I often wrestle with how much money I should reinvest in myself and my business. With enough income to afford it and clear, measurable returns manifested in my business earnings, what’s “worth it” isn’t ultimately too hard to determine- at least in retrospect. I wish I could say the same of my experience as an actor. Income is rarely if ever in surplus in “the biz” and classes are a necessary and costly expense. With a few rare exceptions (the callback coaching session that lands a Broadway booking), return on investment is nearly impossible to quantify, so naturally, I struggle with how to respond when asked, “How much should actors spend on classes?”
Today, I’m sharing some guest insights from actor and musical theatre coach Raja Burrows to help quantify which career investments are worthwhile for actors. Please join me in welcoming him to the blog today.
Now, I want to give a quick rundown of the various types of training that are out there, as well as what I feel would make them “worth it” to you or not. To be clear, this list is both subjective and incomprehensive – I’m not going to list any specific classes because everyone’s class experience is unique. Instead, I’m going to be talking about the broad categories that many classes fall into.
At the end of the day, your primary responsibility is to be an informed consumer. Thanks to the internet, you can find out just about anything you could possibly want to know. Of course, you’re never going to know exactly how something’s going to turn out until you actually do it. But you never want to feel blindsided, especially with so much money on the line. The real key to being “strategic” in this profession is know thyself. If you know what you want, then you can take practical, implementable steps towards getting it. Ultimately, it’s worth it to take the time to figure that out as opposed to spending your money and hoping the answer falls in your lap.
Raja Burrows is an expert Typologist and off-Broadway actor/singer. As a coach, he has worked with musical theatre actors in New York City and across the country, with a keen eye towards maximizing each singer’s personal ownership of every audition. He has extensively studied Jungian Typology, Myers-Briggs, and Keirsey, and can help you discover how to maximize your inherent strengths and feel confident in any audition scenario you find yourself in. You can visit him at rajaburrows.com as well as on his own blog at thejollyraja.wordpress.com.
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