Actor's Financial Support

  • Howard Lewis Morgan

    Actor

    Hi all,

    I have been mulling an idea around that I have been thinking about for a while to help fledgling actors to stay on the road to their career aspirations.

    I have been looking into the possibility of setting up a charity that will give financial advice to performers. Cash flow is generally a big reason talented performers might need to persue other ventures. especially mortgages for the self employed can be a massive issue for us ( many financial won't get involved as its a lot of work for little pay for most adviser, especially self certification)

    So I was just putting it out there what peoples thoughts were on the subject.

    If you had a charity that would either pay all of the costs or heavily subsidise things like mortgage, investment advice or debt consultancy would you find this useful if it were around in the past, now or in the future?

    Answers on a post card please.

    Many thanks

    • 7th Jan 2013
    • 2654
    • 26
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hi Howard,

    Happy new year! I think the charity is a good idea in terms of giving advice. I'm not sure about the money side though as we are all short and would all need subsidy! Its a great idea for helping and advising though. Good for you, 2013 is the year for productivity and making things happen ourselves!!

    Best Wishes Hazelx

    • 1st Jan 2013
    • 1
  • Kathy Trevelyan

    Actor

    Hi,

    I think it sounds like a good idea. More on the advice side, as the payment of mortgages etc would require large amounts of money. I am in a lot of debt following my training and would definitely use such a service.

    Kathy

    • 1st Jan 2013
    • 2
  • Mitra Djalili

    Actor

    absolutely and definitely. this is a great idea!

    • 1st Jan 2013
    • 3
  • Howard Lewis Morgan

    Actor

    Hi all,

    Yes I thought somewhere to go to support getting specialised support that in the world of today is normally the people that have money (there's the irony). As advisers earn by way of commission.

    I have worked in financial services when I'm not acting and the extra skills I've learnt should help such a project.

    What about names? I was thinking of Performers Benevolant Society

    Any ideas?

    • 2nd Jan 2013
    • 4
  • Mitra Djalili

    Actor

    I think something along those lines but just check that name doesn't already exist because I'm pretty sure it does for musicians

    • 2nd Jan 2013
    • 5
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Are you proposing a charity that gives advice about financial matters or one that gives financial assistance (i.e. cash)?

    • 2nd Jan 2013
    • 6
  • Tony Burden

    Actor

    I'm afraid I don't get it.

    The start up cost will be prohibitivly high.

    Retaining fees and payment of the advisors equally so.

    Premises, IT, phone lines and admin all add up.

    And you will need to offer something majorly different to any bank which will provide such services for free.

    I wish you the very best of luck.

    • 2nd Jan 2013
    • 7
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I believe you don,t have to be in Equity to be employed as an actor these days. In my day it was compulsory. Equity helps people out in more ways than one,All actors need Equity.So what you are suggesting is all ready in place.Join Equity at your first opportunity.........

    • 2nd Jan 2013
    • 8
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I believe you don,t have to be in Equity to be employed as an actor these days. In my day it was compulsory. Equity helps people out in more ways than one,All actors need Equity.So what you are suggesting is all ready in place.Join Equity at your first opportunity.........

    • 2nd Jan 2013
    • 9
  • Natalie Jacobs

    Actor

    I think this is an excellent idea! I have been going through the same thing after recently getting engaged and my family have offered us some money for a deposit providing we raise some of our own. The deposit isnt really a problem as we will save for as long as it takes, its being taking seriously by building societies as i am self employed and this is proving to be a losing battle.

    Your idea is a good one and you should definently go with it

    • 2nd Jan 2013
    • 10
  • Dan Gregory

    Actor

    As Stacy said Equity already have the Actors' Benevolent Fund & the Evelyn Norris Home. Join the Union!

    • 2nd Jan 2013
    • 11
  • Forbes KB

    Actor

    A charity for struggling actors! Dear dear! I recently saw one writer set up a crowd funding page to try and get people to fund his life while he writes his book! Nice work if you can get it!

    The Equity sanctioned Actors Benevolent Fund is there to look after performers who have, for no fault of their own, fallen on hard times but to set up a Charity to look after struggling actors just to keep them "in the business" just seems a little bit off to me! We all chose this path for ourselves...no one forced us into it...and to think anyone would donate to us over the starving children in Africa, to find a cure for cancer or homeless and maltreated animals is pretty selfish in my opinion!

    Can't afford to be an actor...maybe you need to get a job and look after your own and not waste time on charities and handouts! If your not making a living from your chosen profession maybe it's not the right profession for you! Just saying!

