Blogging time and time again reminds of me of the acting business. It’s probably why I love them both equally but also why it can stress me out to no end and I often find myself wanting to quit. I thought it would be both fun and reflective to share the similarities between the two
You won’t know where your next cheque is coming from
Unless you’re a full time blogger (and still there’s exceptions) or Angelina Jolie you will find the earning side of things difficult. Many do a job for the sake of their career and honey I’m one of them so theres no shame in the hustle, especially living in London. It’s not a get paid every month kind of position, payments can come in all over the place so managing money is essential especially if theres a dry spell. Also, opportunities can come in everyday but only few actually get going and some are ongoing projects that take a year; that’s not to even mention the pay gap found in both industries and even sometimes finding out other people have been paid more than you for the same job…
Here today, gone tomorrow.
Being self employed whether acting or blogging or both is no joke, you literally can’t take a day off or you feel you slip into an abyss and it’s so hard to pull yourself back. You don’t want to miss opportunities or trends and can end up rusty if you’re out of the game too long. Blogging and performing are ever evolving industries and it can be so hard to keep up and still feel like you’re enough. However when it comes to such creative industries you can often find yourself giving too much and burning out, so never be afraid to say I’m taking time out of this or exploring other things or working in one place to help fund your true dreams and goals because you’re not alone and it may be just the stir you need to be refreshed with ideas.
You’ll be expected to do a lot for free. Like, a lot.
A common phrase seems to be ‘do it for the exposure’. Companies will send bloggers a £5 beauty blender and expect hours of dedicated blog work to the brand and social promotion for free. Don’t get me wrong, what a privilege it is for a brand to want to send you an item or sees your content fitting in with their brand but I do think there should be some leeway especially given the reach people have, the return that could make the company and in turn the blogger has something which ultimately pays no bills. It’s much the same with acting, they’ll pay everyone except you and the amount of money actors may find themselves spending on travel alone to remote locations to shoot something the creator may end up selling off is crazy. What is ‘exposure’ really worth if it’s not building my career and saying I’m good enough at what I do to be paid for it. It’s a lot of time and effort that goes into these crafts and time is money.
People value their career over yours
No one believes in your career, not even the people in the industry. Yes we’ve come leaps and bounds for people to say ‘I’m going to be a blogger’ but still trying to explain to my dad how and what its about and how I’m earning from it is not going down as well. Just as well as when I said I’d study drama instead of science. Some will laugh and governments will literally cut funding to you; I’ve actually only just gained the confidence to mention it to colleagues with guts behind me. People will undermine you and either say you’ll never get there or when you do they’ll turn around and say you’ve changed, or your job is piss easy and you don’t deserve to be tired. What matters though is your belief and your enjoyment, so focus on your goals.
Can you say rejection?
You need to have self belief and thick skin to be successful in the acting world. You will go for a gazillion auditions and only make one and even more so you may not actually make it in post production the way you thought you would. Its much of the same in blogging, you can often feel like your peers are getting a lot of brand deals and you have formed no networks despite the countless emails and meetings. Both are competitive industries and you have to get used to the word no but realise that no isn’t the worst thing that happens, it just means move on the next task and sometimes no is ‘not right now’ and the opportunity will come back when it’s right.
Theres no easy or straight path to success
maybe you go to drama school for four years or maybe you just happened to make it big from an open call casting, everyone gets there differently and no way is the wrong way. In blogging you might have started in 2009 or maybe you just did two months ago. Some people will have agents/management some people won’t. Some people will help you and others will not. Some people may have more wealth and access than you. Some people will get into your industry for the wrong reasons. You will wonder what else you could have done and whether you should give up, but don’t.
There is no one way when it comes to a creative industry- or many industries! I often take the time, when comparing myself to my peers, to reflect on my own successes or look over past blog work and pat myself on the back because at the end of the day I did something rather than nothing, I’ve created and will keep creating. This may well be another post I look back on in the future.
When they refer to blogging and youtube as a platform that is exactly how I see it, I hope that my content is helpful, useful, entertaining in someway but it is also not the only facet to me. I used to think you had to be one thing in life but I realise now thats far from the case, I have many dreams and aspirations; blogging and acting are two of them and I can be a master in both and perhaps even more, now I see how similar they can be.