25 June 2008


For the second time this year, I've done the ridiculous and booked two (or more) national commercials in a week, bringing the total to seven in 2008. I'm not sure what I have to say for myself. I will try harder. Seriously, I'm on pace to pass Barry Bonds in several categories. Let me just say right now that I am not now, nor have I ever been on the juice. Although I do occasionally take the Juice Plus vitamins.

And it couldn't have come at a better time. The funds have dwindled to $43 after my pension/health care payment went through automatically. Not enough to fill the tank any more. I've run up the balance on my credit card giving me only $80 or so for emergencies. I've talked to my agent's assistant about letting me know when I can come in to pick up any checks that arrive, as every day counts at the end of the month. This month's ass-saving check will be the $600 economic stimulus bribe, and it will be the only way I pay my $600 share of the rent. Thank goodness I have stocked up a lot of frozen foods, groceries will have to go on the back burner for the next week, at least. And there's another great benefit of booking: I will be fed well.

And like the sands through the hourglass, these are the days of the "middle class screen actor." An actor who has far surpassed his known parameters, lived within his means, and booked an enviable amount of work. And it took booking five commercials in the spring just to have enough to make it to this point at the end of June. I was, for the umpteenth time since moving to LA, at the end of the line, about to consider calling former employers who are still on speaking terms with me. Kidding. I wouldn't call the ones who aren't.

Here's a chart detailing average actor salaries broken down by years of experience. I'm fortunate enough to be on pace to be on the high end of this range. To be fair, none of my nationals have aired yet, but that can be expected. After you shoot a commercial, you could be waiting a few weeks, months, or more than a year before it airs. Crazy stuff happens. But these times in between those life-giving residuals are getting more and more difficult to cover.

And the AMPTP wants to roll the goal posts back into the stadium parking lot.

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