Investing in Your Career
Pass by a bulletin board in any casting office or rehearsal space and you’ll be inundated by solicitations. Get the headshot that books! Take the class that will change your life! Sign up for the successful auditions workshop! Whatever it is, it’s asking for your money. And if you’re not careful, you can go broke quickly.
Actors answering these ads are often young, often naive, and often lured in by anything with a promise to help them get ahead. Our strength is our weakness. That we feel things deeply, and are willing to share them with the world, makes us easier prey for a sales pitch. Sorry, but it’s true.
So, how do you know when and where to spend your hard earned cash? What is a good value for classes, coaching and promotional materials? Is spending less necessarily a bargain? All fine questions, and while we all wish there were hard and fast rules, there aren’t. Some common sense helps, as will advice from trusted friends and colleagues, but it’s up to the individual to heed the old adage, “Buyer beware.”
A basic gut check will stand you in good stead. Do you feel good about paying for something? Or does something feel off? Listen to your instincts, they’ll tell you a lot. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t spend your life savings on it. If you’ve been told it’s a “once in a lifetime offer,” it’s not… unless “lifetime” is defined as “a couple of weeks.”
We all have to invest in our careers, there’s no getting around it, but financial missteps can be, err, costly in more ways than one. Shop around. Ask around. Audit classes before paying for them. Read the fine print. And always ask yourself, “Why am I paying for this?” If you can’t come up with three good reasons… don’t.