The most important lesson I’ve learned as an artist, a performing artist is:
You must make your own opportunities. An agent negotiates your price, you negotiate your worth. A manager gives you his or her observation of your type, your venues and how you present yourself. Nevertheless, in the final analysis, you and you alone, must be proactive in your own career.
Through the years, I have performed in over fifty stage productions since my early childhood. I am surprised at the advice my well-meaning friends and fellow actors give to me or others. On Yahoo Answers, there are countless questions, from small towns, big cities and villages across the world, asking either 1) How to I become a famous actor/actress; 2) How do I get an agent to become a famous actor/actress in movies; or 3) How do I get acting experience in my small town?Many saying they don’t want to do theatre…only film…or the Twilight films…or work for Disney exclusively. Yes, most very young girls and boys and some; amazingly, high school seniors and early college teens and 20s.
The advice given to these questions is often way off-base – from just get an agent to pay for this agency [or that agency]and they’ll put you in films. NO!You don’t just “get an agent”. Agents are business people and need clients who can book work. Thus, you need experience, lots of experience. Secondly, in my experience, 75% of the time, I booked more work on my own when I didn’t have an agent.
There’s no excuse, no matter where you are, for not finding opportunities to gain experience. Every city, town or village has some sort of place, school or community center that has or is open to entertainment or speakers. I was in a small town in Florida and found a tiny theater in a town that was two blocks long. The Lake Wales Little Theatre does good plays with really good turn-out for audiences. As a teen, on tour, I did a play in a town called Winnemucca, Nevada, where they had a huge, state-of-the-art theater called The Nixon Theatre. The cast of our musical out-numbered the audience. In fact, the whole town came to see the show and we all had Dairy Queen afterwards – the town and the cast!
Of course, it must be incredible to make a good living doing what you love. There have been lean times and more non-lean times with my acting career. Have I found opportunity? Yes, everywhere I go or have been. I’ve made more money as a stage manager – theaters always pay the crew. Actors are the last to be paid. Why? We are a dime a dozen. We all want to be noticed or famous and will work for free or low pay for that opportunity of recognition. Admit it, we all do it!
Do I want to be famous? Not necessarily, yet, if it means I will be paid every time I step on a stage. Then, count me in, “Yes!” What do I really want? To make a living as an actor! I do not seek riches in the millions. I can survive, even in New York, with $50,000 a year. The highest I have seen, in a lifetime of doing what I love [as often as I can], has been $20,000. It was not for acting, though, that was for administrative work. Still, I will not and cannot stop pursuing the dream. I am a Broadway actress/singer without a Broadway show.
even us who teach, follow and love thelaw of attraction, positive-thinking and being as appreciative and/or as grateful as Oprah Winfrey.
Yet, there are those days when we don’t want advice . . .[because we do not have what Oprah Winfrey has…yet.]
We don’t want someone else’s idea of a solution, well…unless it is a direct solution!
If you’re a publisher and are offering me $50,000 + advance to write my book — then yes, contact me.
If you are a CEO or HR of an office here in New York (I am a Legal Secretary/Administrative Assistant — the skills to do the work) and you are willing to hire me at$40,000 + a year (without a degree) at your law office or Hedge Fund or Fortune 500 business — you should, indeed, contact me.
If you’re a Broadway, Television or Film Producer/Casting Director offering me a role and/ormy SAG or Equity Card, paid-in-full by you or the production company: (I’m a very talented actress/singer) —we can talk.
If you’re a Publicist/Manager that books Psychic/Medium talents on cruises, seminars, etc. and pay me a few thousand, and fly me from place to place — we can talk.
I have skills, I have worked and worked my law of attraction and deserve any one or all of the above – and am, perhaps on the brink of getting one or all of them – feeling frustrated my stuff has not arrived. In fact, things are going downhill. And yes, it is often darkest before the light. Nevertheless, my speaking out is not your chance to swoop in and offer me advice. I’m not asking and am not receptive to it when I reach this point. Of course, I will get over it . . . yes, it will pass . . . just let me have my moment.
