Staying Afloat in a Time of Financial Instability

In the entertainment industry, it is not uncommon for actors to experience financial instability. This is often due to the volatile nature of the industry, as work can be sporadic and unpredictable. While some actors are able to maintain a steady income, others may find themselves struggling to make ends meet. This can be a frustrating and difficult situation to manage, but there are ways to stay afloat financially as an actor.

During the heaviest part of the pandemic, when COVID-19 ravaged the world, it also took a toll on the finances of many actors. The global health crisis has caused widespread financial instability, with many people losing their jobs or seeing their incomes reduced. Even now, this has left many actors struggling to make ends meet.

Coins in male hands. Saving money concept.The financial insecurity caused by the pandemic has been magnified by the fact that most actors are freelancers, and thus do not have the same security as those who are employed by a studio or production company… or what some people call a “real” job. This lack of stability makes it difficult for actors to plan for their future, and leaves them vulnerable to sudden changes in circumstance.

The uncertain economic climate has also made it difficult for actors to get new roles. With productions being cancelled or postponed and a new crop of actors popping up creating competition, there is little work available for actors.

As the world slowly emerges from the grips of the Covid-19 pandemic, the entertainment industry is taking a long hard look at itself. The pandemic has forced Hollywood to change the way it does business and has left many actors struggling to make ends meet. The industry will have to adapt to the new reality in order to survive.

Many experts believe that the entertainment industry will never be the same. The pandemic has highlighted the need for greater diversity and inclusion in Hollywood. The industry must also grapple with the changing landscape of how people consume entertainment.

So, how can actors financially stay afloat?

It is important to remember that an acting career is not a guarantee of financial stability. Even the most successful actors go through periods of lean times. The key is to have a diversified income stream and to be mindful of your spending.

There are several ways for actors to diversify their income. Many successful actors supplement their acting income with revenue from other sources such as endorsements, merchandise sales and public speaking engagements. Others invest in real estate or start their own businesses.


Reese WitherspoonDraper James
Jessica Alba — The Honest Company
Ashton KutcherA-Grade Investments
George Clooney – founded Casamigos Tequila
Dr. Dre –
Mark and Donnie Wahlberg —

The above sounds nice and dandy. Sure, if you’re not a struggling actor. But since most of us are struggling actors, what’s a more realistic approach to staying afloat?

finance3A more realistic approach to staying afloat:

Find ways to make money outside of acting roles. This could include teaching acting classes, writing books or articles about acting or creating products (like a podcast or phone app) that help other actors succeed. By diversifying your income sources, you can protect yourself from the ups and downs of the industry.

(Before the Internet was available in homes, actors would often become waiters because of the flexible schedule. Anyone remember this? Or am I showing you how ancient I am?)

Saving money is still a thing!

What I would consider a very important thing for actors to do is to save as much money as possible. Saving money can be a difficult task, especially for those who are used to spending their money as soon as they get it. However, with a few simple tips, anyone can learn how to save money.

One of the easiest ways to save money is to set up a budget and stick to it. Determine how much you need to spend each month on essentials like rent, food and transportation and then set aside an amount for savings. Once you have a budget in place, it will be easier to make adjustments when necessary and put more money into savings. Typically you want to put 10% of your earnings in savings.

Another way to save money is to make sure you are getting the best deal on everything you purchase. Compare prices before making any big purchases, and don’t be afraid to negotiate for lower prices. There are also many ways to save on everyday expenses like groceries and gas.


1. Get a part-time job in addition to acting. This will help you bring in extra income and also give you something to do between auditions.

2. Live with roommates. This can help you split expenses and save on rent and bills.

3. Cut back on unnecessary expenses. For example, eating out all the time or buying expensive clothes that you don’t need.

4. Make a budget and stick to it. This will help you track your spending and make sure that you are not overspending each month. Take into account all of your income sources, including acting jobs, residuals, loans, gifts and any other money you may have coming in. Next, list out all of your expenses, including headshots, classes, agent fees, transportation spent getting to auditions or performances, health insurance and anything else you spend money on.

5. Save up for a rainy day fund. This will help you cover unexpected expenses or lean times when work is slow.

finance1Actors can stay afloat in a time of financial instability by diversifying their income sources, living within their means and building up an emergency fund. You should be mindful of your spending and make sure to set aside money for taxes. By following these tips, you can weather any financial storms that come your way.

The bottom line is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for financial success as an actor.

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