Uh Oh! It's the dreaded conversation. The one most foreign actors abroad don't want to talk about---money. As an expat actor this can be a bit tricky but I would like to provide some tips on getting the best rate. (Side Note: This post is very specific to Asia but I hope it helps wherever you are.) Today's post?
When Speaking Of Rates As An Actor In a Foreign Country
Always Know Your Value - It does you nor your industry any good when you accept a rate below industry standard. You're a professional and a professional is paid to do a specific job. Yes, you should be training constantly to ensure your value but taking less because for any reason short of life threatening puts you and your industry counter parts in an awful predicament. Directors, producers and casting directors respect professionals who respect themselves but don't go crazy thinking you deserve more "just because." Do some research, ask other actors, and stay true to the "code of conduct."
Patience Is Vital - The average actor in Asia has at least three agents. One common occurrence for actors with multiple agents is that each agent will call in reference to the same role. This is not always a bad thing because there are times when the second or third agent will offer a higher rate. An expat actor that knows their value doesn't jump at a job only for the money and when the rate isn't ideal said actor knows that their is a possibility of another call. So, like grandma said "patience is a virtue."
Be The Accessible Actor - Do you have a website, an IMDb page or some form of online presence where entertainment professionals can contact you directly? If not, you're missing out on a golden opportunity. Casting and talent agents can contact you time and again via a website and this provides a direct contact with the client, which provides opportunities to network, which brings more opportunities to act and the cycle keeps going. Make yourself available and take more ownership of your career and your rates.
"It's not funny when you're playing with my money." Something my old manager used to say. But, the adage holds true so be fervent because you're an actor in a foreign country!
I hope you enjoyed these tactics for actors working abroad. Please reply in the comments below with your thoughts or questions on acting overseas.
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Till next time thespians,