How to is unpaid acting work
Unpaid acting work is a huge topic for debate. Should a professional actor have to do something for free? The answer to this the majority of times are yes. As a graduate from drama school unpaid work is a god send. Your CV gets a credit and also you get the experience of whatever project you're doing.
However, you must weigh up the options. Will being involved in this project enhance your career? Are you able to invite along casting directors? Are you able to get reviewed and use this in a positive way? If you feel you are answering no to any of the above questions then I would suggest not doing the project. For instance will spending 6 weeks unpaid touring to primary schools enhance your acting career? Well you will have a credit but can anybody (Apart from 5 year olds) actually see you in this piece. The answer is no.
However if you're doing a piece of theatre in a fringe venue in London for 6 weeks then a casting director is able to come along to see you and therefore the project would of been worth your time.
I hate to say however again but Casting directors are extremely busy and the likely hood of them coming out to see anything is very slim. This is a risk you need to take. As long as you are able to live, pay the rent and eat then doing an unpaid piece of work is worth the time.
You absolutely must love the script as well. If nothing else comes from the piece at least you can say you enjoyed your time on the project.
In terms of unpaid film work it can differ. You can always use the material for a show reel and also the project time is a lot less so therefore no scrimping for weeks.
The decision has to be one you carefully think about but always weigh up your options. You want your career to take a step up every time you do a project so think about yourself and how much of a difference this will make to you.