Actors get paid for their performances, for which they’ll usually be required to work around three different levels. One is called a “perception level”, where they are required to make money for being cast. This is the highest, and should be achievable to any actor who works regularly.
As a rule of thumb, it is impossible to be a “profitable” actor working at this level. One must have a passion for the work, but be consistent on every project. This leads to a very high level of pay and to many careers in the entertainment industry.
For the “market” performers who are paid for their role, this is a very low pay figure, and would never be attained. A typical “prestige” acting career (who has no desire to do more than just the occasional television program) would not last very long past the point with which they would begin to hit the “market”, and would be in serious danger of dying there. In fact, many actors who are given the “top pay” in the entertainment industry simply will have to get even more to have the same level of pay, and are stuck at that pay level for years to come.
This is why so much of the talent for which people make major fortunes is found at “top” levels.
What do actors earn?
There are a lot of estimates of actors’ earnings, some of which are not particularly meaningful. You can use the following table as a general guide to some common figures. Note that the list of minimum pay levels is not comprehensive:
Note: the “base pay” is a figure that is not dependent on the performance; this includes all additional amounts in the casting contract, and even pay you might owe to your agent, managers, managers’ fees, and so on. This is the “lowest” figure that may be earned by individuals.
This is generally the starting figure for all an actor’s pay:
There is a different sort of “perception”, called the “probability of success” figure. If an actor makes it to this, they will typically make more in all future projects for which they do not have to do the same thing again. This figure can be quite high:
Again, this is not specific to actor salaries; you can use this as a general starting point.
The first thing to remember about “probability of success” is that it is NOT a fixed figure, as this depends
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