Yes, It’s Okay to Have a Fall-Back Plan

Fallon Smyl

Every day I think about making it in theatre, or voiceovers, or TV, or film. Something that will make me happy and pay the bills. Reaching that point for an actor can take years, decades even. But, you still have to make money somehow to live until you can reach the point where acting can make things work for you. 

Most actors I talk to don’t want to have something that they can fall back on as that seems like giving up. While I agree in some aspects that you should always do as much as you possibly can, you shouldn’t be homeless and starving, it’s definitely time to move past that stigma. So, while you may be going through the process of becoming an actor, it’s okay to be thinking about what you’ll be doing when you’re not acting/auditioning, even in high school and college. 

Having a job while auditioning is a hassle, I’m doing it too, so I get it. But having a job to pay the bills isn’t something to be ashamed of. Having a career to fall back on which allows you to live your life while you’re on your way to being an actor. Lots of people make it later in life, but its all about the long haul in acting. Very few people are immediately given a job once they graduate from high school/university so you definitely need to be able to push and continue working towards your goal. 

If you’re in a BFA program it will be a struggle to attempt a double major, but you can pick up a minor in something that you have an interest in that will get you a day job. A B.A. program will let you double major in almost anything which can help you get a day job. The B.A.C program encourages its students to get a second major which can help raise you up. And if you’re in the process of auditioning and attempting to break into the industry, you can get a part-time job that you shouldn’t be ashamed of. Anything that will help you find a way to still be happy (and possibly fulfilled) is not a bad choice to make in my opinion.

Don’t be ashamed of having something that will make you happy while you work towards your goal, or if you decide to leave the acting dream behind. Sure, it's disappointing, but don’t be ashamed of yourself ever!