Starting Your Acting and/or Modeling Business

Many thanks to Aaron Marcus, premier acting and commercial modeling career coach for providing today’s blog entry! He is the author of How To Become a Successful Commercial Model and creator of the Becoming a Successful Actor & Commercial Model Workshop.

As in any business, actors and models also have some start-up costs. Here are a few of the things that we have to invest in:

– Head shots

–  Comp cards

–  Business cards

–  Industry books

–  Newsletters

–  Workshops

–  Classes

–  Postcards

–  Agent’s websites

–  Creating DVDs and CDs for our on-camera and voice-over work

 Although this can get expensive, you don’t have to get all of these done at one time. If you think about it, these expenses are actually pretty small, compared to other businesses’ start-up costs. You can check with an accountant to see which expenses are tax deductible.

Tax Advice for Actors from Actors

Here are a few expenses you might not yet have thought about, but at some point you may decide to purchase:

 A Wireless Ear Prompter. This is a small ear piece that allows you to hear a script you record onto a micro-cassette. Ear prompters are generally used by on-camera narrators who have long sections of words to read, or for those giving a live presentation at an event. I just used one for a training film I did in Portland, Oregon.

 Contact Lenses. If you wear glasses, you should consider getting contacts. I recently did another on-camera narration for the IRS. They preferred me not wearing glasses, which would have made it difficult for me to read the teleprompter. Fortunately, I always bring my contacts, and things worked out very well.

 To help you prioritize your business expenses, I suggest you first invest in information, so you know how to run your business:

Read books and newsletters, then create a head shot.

 Create a comp card after the head shot is completed, if you want to get work as a commercial model.

Find an agent; being represented and on the agent’s web site will help get you work

 Take workshops and classes; they will also give you your best chance at finding work

Produce the other materials once you are out there auditioning and hopefully booking jobs.