An Actor’s Guide to Living in NYC Without Going Broke

Pursuing an acting career in NYC is like spending $1000 on a tropical vacation…but never going on the vacation.

Aside from the sky high cost of living, the audition life limits the amount of time you can commit to a “day job.” And don’t even get me started on the torture that is printing headshots for audition season.

Do you find yourself throwing money at shoes, classes, and casting websites, yet seeing very little return on investment? You’re not alone. Kudos to you for staying on the grind and keeping the dream alive — it isn’t easy.

Here are some of the life hacks that’ve helped me stay afloat since moving to NYC (plus two game-changing resources). Whether you’re focused on making money or saving money, there’s something here for you.

  • If you enjoy working with children and want to make some extra money on weeknights or weekends, check out
  • Their user-friendly interface makes it easy to apply to jobs, message families, and schedule interviews. Also, families can pay you via direct deposit, which is super convenient.
  • Bonus — you can control your own schedule through UrbanSitter’s calendar so families know exactly when you’re available.

2. Classpass

  • This is an awesome service that will change the way you work out — it did for me.
  • For just $125/month, you can take fitness classes at tons of gyms and studios throughout NYC.
  • With so many classes to choose from it’s impossible to get bored, and the cancellation fee holds you accountable for skipped workouts (which really helps me stay honest).
  • Dancers, you can take classes at Ailey Extension, Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway and more with Classpass.

3. TodayTix

  • Download the TodayTix app to get discount tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. Pick up your tickets from a TodayTix Concierge agent at the venue 30 minutes prior to the show.
  • Enter as many lotteries as you want and you could win tickets for as low as $20. What’s better than that?

4. Gypsy Furniture and Gypsy Housing

  • No big secret here, but these groups are a great resource for the NYC performing arts community.
  • You can list, sell, and buy furniture on the Gypsy Furniture Facebook group.
  • Back and forth between NYC and elsewhere on contracts? Sublet your apartment through the Gypsy Housing Facebook group.

Check out these helpful resources too!

  1. Scriptmatch
  • Searching for scripts and audition monologues has never been easier (and it’s free!)
  • You can submit your play or musical (published or unpublished) to their database for great exposure.
  • The intuitive search capabilities let you filter scripts by character traits, genre, time period, and more.

2. Bookster

  • This app is everything! Within a few seconds of navigating the app, it’s clear that this is a super useful tool for the auditioning actor.
  • See upcoming auditions, save your favorites, view the actor forum, and journal about your audition experience (who was behind the table, booked/not booked, your outfit).
  • Go to “Near Me” and you’ll see an interactive map with upcoming auditions in your area- talk about convenient!

Hope you found something useful in this post! What do you do to make/save money? Let us know — tweet your hacks and helpful audition resources @AuditionAnswer. Speaking of freebies, check out our contest and you could be the lucky winner of a new pair of LaDucas!