The Resting Actor

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Recently I have seen many posts about what should a 'resting' actor do whilst he/she is not working. The 'catch 22' comes when you need to pay your rent but you also need the time of at the drop of a hat (where the hell did this expression come from?) for an audition or job. So what do you do. The answer of course is very different from person to person but here is what I did and my top tips for earning money whilst you strive for your dream.

Front of House

When I was at college I started my Front of House journey being an Usher at The Palladium.  I then went on to usher at The Adelphi and eventually Trafalgar Studios. Now being a usher is great for the audition game, and the work is regular (most evenings), but booking that holiday off for a short filming gig will do your head in. I think FOH works great for musical theatre performers better than screen actors because contracts are generally longer for a show and you can struggle getting that show off sometimes for a few days filming. It is however a great place to network with other performers, see plays you may not be able to afford and you never know who may be sat in that audience.

Top Tip: To find FOH work the best way is to just take your CV into the Stage Door.

The O2

Now the hours are not regular, and it can be a shift into the early hours of the morning with the wind blowing through your bones, but when I worked at The O2 Arena for gig merchandise, I found the job very flexible and they understood if I couldn't do a shift for acting purposes. The team are great here, the only down side being 'get ready to work' as some shows turn over close to one million pounds in T-shirts only. The O2 is however, a great place to character study and practice your accents with the amount of people you will serve.

Top Tip: Check The O2 website for available jobs.


Now this is the only one I still do because it never really gets in the way of anything acting wise and I do find it somewhat rewarding (on a good day). I work as a Film and TV teacher for PQA, and as well as teaching acting I get to play with cameras, editing equipment and write stories (sometimes in class we even do colouring). It is very flexible to acting as the kids love to see you working. It can be stressful at times but you do learn a lot about yourself.

Top Tip: Even if you are a actor, get playing with film equipment and you will learn so much about film production, enough at least to teach it to kids. Look out on Facebook for the latest job openings.

So that is what I have done in that past 8 years to get to where I am now. You can also do Promo, Call Centres and Bar Work but each job is not for everyone.

What do you do whilst resting? Have you got any other tips for actors looking for work?


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