    • 2nd Jan 2013
    • 12
  • Forbes KB

    Actor

    As previous posters have said, nothing you're proposing isn't already covered by your Union. If you're not already a member, one wonders why not!

    • 2nd Jan 2013
    • 13
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    My perspective is slightly different to Forbes', because it's not an ethical one, but raising a question of technicalities. As I'm really not competent to gauge how financially capable you may be, I won't presume anything about your ability to put into practice what you're preaching, but I would ask:

    1. If you are talking about generating benevolent funds, where does the money for your funding come from in the first instance? It is clear where Equity's comes from: member subscription and the philanthropic donations of those who have reason to support the union. *All* charities, as far as I'm aware, serve to raise funds through a combination of soliciting donation, winning patronage, 'earning' through sale of merchandise, member subscription, and canvassing for government subsidy, but to get most of this revenue they have to be appealing to charitable interest in the first place. In all seriousness (which is, in some sense, Forbes' point) who is going to reach into their pocket to support struggling actors? Save, perhaps, other actors who hold solidarity with their fellow performers? But the majority who care (the philanthropists) already give to the union. Is this not an issue?

    2. If you are aiming to set up consultancy, mortgage/loan advice etc., this may be a different matter. But I tend to hold with most of the critiques that have already been raised. Firstly, the two entities are separate - conflating a benevolent fund with consultancy just confuses. Secondly, as Tony suggested, there are surely start-up costs to be considered. Thirdly, although I'm not sure Tony is right to say the banks have an advantage over a dedicated actor consultancy service if that service is *also* free, I don't see where your advisors are making their commission back...unless it is to do with passing on recommendations to other experts to offer further advice. In which case, all well and good but, at this stage, surely the charges start mounting for the actor as they engage with legal experts, mortgage brokers etc. In this respect, the consultancy is only intended to serve as a free advice bureau that can give actors better information on their options, and perhaps recommend them to experts who will offer lower rates for the sake of recommendation, I suppose. Which sounds laudable enough, but seems to have nothing to do with offering benevolent payouts - unless you are also advocating that a percentage cut is intended to be set aside for the fund.

    I must confess to still being uncertain what model you're proposing here.

    • 2nd Jan 2013
    • 14
  • Howard Lewis Morgan

    Actor

    hi all,

    I am an Equity member and they dont give assistance like this. Not thinking of a charity directly giving financial advice directly as this has a regulated act with the FSA, but yes the mortgage example is what I am thinking of. The charity would help performers who most need it, if you have an adviser they would liaise with the banks to get a mortgage in place but the reward is low for a high risk so its hard to get help. there are other needs like income protection. Imagine if you paid an insurance company for this, you would know your getting money if your earnings plumit.

    Thinking of advice (that is paid for and involves an financial adviser) and guidiance that helps give specailst infomation to help improve your situation.

    Many young actors go into the working world tripping over from jobbing it and managing a turbulant cash flow, so this charity to to help bring social change in this area.

    • 2nd Jan 2013
    • 15
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    That makes more sense to me, and sounds like it could be workable provided there is enough specificity to the services, I think. You are probably right to assume that many actors would feel happier liasing with an actor oriented service than with one that was more detached from their concerns. I'm not sure that was entirely clear earlier in the thread though: it did seem to be getting the thumbs up on the basis that it would be offering free handouts to actors!

    • 2nd Jan 2013
    • 16
  • Forbes KB

    Actor

    Isn't income protection pretty much exactly the same as, the now outlawed, payment protection? And let's be frank here! No company in their right mind will underwrite any scheme that guarantees a certain level of income for any actor unless they're already well known and by that point they probably wouldn't need a mortgage!

    I'm still failing to see exactly what this charity would provide. Would it act as a financial adviser? No you've said as it would need FSA approval! Would it act as a broker? No for the same reason above! You've said it'll negotiate mortgage deals on actors behalf with the banks/mortgage providers but isn't that what a broker/agent does anyway?

    I'm lost!

    • 2nd Jan 2013
    • 17
  • Forbes KB

    Actor

    And pretty much everyone goes from education and a "turbulent financial situation" into the world of work!

    Excuse my cynicism but it just appears to me that someones trying to combine their background in financial services with their current activities in the world of acting! A nice little earner inbetween acting work possibly!

    It's not for me whatever it is!

    • 2nd Jan 2013
    • 18
  • Tony Burden

    Actor

    I still don't get it.

    • 2nd Jan 2013
    • 19