Your site is so great, it makes researching the business sooo much easier having all the info in one place! thankyou thankyou thankyou.
Amada, aspiring actress, Sydney, Australia
Just wanted to say that this site is FANTASTIC! It's helped me quite a bit and it's now my #1 bookmarked item, which means I'm going to be visiting here regularly :) Thanks again,
Rob, aspiring actor, Canada
I absolutely love your site - it's SOOOO helpful and very impressive!
I am a frequent visitor and have signed up for the newsletter, plus I think it's so good I have recommended it to all my acting friends! Thank you for creating such a wonderful website!
Wow Tony! I would just like to comment on how much you have affected my life.
First of all, any questions I have are answered extremely fast, and not only that, you give me a very helpful answer every time. Also, by reading your newsletters, I obtain just the right information that I need to succeed in the acting business. I am so happy I discovered your site, and I hope you know how much we actors appreciate you. Thanks again, and I can't wait to read your next newsletter!
Laura Doukas, Actress
I did what you said and I got two interviews with two agents! Thank you! Sorry but can I ask you how do I prepare to go meet the agent? What do I have to do?
Marsha P., New York, NY, USA
This site has taught me a lot that I needed to know without dragging me all over the place.
Lauren, actress, Atlanta, GA
Do you have enough money to concentrate fully on your career? If not, do you know where your money goes?
Why do I ask that question? Because you just might have the money to do those things and might not even realize it! You can only do that, IF, you know where your money goes.
When you need money to do the things you want to do, you have to get creative to find the money you need. But sometimes you dont have to look very far. Ive heard actors talk about the fact that they dont have the money for classes, headshots, to put up a website and in general to just do the things they feel are necessary to promote their career. On the other hand, I see the lifestyle some of them lead and I ask myself, if they dont already have the money they need.
Something To Make You Think
Think about this. A person who smokes cigarettes, spends on the average, lets say $8.00 for a pack. If he smokes a pack a day, thats $240 per month! In a year thats $2,880! If he smokes a pack every two days thats still $1,440 per year! Know where your money goes! Lets take another example, because maybe you dont smoke.
How about Starbucks! Everyone has their fix they need every day, but lets look at it anyway. Lets say you spend $3 per day at Starbucks or buying cups of coffee anywhere for that matter. You might spend less or you might spend more if you buy snacks, cakes, muffins, etc. You do that, lets say 6 mornings per week and maybe once on Saturday when youre out and about. Thats $18 per week and $72 per month. Multiply that times 11 months and you get $792 per year on coffee! So, am I saying that you shouldn't drink coffee? Of course not. What I'm saying is, how important is it to have that coffee vs getting coffee in some other way that is maybe cheaper. Realize where your money goes.
There are certainly other examples to use, but I think you get the point. What are you spending your money on everyday that you could maybe save on? Do you know where your money goes? I ask that question a lot, because I want you to answer it to yourself.
I ask you Why?
Now I havent invited you here to tell you what you should do with your life or your body. Ive invited you here to make you think. If a person has habits, costly habits and at the same time doesnt have the funds to further his career as an actor, the question is why? Why would someone spend so much money on habits that may or may not be easy to break, that we may or may not want to break?
For that smoker, how many acting classes could you attend with that money you are using to clog up your lungs every day? Even for the coffee drinker, is there a way to still be able to drink coffee every day and not spend so much money? What if you could cut that $792 in half! For just half that money I could take a technique class for a month! And with the money the smoker of a pack a day spends, I could take two full, three-month long technique classes at the Ward Studio! The first two levels of the Meisner training!
I guess it all comes down to whats more important to you. If you really want to know where your money goes check out this website link, especially if you want to have some fun with calculations like the ones I just did. The site is dedicated to mortgage and other financial calculators and even has a Starbucks calculator! Go have some fun there. Could be good for your parents too. There is some good information on that site and it sets the stage for you to know where your money goes.
