If you’re trying to make a career for yourself in the entertainment industry, it may seem counter-intuitive to take on unpaid work.  However, you’re probably seeing a boatload of castings that are unpaid.  Many of these offer expense reimbursement, demo footage or food, but no compensation.  Why would you take the time to submit yourself?

First of all, because there are many unpaid gigs available, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get out there and start showcasing your skills.  You’ll want to consider working for credit, demo footage, or portfolio pics when you’re first getting started, because this is a great way to add spots do your resume.  You’ll have to beef up your marketing materials before you’ll be offered well-paying gigs.

The best way to ensure you start making a wage could, in fact, be by starting small and working for ‘free.’  If you’re only submit to paying gigs but don’t have any credits under your belt, you’re much more likely to be turned down.  Casting directors want to get what they pay for.  If you don’t have any experience, there is no way of knowing whether they’re worth their buck or not.

The most important thing to remember while you’re still green is that you need to be practicing your skill set as often as possible.  Actors need to master their presence and dialogue.  Models need to be able to work effectively in front of the camera.  So, you’ll want to get yourself out there as often as possible and get used to being active in the industry.

Applying for spots that promise credit, footage, or photos is a great way to get the materials you need to start getting paid.  You’re not working for free.  You’re receiving something valuable for your time.

Never think you are to good for a project because it doesn’t pay or doesn’t pay well.  This persona will be evident to the casting director, and there is a very fine line between confidence and cockiness.  No one wants to work with some who thinks they’re better than everyone else.  This is the quickest way to get rejected and to burn valuable bridges.

If you are just getting started, unpaid and for credit roles are not beneath you.  They are a perfect way to get started and network with decision-makers while bringing home some much-needed materials.  Give these opportunities a shot and you’ll soon be working your way to the next level!

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