Acting Tips

How to Start an Acting company

QUESTION:

I didn’t know where to start for info. Thanks.
I have started an acting company and need to know what I need to do as far as the business side. I am the one who is promoting, producing, auditioning, purchasing costumes. It’s a full-time job. This has to be beneficial to me financially. How much do I pay myself and how much would I pay my actors.

Thank you so much.

Pat Lowery
South’s Best Acting Company

ANSWER:

Congratulations on taking on this huge task. I feel I should warn you that making a profit with a theater company is hard, especially if you live in a big city where a lot of shows compete.

A lot of theater producers for off-off-Broadway don’t pay themselves anything and the same goes for their actors, who take theater roles to build their resumes and get exposure, as well as for the love of it. Of course, if you can pay your actors and yourself, that’s great. If you want to work with Equity actors, you will have to abide by a set amount of guidelines, so check their website. If you can’t pay your actors, you can get an Equity Showcase waiver, but again check with the union for requirements.

Here are a few tips I can share from my experience starting a theater company in New York…

1) If you spend money on anything, spend it on a good publicist. Nothing will help you succeed as much as getting reviews. If you are trying to promote yourself as an actor also, then a good publicist will get agents and casting directors to come. To make their jobs easier, try to cast an up-and-coming actor in one of the roles.

2) Selling tickets can be hard when you have a new company without a big mailing list. Consider offering special deals like 2 for 1 on matinees in targeted magazines. This worked great for me.

Good luck. Feel free to add comments below from time to time to share how things are going. Contact us and we’ll announce your opening night on our blog.

Leave a Comment