Becoming more unemployable by the day

Private User


I'm really becoming more unemployable by the day.

I'm 31. I've dropped out of university 8 times. Mostly because I keep getting sectioned under the mental health act.

To frustrate me further I can now only study part-time due to funding rules.

I'm currently unemployed and have been for a long time. I've had about 10 jobs in various things but nothing long term.

I have done acting work but nothing that pays nmw apart from being an extra.

I really admire how most jobbing actors can say they work for it. No matter how successful they are or aren't.

I'm just living off disability benefits and haven't got the balls to do a normal job that pays the bills.

It gets complicated. I'm currently living in supported accommodation which costs the state 250 a week in housing benefit. I can't leave as can't get rented accommodation without a guarantor or 3 months wage slips.

I have to admit... I'm quite comfortable on benefits... But I'm becoming more unemployable by the day.

If this acting thing doesn't work out... I really haven't contributed and I'm now feeling guilty and out of touch with the real world.

I love acting. But I'm worried that casting directors are put off when I mention I'm on benefits.

Is anyone else going through this?


  • 4 years ago
  • 2,747
  • 10

It doesn't matter that you're on benefits - there are plenty of actors that are on benefits... It's a very, very difficult profession. many actors have struggled for years or decades trying to get work. What training have you had? If you're not rock-solid mentally this is really, really not the job to try and do. It's a constant struggle about work, money, abilities, ongoing training, rejection after rejection... Many actors struggle mentally *because* of all this.

  • 4 years ago
  • 1
Julia Lacey

Dear Brynmor, the issues you are facing is why there is a safety net of benefits. For how much longer goodness only knows but that is another issue. Please be assured that I as a tax payer would want you to know that I only wish you well and do what you can as and when you can. In a strong society it is down to those in a better position to support those struggling and everything you claim you are entitled to. Acting is a very difficult industry to crack and it is an arduous and long process. Research, research, research any whichway to get any kind of advice or guidance that you can to help you along. I wish you the very best going forward. Julia

  • 4 years ago
  • 2
User Deleted
This profile has been archived

Get a normal job mate like most people do.
You will meet people, make new friends and learn new things about your self. Look for a job on which you can use your skills such as a Tour guide or get a job at an attraction like madame Tussauds.
Don't sit about relying on acting when there is a big world out there with loads of things to do.
You could get a job in a theatre or cinema even. A job gives you a great opportunity to meet new people, which in turn can make you a better actor.

  • 4 years ago
  • 3
Julia Lacey

Louie, he keeps getting sectioned so I doubt a "normal" job is in Brynmor's remit. Allow him the good grace to have his dreams. It is really difficult to juggle earning enough to live off and keep your acting dreams alive. Not everyone is up to it. Sometimes I'm not and I sign on sick for a short time till I feel well enough. You have to take into account a person's capabilities. Society shouldn't be survival of the fittest. There is enough misery in life without pushing vulnerable people into situations where they may not cope. Let him decide what he can do at his own pace hopefully with some guidance.

  • 4 years ago
  • 4
Private User
This profile is private

Brynmor, I've looked at your profile, and you have quite a lot of positive things going for you:
* You're on Spotlight
* You have a valid DBS
* You sing
* You play guitar

Louie is right, you really do need to get a job, even a part time job, just like everyone else here. It could be as simple as a job at McDonald's or a basic office job. As Louie says, you'll meet people through work, and in turn that will raise your confidence levels and also help you network.

If you're finding it hard to get a job because of being sectioned or being on benefits, then perhaps do some voluntary work - this will still give you some benefits like meeting new people and socialising.

I wouldn't say acting is harder than any other field - all creative industries are difficult. I used to be a photographer... and because of how cheap digital SLRs became, every man and his dog called himself a photographer and swamped the playing field, most of them offering free shoots even though they didn't know what they were doing.

If you love acting, you should find every possible reason to pursue this. Don't focus on failures (EVERYONE fails at plenty of things throughout the lives) - just imagine your future self, what you would love to be doing, and GO FOR IT!

  • 4 years ago
  • 5
User Deleted
This profile has been archived

Hey Julia I wasn't telling him to give up on his dreams. I was merely saying that acting isn't the be all and end all. I wasn't pushing him just offering advice.

  • 4 years ago
  • 6
Patty Sway
Actor, Singer

Bryanmor, I don't get the benefits as I am not a resident, have to make it by freelancing left and right, but there is nothing embarrassing about it. You can find your own ways to contribute. It is an important human need. Who said contributing to society is only meaningful, when in exchange for money??? Go to forums and help people out, there is someone behind a screen somewhere in Sweden for whom you could make a huge difference! Or maybe go help out in an animal shelter ;) You will feel better about yourself and that positivity will overflow onto other areas of your life in no time. And keep acting if it makes you happy! I think we often forget what a joy acting is and why we do it in the first place. This is not a race. We don't all need to have Oscars and fame, there are already plenty of people who have them, and still most end up suicidal or overdose, because fame is not all fun and games. It's an addiction. Our attitude is our true happiness in life. What matters is now. Not somewhere over the rainbow, where the grass is greener. Keep your head up. Act because you love it, watch some great performances to get inspired, learn some monologues, fill your day with stuff your day would be filled if you were preparing for a role. And when an opportunity comes you will be in perfect shape to catch it!

  • 4 years ago
  • 7
Dan Gregory

This should help

  • 4 years ago
  • 8

I dare say many people in this industry have their own issues . I have my own struggles . Just lately its proved almost impossible to earn any real money at all . Ive certainly never earned , what the average person would call , a livable wage from acting . Ive bounced between crew work on theatre shows , to corporate work , building stages . In between times I work in a mates lighting warehouse , prepping jobs going out . Most recently Ive been doing film set security . For the most part , its dull , long hours , & not massively rewarding ,as far as cash is concerned its never making you rich . But its simply a case of putting one foot in front of the other .
Id say , but this is only a small grain of advice , that you try and focus on your health and well being , before you consider any inroads to working . I have huge huge mood swings at times . Thats not to say im an angry ball of fury or a pill popping hippy at other times . I just have to concentrate hard to keep myself from being negative , because negativity can be a killer . What i do to help counter that, is swim , go for walks , lift weights etc .... Im sure even if you aren't working right now , you'd qualify for some assistance in using a local pool . Swimming , for me , holds so many benefits . On the worst days , when i find im struggling to be positive about things , I stick on my costume and plough up and down the pool , switching off all the thoughts of where why and how do i deal with all the things affecting my life . I just allow the calming swell of the water to clear my mind . Even if its only for a half hour every few days , you'll be surprised just how much it helps to free your mind from the clutter.

  • 4 years ago
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