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How to Survive as an Actor in L.A.

When it comes to surviving in LA as a working actor, sometimes options are limited.

Audience Work is EASY, quick and there are no prerequisites. The best part about audience work is that is more often than not it pays CASH, directly after the shoot. With most audience work, it's minimum wage, however being that it's cash there will be no taxes taken out at least!

As a working actor I try to keep every single day full. If I am not working on set or auditioning that day I will try to line up audience work immediately for that day. Most often you can book audience work the night before.

Remember! Sometimes with shorter shoots you can book multiple productions and work in the morning then in the evening as well, and make a decent amount of money for the day! Get in tight with the casting directors that book these shows and they will call you without you having to submit for the work or call in yourself.

Audience work is an awesome way to network, for MOST of the audience members are fellow actors just like you! Ask them what they are doing for work, who their agent is, what successes and failures they have had. This is very important to discuss both positives and negatives they have gone through, because when you are here long enough, you tend to find out that most people have gone through the same trials that you have! If you can learn of some mistakes people have made, perhaps you can AVOID them and gain valuable time that they had to spend finding out the hard way.

It's FUN! Most shows needing audience members are very lively and upbeat! So they are quite fun to enjoy and get paid to watch. The warm up guys are paid comedians that help get the audience in the right state of mind to be active for the show, so they are always a blast to listen to. Sometimes if you are on larger productions, they give out amazing prizes the audience.

BRING YOUR FRIENDS/FAMILY! This is the type of work where you can almost always mention to the casting director that you have a friend or family member that fits to age and look criteria that can come along with you. They will take their name and info down from you and boom, your friend is booked as well! This makes for a great time just hanging out with your friends or family! But the best part is you BOTH are paid for it.

You will run into certain actors that look down on audience work, well I personally did not come from money and I need to watch every cent so I can invest back into my acting career. I would much rather make a little money than NO money.

Not only does working make you money, more importantly I feel it keeps you ACTIVE. Keeps you involved with show business. Keeps you around actors, the energy, and the business as a whole.

- Keith Kraft