How Has the Recession Affected Your Career?

"Like most actors, I survive financially from a balance of extra work and survival jobs. But when the work slowed down, I had to make tough choices,and I was forced to take a different approach. I canceled casting-site subscriptions, postponed classes, and stopped attending casting workshops. But it's also allowed me more time to pursue my acting career with a renewed target and focus. Because of the recession, I have had to become more creative to keep my career going. Definitely it has affected me, but fortunately it has made me more focused than ever to succeed."

James Pass, Los Angeles

"Since the recession, my usual penny-pinching has become almost an obsession. I still spend money on items for my career—quality shoes, dance classes, lessons, health—but getting the very best price for everything has become my goal. I don't buy things that aren't consumable unless they are specific to my career enhancement. I also don't go out to eat or drink, so this somewhat affects my social life. I still see friends at auditions and classes, so it's not a bad thing. In truth, I see the same crew at the free-sample trays at Whole Foods, so there is community despite the struggle."

Dana Marie, New York

"I've actually done okay by the recession. I wrote, directed, produced, and co-starred in a Web series called Odd Jobs, about two roommates who make the most out of unemployment by doing the oddest of jobs on Craigslist. Around the show, I created a resource for the unemployed called Odd Job Nation (www.oddjob, where you can find odd jobs, create a profile, get advice on working the system, and interact with your peers. A Hollywood show runner saw it, and now he's going to help shop it around as a TV pilot."

Jeremy Redleaf, New York