How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?

If you’re able to sing the tune for which the title of this entry is referencing, then you must have had a grandma or aunt or mother like mine. One that tortured you with songs she would sing in the car, doing the dishes, or while shopping for bras at JC Penney!

To answer your burning question as to why I would bring up dogs, mothers or economically priced undergarments, it’s because today I’ve been pondering the transactional nature of acting and how it affects my approach to the business. Reminder here for any and all of you who may think otherwise: beyond the lights and camera and stages and dressing rooms, this is a multi-billion dollar business. I absolutely understand those of you that would rather live in denial of this fact, but your denial won’t change reality (trust me, I’ve tried many times to deny being 5’8” or deny having curly hair…). Accepting that something you love and feel compelled to do above anything else will mean, at some point in your career, negotiating for that thing is a must as an actor.

The past few years, I’ve arrived at a place, where there are enough credits on my resume and enough people aware of my work (and my work ethic) that I am able to have a quote for the roles I am offered. This is not always the case, because each job comes with it’s own set of unique offerings on top of a rapidly changing business model. But, even without a quote, I know that by paying attention to the current trends, knowing what is out there and the direction of the business, understanding that sometimes a relationship or a connection will trump a payday and most important of all: knowing my own worth, all add up to me having a very strong understanding of what is for sale in that window and what it costs.

Do you know what you’re worth? Are you letting someone else determine that for you? I truly hope not. My hope is that you not only know your worth, but you make sure everyone around you knows it too.