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.