Do You Have a Career or a Hobby?
Unfortunately, most actors treat their work as a hobby. They may be deeply invested, like a-basement-worth-of-model-trains invested, but are ultimately still never taking the next step to making their work an actual career.
A career does not necessarily mean that you’re continually making money from your work, especially when we’re actually in the business of losing our jobs. Treating this like a career means that you’re actively working to make it feasible to make money from your work. And there is a difference.
A hobby could be something you’d love to make a living doing, but you don’t necessarily see the immediate path forward to doing so and are therefore willing to let it float in limbo until it maybe works out. However, that’s not a career, that’s actually “floating in limbo until it maybe works out”. Some might even question as to whether or not that’s even a hobby…
Let me be clear again, an artistic career doesn’t necessarily equal consistent money, rather, it’s your overall approach based on the idea of sustainability.
A good way to get a sense as to whether or not you’re managing a career or a hobby is to stand it up against some basic business practices that we should all be engaged in if we are, in fact, running a business.
A career as an actor consists of at least 75% of the following:
- Clear goals and a timeline for accomplishing them
- Solid secondary income stream
- Overall financial oversight
- Active, diverse marketing
- Ongoing varied self produced work
- Consistently cultivating and expanding a network
- Strategies for improving your craft and your business
- A system for navigating the rough terrain that is our industry and getting your work done
How many of these facets are currently part of your creative business model?
If you’re managing a career, good on you! If you think you might be presently engaging with more of a hobby, how might you include some of the above in your work moving forward?
If you did incorporate some of those elements, you might find yourself moving beyond your basement full of model trains and into a larger market.