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Financial Advice

Five Inexpensive Ways to Help Your Acting Career

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You know the biggest expenses an actor has: classes, headshots, union dues, online casting services, and post cards and other marketing materials. You might even still be paying off the bills for some of these. So try the following inexpensive ways to move your career along.

1. Free networking events, panels, and screenings. Many of these types of events are available through Back Stage, the Screen Actors Guild, the SAG Foundation, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and Actors’ Equity Association, just to name a few.

2. Online social media. Most networking websites are free, so consider creating accounts that can help you market yourself professionally as well as network.

3. Class auditing and free introductory workshops. Even if you are happy with your current acting classes, it never hurts to see what else is out there. Plus, you never know what nuggets of wisdom or inspiration you might be able to glean from one class. Many teachers allow auditing or offer free introductory workshops so you can get a sense of what it is they teach. (Three times a year, Back Stage publishes its Acting Schools and Coaches issue, with listings that indicate whether a school allows auditing; you can also check out the Actors’ Yellow Pages at BackStage.com.)

4. Interning. Interning in a casting director’s office can be extremely eye-opening and beneficial. Being a reader and seeing auditions from the casting point of view can be even more so. If you have the time and the opportunity, interning is something you should do at least once.

5. A pocket notebook. It may sound silly, but this can be a lifesaver when your agent calls with audition info. Keep it handy, of course, and use it to keep track of who you meet, your thoughts about an audition you had, and any ideas you have about your career. And then put it in a safe place.

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