Naomie Christensen: Warning!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


People go broke on hobbies! There is a significant difference between making a career move and buying stuff.

In the past month the Salt Lake City acting climate was relatively the same. The difference is now there are more "agencies" essentially making money off of any sucker walking through the door. This place (who shall remain unnamed) was suggesting a personal acting coach before I even delivered a one minute monologue. Truthfully, with that response (based on my appearance) offering a personal trainer would be more believable.

After a short audition wherein they were late to our meeting and took up my time, they told me in order to be represented with them it would cost $800 for the website. The personal acting coach cost an additional $400. This amount of money is absurd for anyone acting in Utah.

People invest to make more money in the future. Familiar with the acting environment people are lucky to make $500 in a year. This amount is divided between three paid jobs, two volunteer jobs and one of the paid jobs decided they were not going to pay anyone because the director couldn't sell the commercial.

This does not imply acting workshops and training are invalid. People pay a lot of money on four year degrees; therefore, a less expensive workshop is wonderful. However, a person has to plan on acting in theater or moving to an area with more opportunities. Perhaps people are thinking about advertising local film, yet it is still handled like an expensive hobby.

A strong reality in the great expanse between New York City and Los Angeles is acting is a hobby or student activity. This includes producers and directors. About a week ago I auditioned for a pilot. They are not paying anyone until the series is picked up. Why would they do that? The production company does not know if they will make money until it is signed. After three semi-successful pilots in the Salt Lake City area, the director figured out there is no guarantee he will sell the show.

I don't mind the community atmosphere where everyone helps each other. Student filmmakers need portfolios and enter contests. Actors want to establish a reputation to increase chances of getting paid jobs. They make sacrifices to reduce the risks associated to transitioning into a larger market. Everyone offers time and efforts to help and get help. However, most film work Salt Lake City is still unpaid.

Paying $10 a month for web listing is fair. Realistically the only paid jobs are commercial and extra work. Even models get paid in product, not cash. They cast larger roles in L.A. In a year there are a handful of paid jobs offering around $100 a day. Out of these jobs an actor or actress can reasonably secure a few of these jobs.

For $800 I could spend a week in Los Angeles going to auditions. After auditioning in Los Angeles, it is probably filmed in Salt Lake City; however, it is a noticeable role in a large film to secure bigger roles. There is also a chance of making enough money the experience was worthwhile. Auditioning also helps gain recognition from people who have influence.

It is ridiculous what people are trying to do. A serious actor will pay for training and go to conventions. Usually trainers who made money in acting are from out-of-town and lived in Los Angeles. Other trainers are successful by Utah standards, but never made a living in show business. After my past experience, I feel like the only people making money are companies charging for websites and training. Investments should be meaningful to a career, not a hobby.

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