I know that it looks great. Getting paid just to act, sing or dance seems easy right? Well, let me tell you: it’s hard. Many people I’ve known did not make it in the industry, and many who do make it for a while burn out quickly than anyone would like. You’ve got to put in your time, on the stage and preparing for the stage. You have to hustle to get noticed and you have to bust your butt at the gym every day.
I love it.
I was burned a few times in this business. Many people try to take advantage of you if they can. There are a ton of desperate performers out there right? People think that we are replaceable. I have had two terrible agents. They stole more money than they made me, and I think I missed out on a few opportunities because one already had a bad reputation. You learn from this kind of thing though.
At one point, I fired the second bad agent and my manager at the same time and I didn’t know what to do. On the advice of my mother, I went to a lawyer she knew. He who was able to help me sort out my finances. Once he did this himself, he referred me to a very affordable accountant that I use to this day. After that, he even helped me find a good agent, who in turn found me a great manager.
Now I get to do the jobs that I want, and I think that I am getting paid more fairly. I have never been happier. If you get anything from this short story, I hope that you understand how important it is to find someone you can actually trust. Not just personally, but with business, if you plan on being a professional performer. Please, don’t trust someone you meet at a club with your finances or career. Find a lawyer who is versed in entertainment law to represent you and protect you.