This is what I did
I remember when I made the decision to leave my corporate job to pursue my dream of becoming an entrepreneur, actor, writer and motivational speaker. I had reached one of my first goals in financial terms. I had been successful in saving the money I needed to get to that point; to be able to start my new life.
Six months before I left, I had already begun doing something that I had done once many years before. You see, I knew that if I were to stop working to pursue my dream full-time, that I would not be able to just not work for an indefinite period of time. I would have to be very careful about my spending. So, remembering what I did when I first got married, I decided that I needed to keep track in a very detailed way, of my expenditure. I knew that in order to do this accurately, I was going to have to keep track of every single penny I spent. I had to keep my receipts for every bottle of water, ticket, pack of gum, piece of candy, lunch, dinner, drinks, Starbucks, doughnuts, everything! Only in that way would I be able to know exactly what I was spending and on what. This was crucial for me, because without that type of control over my spending, I could risk having to cut short the time I had given to myself in my sabbatical year. It's important to know where your money goes.
I did it over a six-month period. I threw all my receipts into a basket and tallied them into categories at the end of the week.
I tell you, if youve never done this exercise before, theres a good probability that youre in for a surprise. You want to find some extra money? Do this exercise and youre almost guaranteed to find it. If nothing else, you will start to realize where your money goes and either, why you don't seem to have enough or that you have more than you think you did.
The great thing about it is that from that exercise, you learn where your money goes each month and you learn the things you really need and the things you can do without. You then set your budget and you stick to it! And you will if your goal is important enough to you. Make sure you budget something each month to save also! This savings can be either for your future or for some project you are working on, for headshots, classes or whatever, but get into that habit. And dont think like some folks do, that just because you can only save such a small amount, say $25 or $50 per month, that its not worth it to save! It is and you should. It all adds up!
You Develop A Feeling For Your Spending
For me one of the things that came from keeping such detailed track of my expenditures over a period of several months is that I developed a feeling for what I was spending. Today, I do keep a budget to keep my spending under control and to ensure I stay on track towards my goals, but at the moment, Im not keeping each and every single receipt for the small things. Having said that, I do have a feeling for how much Im spending.
For example, if in your budget you allow yourself to be able to go to dinner with friends twice a week and each time you go, you allow yourself to spend $25, then in a week during which you go to dinner three times, you automatically know that you have to cut back in the remaining weeks of the month. Without that feeling of how much you are spending or if you don't know where your money goes, many people get to the end of the month and wonder why they dont have much money or they might have the feeling theyre spending too much, but not know exactly why.
I can suggest a simple excel spreadsheet in your computer that looks something like this. Put in your formulas so that you automatically get your output once you enter your actual spending numbers.
If in a given month, you dont spend everything you budgeted, dont spend it frivolously! Save it and ask yourself how that extra money can contribute to your achieving your goal. Put the money towards that.
You could also use the old-fashioned way of just writing everything down. Take a piece of paper, a notepad and divide it into four columns: Expenditure, budget, actual, difference. In my Acting Career Quick Start Home-Study Course I have a section all about budgeting as I find that money and organizing finances is one of the biggest problems that not only actors have, but that people have in generale.
But whatever you do, with all the actors I see around, both new as well as actors who have been at it for a while, I strongly recommend that you constantly know where your money goes by keeping close tabs on your expenses. And like I said, if you do that, you will soon find some extra money that you did not even realize you had! I repeat, you must know where your money goes!
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I want to say you changed my life. I want to be an actress so bad, but i began losing motivation when I couldn't figure out what to do. And then I found you! Thanks to you, I'm taking my first acting classes next month! Yippee!
Sara, Pasadena, CA
Just wanted to thank you for bringing me in to [audition for the video], meet you and chat this Saturday. I was really excited to hear about your working on actingcareerstartup.com and even took a look at it today - it's awesome! You are very well-spoken, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and it shows through the work that you do! I hope our paths in the industry will cross again and really enjoyed meeting you. Thanks, again and best wishes with your very important work!
Gretchen, NY, NY