I posted my frustration . . . my truth . . . to get it off my chest on Facebook. Then, someone had the nerve to private message me with a few words: “You’re going thru a rough time, tell me more about yourself.”
A person I’ve never met or heard of; it is NOT a true interest in me I learn when I click on his name. His page is ONLY one large advertisement about how to make $2,500 or more a week. Obviously, his sudden curiosity about me is to SELL me his solution. I am NOT seeking his solution. Further investigation, to a website, is more of him offering his classes, so he can make the money I’m seeking, to TEACH me how to make the money I’m seeking with HIS BUSINESS.
When you’re selling, a business, that is not one of my preferred businesses’; I prefer you do not contact me. If you can give me a DIRECT link to doing the businesses I am skilled in, trained in and ready to work in … without me investing MONEY to you, “Yes, hire me, I’m in!”
Otherwise, send me no more business or marketing ideas. No Avon, or Amway, or anything similar, or paying you for training. [With the exception of scrapbooking! I love scrapbooking!]
Now, if you have a scholarship/grant — with seed money and your business is FREE to join, completely free — I’d consider it.
I owe the IRS $12,000 — Student Loans of about $1,000 (only).
I AM NOT INTERESTED IN ANY BUSINESSES BESIDES Acting, Singing, Writing, Psychic/Medium work. Tour Guide and/or, Administrative Assistant/Legal Secretary — or MONEY, a grant (?!) to start one of those or all of those as a business. I’d also consider teaching acting/drama to kids; if you’ll hire me without a teaching degree — or any degree. I nearly have an AA in Theatre.
Of course, also, if you’d like to invest in theatre: For $150,000 or more, I will help you produce a play and I will star in it — if you wish to invest in a theatre production.
Contact me for that, for sure.
To be clear: DO NOT CONTACT ME for any other type of business or investment. I have NO MONEY to invest even in my headshots.
Now, if you’d like to support me, pay for my headshots, rent and transportation for a few months — I will be glad to hear from you, in those cases. As long as it is legal, moral and safe to all involved.
If you want me to pay you for training, a business opportunity in something I do not want to do — multi-level marketing, sales, on-line crap — DO NOT CONTACT ME.
At this point in my life . . . I visualize, intend and need to make a GOOD living doing what I love. Perhaps, I’m stubborn and am hoping the Universe, or someone, will realize my talent(s) by giving me the job I deserve with the pay I deserve.
My life has been focused on performing arts, particularly acting through theatre. I feel by now, I deserve to make a great living as a theatre actor/singer. Of course, many people have this dream. That said — I’ve paid my dues, over and over . . . many times.
Now, where’s my stuff?
Certainly, too, I do enjoy helping others. I have calculated, many times, what I need to keep me alive.
Basic Level: $1,200monthly
This level of income, guaranteed, will keep me alive with the basics: For rent, food and other essentials from toiletries to paying a few smaller bills. In my Psychic/Medium business, I can make this much or more. Nevertheless, and unfortunately, I would need to guarantee four to five readings a week at my special price: $75.00.
Thus, I had to get this off my chest . . .
Today I am frustrated:
There are things I need immediately and/or want:
Regular clients [for Psychic/Medium Readings] booked up to two months pre-paid at the beginning of the week, at four per week.
A job acting and singing in a Broadway show, eight shows a week.
My SAG/AEA cards to work professionally on stage, and in television/film
$15.00 >> Pick up my laundry
$15.00 >> Prilosec
$14.00 >> Due to roommate for Prilosec last week
$160.00 >> Electric: My share of the bill
$70.00 >> Spending $$ @ ten dollars a day
$50.00 + >> Groceries
$59.00 >> To join “Curves” and begin losing weight
$283.00 >> To pay my cell phone and get service back
$100.00 >> Get my hair permed, to feel better about myself
So, basic and/or wants for one week.
In the meantime, I have a right to be frustrated, angry . . . please stop telling me to calm down, or buck up. I am having a moment. Let me know it and offer only that which is tangible: i.e, you need a reading? Right now, for you, only $75.00, my regular price is $100.00.