look at what is going on in your area and most drama groups advertise online, or at the place they rehearse at. You never know who will be in the audience anyway. If you're confident you have the talent to make it and are willing to work a variety of jobs to keep a roof over your head, as well as contending with concerned family members who are convinced you should give up your dreams and get a proper job, then, yes, you might have what it takes to make a living from being an actor.