How do professional actors live in London?

  • User Deleted

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    Serious question; HOW DO PROFESSIONAL ACTORS LIVE IN LONDON?

    This has been a question I've asked a few people when I've been going to auditions. What jobs do you do? Is it enough to pay for your rent? Are the jobs flexible in order for you to audition? I commute atm from Staffordshire and change at Birmingham. Sometimes I can find a cheap train return or I coach it..and find it incredibly exhausting (& expensive)

    I'm a living nomad/gypsy and tend to stay with (very helpful) friends when I have a few auditions together and end up hassling everyone to see who's sofa I can snooze on. Even though I don't have to worry about the ridiculous rent and living payments daily when I do visit it costs A LOT. I've been commuting for professional jobs for about 14 months now and it's getting more and more the more I work and auditions I get which is good but to be frank it's starting to tire me out..and most of my money goes on travel and food.

    I have lived in London whilst training at drama school but I left early because I just wanted to go out there and do it and not get into even more debt, however I did learn a lot whilst I was there. I was extremely unhappy at drama school and when I left I got a job full time as a personal shopper..40+ hours a week = no time for auditions or life..I was even more unhappy and decided to move back up north for a bit. I've been here since and 6 months in I felt like a new person with the support from my family and friends.

    Now it's been over a year and I feel physically and mentally ready to move back to the ol smoke but I'm concerned I won't find a job that pays enough,is flexible enough or find a place to live that's reasonable rent!

    If any actors out there could give me some advice or hopefully reasure me that it is doable I would greatly appreciate it.

    I'll look for are to your replies,

    Dani x

    • 17th Jul 2015
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  • Nicola Kelleher

    Actor

    Hey Dani

    I don't usually answer these forum q;s as I forgot they were on here but you are probably going to get a mixed bag of answers. The truth is (or as I see it) is that most actors have to do a variety of things to support themselves in london, including dare I say it "normal" work. I have been out of drama school for 10 years now and the first two years of that I had a normal job on reception which i hated. I went totally freelance in January of this year. In truth the only way to survive it to do anything, anyone will pay you to do (within reasons to your morals of course) you are an attractive girl so any modelling, front of house and other work should come to you easily while having time to go to auditions. If your moving back it would be best to find a cheap room, on the outskirts of london so you can get trains in, or other transport to get to auctions easily. Shift work in a normal / semi normal job will help. Such as FOH in a theatre or somewhere you can be inspired... I wish you luck it is hard but its not impossible to make it work so don't listen to the naysayers. There is also a lot of work up north so if you have family homes don't rule work out back up there if you can get it xxxx good luck xx may the force be with you lol xx

    • 13th Jul 2015
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  • User Deleted

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    Hey Nicola,

    Thank you for taking the time to reply! So far everyone that has replied have said similar to yourself. It's been helpful to hear what other actors are actually doing for work to give me an insight into the life style.

    I've heard FOH in theatre is a good shout but they are a tough one to bag! I think for a jobbing actor to live in London they need to earn at least 8-10 quid an hour..a job that's mega flexible but little hours! I'm positive I'll make it work, I'm pretty optimistic about these things and it's nice to know others are doing the same.

    Thanks again, appreciate it,

    • 13th Jul 2015
    • 2
  • Nicola Kelleher

    Actor

    Yes you will and that's the key. You have to try! Good luck with your move and career x

    • 14th Jul 2015
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  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hi Dani,

    Believe me things are only as big as WE see them ! Have you looked on 'roomsforrent' . Excellent site for flat shares and you'd be surprised at some of the low rents. Some as low as £400 pm all in!. As for the temp job, register online with as many temp agencies as you can. I'm not sure what your skills are, but I would imagine class room assistant would be possible? Also look at the workshop leader required posts on here.

    The life of an actor is all about taking risks, (My opinion) I left a very highly paid full time post to persue my acting career, gave up a beautiful flat and the life that went with it. Yes I'm poorer , but richer, if you know what I mean.

    If I can help you in any way, suggestions, networking etc just email me.

    • 17th Jul 2015
    • 4