Alternative Day Jobs For Actors

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If you’re in the acting profession, it’s likely that you will need another job (or more than one) to keep you busy and pay the bills in between gigs. Maybe you’re waiting for your big break and you need something to tide you over until that comes, but you want to be making good use of your performance talents in some shape or form.

Children’s Entertainer

It may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but perhaps you’ll find that being an actor lends itself well to getting into character for providing the entertainment at kids’ parties. You don’t have to be a clown to create a popular character, and you could make more money than you think. There’s no shortage of great children’s entertainers in Manchester and similar cities around the UK where a relatively high proportion of people are interested in the arts.

Copywriter

If your main strength lies in writing stories or scripts, you might find that freelance work as a writer works for you. A little practice in any niche can allow to write like an expert in many different fields, which is great for businesses looking for quick and professional copy for any purpose.

Promo Modelling

You don’t need to look like an actual model to do this – in fact, looking like an unremarkable, average human being might be ideal. You can get work posting for photographs or events, and although there might be no prizes for acting talent, it’s easy money when you can find it.

Graphic /Website Design

If you have a bit of creative flair, you can probably turn your hand to any artistic skill. This may include design, whether this is for printed promotional materials or online use. You could even start designing company branding and logos, or turn your hand to website design if you have the basic technical skills. It’s possible to teach yourself and learn quickly in this field.

Interior Design

A different profession you might be able to turn your creative hand to is interior design. Most people with a talent for acting tend to be well suited to other artistic professions, and this is one of the highest paid options. It’s worth a try, and if you find you have a great eye for décor and furnishings, this could be the ideal second career for you.

Restaurant Staff

Okay, maybe this isn’t at the top of your wish list for a long term career, but it is a known fact that many people looking to become famous performers start out at a restaurant or behind a bar. This does give you the chance to practice some of your vital acting skills, like remembering long lists of special requirements when taking orders and perhaps even keeping people entertained while they wait for their food.

Theme Parks

This job is ideal for anyone who loves improvising and entertaining people. Working as a character in a theme park can be a lot of fun, and it’s an opportunity to try out your skills on a captive audience if you can corner a group while they’re waiting for a ride.

Event Security

If you have the skills and mindset, you could try out working as a security guard for live shows and other events at local venues. If you’re not quite built for that, maybe try something like collecting tickets or another hospitality role. This might help you make more contacts in the local entertainment scene, plus you get to see shows for free and potentially pick up tips.

Sales and customer service

In pretty much any customer-facing role, you’ll be able to try your hand at improvising on the spot and staying “in character” while dealing with potentially tricky people. Whether you’re answering the phone, working face-to-face on a checkout or managing a department in a retail environment, you’ll have plenty of chances to work on your speaking and presentation.

Speaking Naturally While In Character

Many people, even professional actors, are stuck with the notion that they have to adopt a strange voice when getting into character and performing. There is a sense that you’re not really acting if your voice sounds completely normal, but this is definitely an over-simplification of what it means to act and it actually rarely helps at all. In many cases, adopting a “character” voice can simply make your performance sound a lot more wooden and less convincing. Here are some tips and common problems in this area.

Don’t be too tense

Relaxing your jaw and neck is very important if you want to sound natural when you speak. You can sometimes even see from looking at someone’s face from a distance that they’re tensing their facial muscles unnaturally. Your speech will sound much better if you can train yourself not to do this. Good posture also helps you project your voice which is essential in theatre work.

Don’t over-simplify your character

Even characters that seem somewhat simple will come across much better if you allow them to have depth and complexity when you speak. Your voice gives you infinite ways to express yourself, so try to make as much use of it as possible. Never restrict a character to a stereotypical, laboured voice unnecessarily.

Don’t compensate for yourself

It’s hard to hear our own voices sometimes, and we tend to be highly self-critical. However, you are not necessarily the best person to make a judgement on this when you’re trying to play a character. Don’t let your own insecurities influence how you play a character.

Let the audience engage with you

Above all, the benefit of being as natural as possible is that you’ll come across as a human being that your audience can actually connect with. Whatever emotion they feel towards your character, this is only possible when they’re able to suspend disbelief and feel as if you really are that person, rather than an actor giving a robotic performance.