You are super fancy pants actress and starring on Broadway! You are booking guest starring roles on major television networks opposite Emmy Award winning actors. Your work is seen on NBC, CBS, ABC. You are going straight to producers and Network Testing for leading roles on 20 pilots ranging from comedy to drama. You have a fancy manager and a group of bi coastal agents that talk to you twice a day, they laugh and plan with you, and you are getting calls for up to 9 producer auditions a week. Casting directors in Hollywood and New York know and love you. You are invited to red carpet opening nights and premeire's. You are so fricken fancy that Dame Julie Andrews tells you she just called Garry Marshall to tell him to write you into the movie she's doing...and he does! You begin filming in a week! You are happy and soaring, flying back and forth from Los Angeles and New York and life is just on the upswing!
You are golden right? Its just going to keep getting better right? You are making more money than you ever have, and at 28 years old you are finding out about the alternative minimum tax bracket and the benefits of becoming incorporated from your accountant because you are raking in the dough!
These network auditions for leads on NBC, opposite Matt LeBlanc for the Friends spin off Joey, will only solidify your security as an actress right? Your starring and co starring roles on Broadway will only build on top of eachother and allow for more opportunity as you run this well planned marathon called your career right?
This is what you are made to believe in the entertainment industry.
Great work ethic, a killer resume, and a stellar reputation of being easy to work with and prepared is what you should have to secure any job and any career's longevity, Make sacrifices young so you have a solid foundation right?
That "fancy pants actress" I described above? That's me. I had all those opportunites and more. I worked so very hard for them and I thought I played the game so very well. Some said I was so lucky, but I say I was hard working and committed. I was agreeable and listened to my representation. I put everything I had into creating new opportunites and being available for whatever my representation advised me to be available for. If I didn't have the money, I invested in myself and floated some credit card debt. Paid it off with my next job and then floated more. I played that game until I was told I just couldn't anymore.
And it all came crashing down.
If you have read my previous blogs, you know all of what happened. I won't bore you again with the sob story of a bad ex-husband, filing for divorce, bankruptcy and my manager telling me I wasn't a star so therefore I was a liability.... all in one year. Its enough to make you wonder why I didn't have a mental breakdown?
This entry is about how I can advise you not to be me. To learn from me. To hopefully transcend this stroke of bad luck and be smarter than me.
I want you all to have the opportunity, the auditions, the bookings, the money I was generating! I want that and more for you! But what I want you to do now....and find a way to do it...is to get a side hustle.
Money is freedom. At least that's what I think it is. If I had money, I would've bounced back from that period of defeat so much quicker. I would've gone right back to the drawing board and figured out how I could rebuild everything. But, I couldn't invest. I was tapped out. I just needed to find a way to survive. And I've been surviving (career wise), and not thriving, ever since.
Why do I say, get a side hustle if you are successful now? Because you are on a high! You have money to invest. You have people looking at you and what you are doing and wanting to listen.
Find something else you love and do it. I found being a Holistic Health Practioner and Licensed Massage Therapist is something I love. Do I love it as much as performing? Honestly, no. But its steady money. Its a side hustle that is worthwhile in the world.
Find something like that for yourself.
Even if its babysitting! I mean, nothing is more valuable than money in the bank for you and your future. You as a performer are a business owner and entrepreneur. You need someone to invest in you until you are self sustainable. No one can take out a business loan from a bank to become an actor. And if you have? Please comment below and tell me how you did it.
Be smart with your money. Invest in yourself when you are making money. Put away 10% and don't touch it. Use your credit wisely. But most of all, keep padding your bank account with that side hustle, because you never know when the wave of success will come crashing down.
Sending you love and prosperity always,
These are confessions of my life as an actress working on Broadway, TV and Film for 20 years
Copyright 2017 M Patterson