The financial life of an actor can be described in one word: tragic. And in all fairness, being poor sucks. However, the bohemian lifestyle has its higher points as well.
I have found that by living the life of a poor actor, I am not only more grateful for the things I have and can afford, but, I am also quite creative when it comes to spending. Riddle me this: It is the end of the month. I am patiently awaiting my next paycheck. My Coffee Emporium account is at nil, I’m out of smokes, the pantry is slim pickins, I owe my roommate five bucks, and my gas tank leaves a lot to be desired. What do I do? Well typically, I prioritize. Do I always make the right choices? I would say less than regularly. I usually pick gas first, and then scrape some coins together to go have a beer with a friend and say to hell with the rest of the list.
Then, of course, there are the “cop out” options. For example, why buy a song on iTunes when I can easily just listen to it on YouTube. Or perhaps I can’t find the right shirt to wear to an opening night party at the theatre. I can always borrow one from the costume shop and forego the twenty-five bucks I would have spent at Target.
I know, that no matter what, I will find a way to make ends meet. Even if my car runs out of gas and I have to take the bus for the rest of the month. Or even if I have to survive on only cereal and ramen for a few days, all will be well. And, I have to say, I kind of enjoy it.
The way I see it – everything does happen for a reason. I am learning a lot by going through this time in my life. And I am so happy and grateful to have a job in my field right out of college that pays me. And I don’t have to pay rent! I am so lucky!
One day I will be rich and successful (here’s to hoping!) and I will look back on these days and smile. Until then, I will just listen to “La vie boheme” on repeat, and celebrate the lifestyle I have chosen along with the cast of Jonathan Larson’s Rent.
Cheers! In the immortal words of Mark Cohen, “We raise our glass, you bet your ass, to la vie boheme!”