Support Jobs for Actors: 10 Great Ideas
At times during your acting career, you may find it necessary to supplement your acting income with other work. The search for support jobs for actors can be just as important as the search for acting opportunities. Rather than lamenting the fact that you are taking on non-acting work, I suggest that you look at this as an opportunity to grow and learn new skills — and even as a chance to apply your acting skills in unexpected environments! What’s most important is that you find work that you actually enjoy doing. Don’t limit yourself. Get creative. What do you love doing besides acting? What special skills do you have as an actor that would apply to other environments (communication skills, improvisation skills, working with kids, etc.)? Make a list of all of your talents and skills; chances are, you have more skills than you think you do.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose a job that fits your skills, needs, and schedule, but we’ve come up with a list that will inspire some ideas. Here are 10 great support jobs for actors:
Actors tend to have excellent communication skills and a delightfully engaging way of delivering information. This makes actors great teachers! Many actors excel as classroom substitute teachers in schools and as part-time teaching artists in drama and musical theatre programs. Do some research regarding summer youth camps, after school programs, and local drama programs. Even though you must always use Craigslist with caution, there are actually some great teaching jobs for actors listed on Craigslist. Of course, do your research. Ask around about anything you find online to make sure it is legitimate!
2. Private tutor.
If you’ve invested in a college education (and even a master’s degree) private tutoring could be a great, flexible way for you to earn income. Tutors can set their own hours, and most tutoring gigs start around 4pm on weekdays, which leaves plenty of time during the day for auditions.
3. Sales representative.
Actors can make GREAT salespeople. As an actor, you are trained to think on your feet, and to connect with people authentically. These traits are great for jobs in sales. Find a product that you are truly passionate about (even though we are all great actors, we can’t fake liking a gross food product). Perhaps you love fitness; this is a booming industry with tons of products. Or maybe you are into beauty products. Whatever you love, look for jobs selling those products. If you are truly passionate about the product, selling it will be effortless.
While you paint the town marketing yourself and your skills, you are likely learning a thing or two about the marketing world. Part-time marketing jobs can be great support jobs for actors, and there are great online marketing courses, including, for example, this free inbound marketing certification course. Also, as you learn more about marketing strategies, you will be able to fine town your own promotional materials for your acting career!
5. Tour guide.
This can be one of the most fun support jobs for actors who have truly charismatic and outgoing personalities. In Los Angeles, there is a need for tour guides on studio lots, which are very inspiring places to work. Bus tours and boat tours often need very funny, loud, and friendly guides to narrate over a loudspeaker.
Do you have lots of fun editing short film projects, audition footage and demo reel footage on your computer? If you love editing, consider taking a course and becoming proficient with some advanced film editing tools. Editing is such a marketable skill; not only will all of your actor and director peers want to hire you to cut their projects, but you can also look for freelance employment in the corporate world.
Actors are often multifaceted artists with many creative skills. If you are into visual art, consider taking some photography courses and becoming proficient. Photography is a great skill to have in the entertainment industry because actors always need headshots, producers always need still photographers, and hosts always need event photographers.
Clowning is a great skill to have in your arsenal. Not only is it relevant to acting — clowning is a legitimate art form in its own right that goes far deeper than face paint and red noses — but you can put your clown skills to use at birthday parties and special events.
9. Actor in medical and police simulations.
Did you know that you can be hired by medical and law enforcement professionals to use your acting skills in professional training environments? This type of work can be very gratifying; not only are you putting your acting and improv skills to use, but you are also making essential contributions to two industries that protect human lives.
As actors, we really are entrepreneurs. We are creating our lives, one day at a time. Actors are often excellent “out of the box” thinkers with fantastic ideas. Perhaps you would thrive working for a digital start up, or developing your very own product, idea, or company. To get inspired, start attending networking events for entrepreneurs, and keep a journal of creative ideas.
These are just a few examples of great support jobs for actors. We wish you all the best as you design your ideal work scenario, based on your unique skills and needs.