17 June 2008

Auditions are Getting Expensive

I've been keeping meticulous mileage wreckords for a few years now. Why, I don't know, because I've never once qualified for the mileage credit come tax time. But I have to satisfy the obsessive-compulsive demon within, so I can tell you down to the mile what I drove last year. (If you cared, and since the IRS doesn't...)

I've done enough OCD driving about town to know that my car gets roughly 23 miles per gallon. My closest audition is a twenty mile round trip. There's $4.00 right there. More often than that, however, are the two-gallon Santa Monica auditions. And at least half of those will be three-gallon trips during rush hour. So, for one audition on the west side from the Fred Dome in Glendale, I could be paying about $15.

I never bothered to calculate mileage expenses down to the mile, even in my time as a messenger. But the other day, I missed a street and before I knew it, took a five-minute, five mile detour. And there's another dollar.

Now figure in the proverbial they who always say booking one job for every 100 auditions is par for the course. If that's average, then the average professional actor is still waiting tables, personal assisting, house sitting...whatever it takes to scrape by in this city, and are lucky enough to duck out for an audition every once in a while. The primary focus on SAG's contract negotiations is restoring the strength of the middle-class actor.

I'm so grateful to be able to say that I've booked six jobs in my last fifty auditions. But I never would have expected that I would need every last penny to stay afloat for the last three months. Two of those bookings were national commercials in which I didn't make it off the cutting room floor. One job is (so far) internet only, which will net me a couple grand over the course of a year. One is on the shelf due to some mysterious circumstance, and I'm still waiting on Capital One to air. So even after going on a 6-for-51 tear, which included 4 national commercials, I'm down to my last $200, with a $900+ credit card balance. (Yes, it's a Capital One!)

This is the time of the month when I start looking ahead at what I will have in the bank come rent time. And I start gathering all the items I can find which might net me a few bucks on ebay. It's amazing how many times I've skirted by because of a surprise residual check, and I think I'm due for a holding fee before July. Sure do hope I am! But just living this "middle-class" actor life is an incredible leap of faith.

And coming soon...the story behind the Capital One gig.

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