Every week at the end of her regular The Actor’s Voice column, Bonnie Gillespie has a section titled Your Turn. While I think her new column is stellar, and almost every word applies in some way to people trying to get into the world of voiceover work; but what I really want to call to your attention is the Your Turn section at the bottom of this column.
Here’s the question to which Bonnie responds…
I’m here in NY. (Yea!) I’ve managed to get a temp job (happened fairly quickly) and an apartment (took three months and at the “low” rent of $1200/month for a 1-bedroom). I’ve had some good acting success with a number of indie films and TV pilots so far and I’ve even had the lead in an NYU student film (and I’ve only been here a couple of months). I can feel my confidence increasing and opportunities opening up. I feel it won’t be long before I start making some money with my acting, in spite of all the input from everywhere about how limited opportunities are. I have just ignored all of that and moved full steam ahead into my work. So here is my question.
The temp job that I’ve been working is looking to hire the position I’ve been in permanently. They’ve been flexible with me as a temp to take whatever time I’ve needed for moving and acting but I’m worried that if I take a permanent position with them I’ll lose that flexibility. On the other hand, I need to make that $1200/month just to cover my rent. I’d like some input from people out there who are working actors. Is a bird in the hand really better than two in the bush? Do I opt for a more financially secure position knowing that the loss of flexibility could possibly cost me work?
Thanks for any input. And as always, thanks for the great column. You are an incredible resource for all of us.
Bonnie’s response is brilliant, transparent and full of great advice. Here’s a key thought…
I had to trust that I was going to be able to make a living, because there is no guarantee that you will, when you choose the freelance lifestyle. I had done the “job security” thing the last time I had moved across the country for this crazy career. I was not going to fall for that again! They’re called golden handcuffs for a reason. The job takes care of you and you get used to living a certain way. And then you’re stuck. And you’re not pursuing acting anymore. Or if you are, it’s like a hobby you barely have time for. And that’s not why you moved to a major market, right?
Read the whole thing, main column and Your Turn. It’s well worth your time.