How I put my acting first by freelancing!
Tired of temp work? Here’s a better alternative!
These days, it is quite rare to find an actor who’s able to pay his/her bills with just acting. According to a Casting Call survey last year, about 75% of actors earn below £5,000 per year – and just 5% make a subsistence wage. So, most of us are left with no choice but to look for other ways to stay afloat. The problem is that we are often forced to take up a full-time day job which means limited time left for auditions or gigs – or short-term jobs. Working as a temporary employee gives flexibility, but it’s getting harder by day to survive in London where most casting opportunities are on a temp’s hourly wage.
I’ve been working as a Promotional Staff or Event Staff for agencies such as Envisage Promotions, which is the perfect solution because it allows me to work independently. With the training and support provided by Envisage Promotions, it allows me to juggle the various things I do and still pays my bill – even in London.
Flexibility isn’t the only perk I enjoy. Working with an agency I can supplement my income in a way that’s more creative and less distracting than most of the extra jobs you end up doing as a jobbing actor. A lot of actors’ creativity are stifled when stuck in a 9-5 job, but being a Promotional Staff keeps my creative juices flowing, whilst being entrepreneurial at the same time.
Being a promotional/event staff has also boosted my confidence. It is sometimes difficult to measure whether you are doing a good job or not with acting, but with Promotions, you can see tangible progress. You also learn to see rejection from a different perspective.
There are other similarities too, for instance, every role as a promotional personnel comes with its own script which you need to prepare for properly. Moreover, analysing a new promo gig is comparable to breaking down a character before taking on a role. Then the part of wearing a costume suitable for a promotional gig or event is similar to acting. I’ve also learned I can take that same feeling of control into auditions too.
When you get hired as Promotional Personnel, agency work helps you channel and polish your skills to meet the client’s needs. This is great because you don’t feel as though you are on your own, and the skills you acquire are also useful in other aspects of life. As a creative, I can be quite unorganized, especially as I juggle my time between acting, sketch comedy and running my own theatre company. But now I have learned to plan and focus better in all areas in my life, and that focus is clearly reflected in my acting.
Building rapport with a potential client and other promo colleagues requires communication skills, so actors are actually ahead of the game. Being able to connect to people has certainly helped me succeed with my promotional job so far. Just yesterday, I ended up chatting with a prospect for half an hour. Being able to communicate well with him and build trust certainly helped me win him over for my client. My acting skills came in handy, and I am confident that I’ve got acting skills to fall back on!
It’s more crucial than ever for actors to find ingenious ways of making ends meet. I used to have to work for a whole day and rehearse at night just to survive, and a lot of skilled actors are unable to keep up with such stress after a while. Everyone is on the lookout for how to make it financially, but we don’t have to sacrifice our acting career or burn out doing a 9-5 just to pay the bills.
Flexible, lucrative work with companies such as Envisage Promotional Agency could be the lifeblood we’ve all been looking for.
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