Running your Acting Career as a Business

Waiting by the phone wastes time.

Entrepreneur is a word that can trip some actors up. I am an actor myself and I never used the word “entrepreneur”, until I was already well into my first business venture. I wish, however, that I had been exposed to the concepts of business and entrepreneurship in my formal education process, as it would have enabled me to more effectively compete, to stand out from the flock and to more specifically identify my audience and build a niche.

Actors and other creative professionals should think of themselves as a “business of one” and should structure their professional pursuits accordingly. The actor or creative professional, who does so, increases their odds of making a living with their craft.

Why? Because such practice gives greater structure to your limited daily energy and enables you to more effectively reach your goals, as you can operate via techniques that have proven effective over time.

Makes sense, right?

Many actors, for example, will give almost all ability to work over to others (This is the standard path). They give their authority and power away to casting directors, agents, producers, directors, and anyone else who holds up the job carrot. (No doubt we all know the cliché image of the actor waiting by the phone).

As a creative professional, we increase our odds of success, if we are the principle drivers of our opportunities. Wait for others and that is exactly what you will likely do…indefinitely.

Work begets work. The more you are working; the more work you have.

Thus, we must always be working.

Entrepreneurial Arts Training can teach one how to always be working, as individuals with such skills, have the knowledge of how to create opportunities for themselves.

If you have not already done so, I encourage you to ask the following questions of yourself:

1.    What makes you different from your competition?
2.    What makes your business contributions necessary?

If you struggle with these questions, I urge you to consider retooling your skill set. Consider applying to either The International Theatre Academy Norway’s 2 year program or Ausitn Conservatory of Professional Arts. The Hart Technique: Promoting a new standard in arts education.

Jim Hart is the founder of Austin Conservatory of Professional Arts (ACPA) and The International Theatre Academy Norway

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