In Thailand, where there is no union and hardly any agents that will represent you or fight for you, it’s important to know your worth as an actor. Here are some pointers:
1) Minimum Wage
Think about what is the absolute minimum wage you want to work for. What is your minimum wage? Pick a number you’re comfortable to work with for one day on set and make that your minimum no matter what happens. Don’t go below that. This is one aspect of defining and knowing your worth as an actor.
2) Happy Rate
What is your happy rate? I call it the happy rate because it’s the rate you feel comfortable with. What’s the rate that makes you go on set and you really want to do your best? Think about your happy rate that’ll make you appreciate every minute you are on set. Everything you do, you do it happily and whatever they tell you to do, you just want to do it. Now that you have these two numbers, I want you to make your happy rate your minimum rate. Your happy rate is an indicator to know your worth as an actor.
And to do that, you need to invest in yourself. You need to invest time and maybe also money.
1. Work on student films
Working on student films is such a way to gain experience, get exposure, and get footage for your reel. Maybe you’ve done a few extra parts, featured extra, or done some supporting roles. But if you’re working on a student film, they’re desperate for actors. They need actors for their projects. Maybe you can get the main part or you can learn on set what it takes to get the main part because it’s very different from playing a featured extra or an extra.
2. Make your own projects
If you have time available, don’t waste your time sitting around and complaining that there’s are no jobs out there. Make your own project, write a script for yourself, and work with your friends. If you know some people who want to get into filmmaking, make a movie with them. Make short films. This is such a good way to build a reel and a good reputation. And to have something you can show is yours is a proud moment.
3. Join a theatre production
There’s a bank of community theatre out there that accept actors in their production. This is a great way to get experience as well as training because of the theatre productions that last several months. You get to know people and establish connections. It’s the first place I played when I came to Bangkok and the people I worked with back then are ones I’m still friends with. And we’re still in contact. They’ve been helping me out in business.
4. Workshops and acting classes
Join workshops and acting classes. When I first started out, I took so many workshops. There are free workshops out there, there are paid workshops out there and there’s so much to learn. Acting is a lifelong journey that you’re on. Be open, expand, don’t limit yourself. Learn new things. You have no idea where this journey is going to take you.
It all starts from knowing what you’re worth then upgrading yourself, investing in yourself, and getting better at what you’re doing. People will see your determination and they will appreciate it. It will benefit you. So don’t stop growing. Believe in yourself and know you’re worth it.
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More information on how to enter the acting industry in Thailand: How to become an actor in Thailand