While it is obvious that big time actors make big time money, but there are also many others who act, direct, and perform daily who are struggle trying to figure out how to make money while working their craft. Some begin working in television in commercials or for local affiliates, some ply their trade as various entertainers at fairs and theme parks, and others do live theatre work for as many productions as they can to get their name out in the world of acting.
Television commercials are definitely one way for an actor to discover how to make money in their field. While the pay can be pretty good for some commercials, it is often difficult to make it through the audition process, as the competition is fierce. It may take many auditions before an actor actually lands a single job that pays anything. Beyond the amount of time it takes to film the actual commercial, there will be many hours spent trying to get the gig first, which has to be factored into the overall time spent compared to the money earned. Once you are established in the television commercial realm, it may become easier for someone to get more jobs based on their credentials and resume.
Sometimes we have all thought it might be fun to be the person dressed up as Mickey Mouse at Disneyland, or many of the theme park characters we always see when we visit one of these places. While the job is not nearly as glamorous it seems, it is a way beginning actors find out how to make money as they break into the industry. Taking pictures with little kids, dancing around on stage sometimes, and even having to take some levels of abuse from disorderly children is all par for the course with these folks. Being able to handle some of these hardships might bode well for them later when they audition for other gigs, and they are at least earning a steady paycheck in the process.
Many actors do local theatre work for no pay. The flip side is that they are learning their craft and developing the skills so they can learn how to make money with what they have learned later on. The experience they gain is quite valuable, and they can also begin to make a name for themselves over time, which will help them in auditions in the future.
No matter what route they take, it is important for actors to know how to make money in their industry before they become rich and famous. Many will agree that they would rather make small amounts of money still doing things within the industry than just working a regular job outside the industry and still just keep hitting auditions when they can. The acting bug strikes so many people, and if you have it in you, you might find yourself making your way in this industry as well.