5 Ways to save money as an Actor

Becoming successful in any industry has always relied on the ability of the individual.  Raw talent, skills and a little luck will help you get the role you desire, however with growing competition for a limited number of places, those things might not get you all the way alone.

There is pressure from the industry and from peers to invest money in both developing skills as well as promoting work.  So attending workshops, masterclasses, recording voice reels, show reels and updating your actors headshots are necessary in order to keep yourself current. So we’ve put together our top 5 ways to save money as an actor, if you have any other suggestions, leave them in the comments section below the article!

Immerse yourself in culture without spending a fortune

Going to see every single performance your friends are in, or see the latest production or film out by your favourite director can become incredibly expensive.  This will seem like common sense but check to see if there is a reduced rate for matinee performances or an offer on certain days of the week at the cinema.  It might not save you mega bucks but over the space of a year the savings will add up.

Use your student status

Something else that theatres and cinemas will likely accept is your student ID or Union card.  A valid Student ID card can save you a considerable amount of money on the high street but also ask industry related businesses if they have an offers or discounts available to full time students. For example, I currently offer 20% off the standard price of our actors headshot packages to full time students.

Know your tax exemptions

When it’s time to submit your self assessment, understanding what you can claim tax back is really important.  A great deal of what you do during your day will be working towards full time employment, honing skills, working out, networking the list goes on. There is an extensive list of things you can claim back on such as, clothing (performance wear or costume), play texts, books, travel to and from auditions/acting work, computer, laptop, headshots. If you are unsure about any tax issues or deductible percentages then speak to your tax accountant, HM Revenue & Customs self assessment department, Spotlight or Equity.

Kill two birds with one stone

As you start your journey in the industry you’ll need to update your headshots, put a voicereel and a showreel together.  This can be an expensive exercise with individuals spending on average £700-£1,000

Try looking for someone who can provide those combined services and who offers good value for your money but without risking quality.  If in doubt always look for people who specialise, for example if you need to record your showreel, look for someone who supplies material, recording and editing services. However if you already have your material for your showreel, you could employ the services of someone who offers showreel and headshot packages.

I also offer a combined option with all of our headshot packages to include the editing of your pre-recorded material for your showreel.

5 Reasons why you should have a great business headshot

It is well documented that we are in the digital age right now, customers flocking online to research and find out more about you and your company before they commit to buy or even before they contact you.  If you and your business have an online presence, it’s vital to get that first impression right.  So I’m going to share 5 reasons why you should have a great headshot!

1. What do you look like?

Have you ever attended a meeting, course, conference or even lunch and had no idea what your contact looked like?  Or worse still, not recognised them immediately because their Twitter profile photograph is of them on the beach with sunglasses on?  Without someone introducing you, for example a mutual business partner or receptionist, how will your clients recognise you?

2. Are you even real?

You have less chance of connecting with a prospective client online with the stock “no image” or your own company logo than you would if you have a professional headshot.  This is because since the dawn of social media, we have been bombarded with spam accounts and fake followers.  This leads nicely on to the next reason why you should have a great headshot!

we want to get this right so that our connections will trust us, that we are genuine

3.  Can I trust you?

I spoke earlier about the first impression, we want to get this right so that our connections will trust us, that we are genuine, honest and that we deliver.  How many social media accounts have you passed up on because their image was taken at a social occasion, blatantly out of date, on holiday?  I have personally seen professional LinkedIn accounts where an individual has used an old infant photograph.  What message does that put out there for you?

4. Where else can I find you?

Person branding is important for tying your web presence all together.  That’s not to say that all your social media accounts need to be exactly the same, but they all need to be shot around the same time and be consistent in appearance.  There is a higher chance of a connection following you on Twitter, automatically adding you on other networks, simply because they found your profile image elsewhere.  If they have searched for you on Google, and trust me they will, Google will present them with images and in turn, they will link to other pages you appear on.  Consistency is key!

5. Can I use your image?

Finally, you never know when someone is going to ask you for a professional headshot to feature you or highlight your organisation, so it’s just a good idea to have one on hand!

If you’re looking for the official word on what’s appropriate, LinkedIn have published their guidelines on ensuring you are seen in the right light, you can read it here.  So they are my 5 top reasons, can you think of any?  Whats the best and the worse you’ve seen? (not naming names!)

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