How to Make a Living as an Actor


Acting is your passion. While most actors don't live off their earnings as an actor, many do have a fulfilling acting career while still paying their bills.

It takes planning, dedication, and flexibility. You'll need to look regularly for acting jobs because acting lulls are normal. Having other sources of income will help you make a living as an actor.

Sign Up With Casting Agencies

When you're starting, jobs don't come to you. You need to apply for work every day. Sign up with casting agencies and get your name and portfolio out there. You can't find acting work if you don't look.

Apply for Background Acting Jobs

While searching for principal jobs makes sense, don't overlook background acting opportunities. It can help build your portfolio and your network.

As you get more work, casting agencies will take notice and start remembering you. Who knows, at some point, the work may find you!

Find a Flexible Side Job for Actors

Finding flexible side jobs for actors is a common strategy to maintain a source of income while looking for acting roles. There are lots of potential side jobs that can work, including opportunities that don't require you to work the night shift.

Bartender or Waitstaff

These jobs can be a great source of income if you don't mind working late. Tips can add up.

Promotional Modeling / Trade Show Model

You are hired to represent a brand. You might hand out promotional information or talk with people at an event. If you are friendly and personable, this could be the job for you! To find opportunities, search for promotional modeling and event staffing agencies.

Dog Walker

If you love dogs, consider signing up to be a dog walker. Many companies are hiring.

Real Estate Agent

You will need to obtain a license, but your schedule can be flexible. You will assist people looking to buy or rent a home or apartment. You typically work off commission, but the pay can be great.

Children's Party Performer

You love to put on a show so why not perform at children's parties. Look for agencies that hire party performers to find opportunities near you.

Temp Work

Temp work can be a good source of income. Sign up with a temp agency where you live.

Freelancing Work

Freelancing work can be very flexible. However, keep in mind that as a freelancer, you're also a business owner. You have to hustle to find opportunities, at least in the beginning. But, once you start building connections, work will come to you. Here are a few ideas that will build off your skills as an actor.

Video Editor

If you have the skills and equipment, why not offer video editing services. You can help make demo reels or connect with YouTubers to help them with editing their videos.

Freelance Writer

If you love to write, try freelance writing. Search online for ways to get started writing for blogs and businesses in a variety of niches.

Website Design

Do you have an eye for creating catchy websites? There is a demand for your services. Search online for resources to help you get started.

You Can Earn a Living as an Actor

Earning a living as an actor is possible if you are willing to work hard, be consistent, and develop multiple sources of income. Your days may be unpredictable, but it'll be worth it to pursue your dream.

Aaron Ayhan