In this episode, I'm speaking with Jaclyn Friedlander, who is an actor, an Ocean Conservation and Marine Life expert, and the creator of Friends with Fins.
Jaclyn explains how she moved from New York to continue her dreams in Los Angeles, and she recommends saving your money so that you can cover yourself as you look for work.
Her path went from full time Stand-In on a TV show, to booking an agent, to booking a national commercial. Jaclyn explains the breakdown of making an income on national commercials: you get paid every time the commercial airs, in addition to your day rate.
Expenses that people may not think about as an actor: percentage of your paycheck goes to SAG-AFTRA, a percentage will go to your agent/manager, and you have to pay dues to SAG-AFTRA ever year. (Some unions, like my union ADG, have members pay dues 4 times a year.)
Commercials also require a non-compete, meaning if you star in company's commercial, you can't act in any other commercials for a similar product, or a competitive product for a certain amount of time. The chick that plays Flo on the Progressive commercials could never act in a commercial for Geico, or another car insurance company.
During her years in Los Angeles, Jaclyn followed her passion for ocean conservation, volunteering at aquariums and taking as many classes as she could. This led to Friends with Fins, Jaclyn's passion project that consists of weekly ocean videos, children's books, author visits and presentations at elementary schools and teacher conferences across the country.
I LOVE that she followed her dreams to create an entire business that still allows her to act and be creative. Her passion comes through in her videos, and I'm a little obsessed! Here is the video that I kept mentioning:
In terms of monetization, Jaclyn opted out of YouTube ads because she felt it wasn't right as these videos are frequenting children's classrooms. She is able to make money by selling her books, author visits at schools, and speaking engagement.
The future of Friends with Fins will hopefully include a TV show that Jaclyn is working on now.
What I also love is that Jaclyn works hard and pushes outside of her comfort zone to grow Friends with Fins as a business. Her actions are inspiring!
Jaclyn's advice: set time-specific goals that you can work towards (and we teach how to do this in LA Bounders), and pick a day job that closely relates to your dream job so that you have the opportunity to make connections with people who can hire you.
If you'd like to get in touch with Jaclyn, here are all of her links: