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How Much Does it Cost to Get Started in the Acting and Modeling Industry?

October 16, 2013 2 Comments

From Jeff, FL:

 What are the usual start-up costs for getting started as a model


Dear Jeff:

These figures are pretty general because every city has a different price structure for getting started. But, by reading this blog, you will have a pretty good ball park figure as to what you need to save before getting into the acting and modeling industry.

Along with making sure you have some acting skills, the next step is to have a head shot taken. That is the most basic and essential investment you will make outside of acting classes/private sessions.

Once you decide on a head shot to use, you will need to have some professionally printed. You could start off by getting as few as 25 – 50 head shots printed.  Depending on which printer you use, it could cost between $50-$100.

Instead of immediately printing head shots and comp cards, you might want to create 1 or 2 samples by simply printing them on a very high quality printer at a local printing store near you. That will allow you to spend a few dollars, show the photos to agents, and if they like them, then spend $50-$100 getting them printer by a specialty printer. If the agent likes you, but not your photos, then you were only out around $2.50.


If you read my book, How to Become a Successful Actor and Model, you will learn how to  get test photos free. Here is something you can try. Once you have read about how to put together strong commercial photos and really understand what you must do before a head shot session, then contact a local college or university and talk with an instructor in the art department. See if there are any photography classes.

Then contact the teacher and ask him/her if there are any students interested in putting together a strong commercial portfolio. The arrangement will be, you won’t charge the student your normal modeling fees, and the student will not charge you for the session. You might get some great photos FREE. The most important thing is to be able to tell and show the photographer how to create strong and marketable commercial photos.


Many agents either require their actors and or models to either pay a monthly or annual fee to be on their web site or another company’s web site that the agent uses to market their talent.

There are some sites that offer a free membership, but then the talent needs to pay a small fee every time they submit themselves for projects. Or, talent could spend around $100-$150 a year
to be on a site.

So, if you follow my plan, you could actually get started by investing in my book and around $2.50-$3.75 in printing a sample head shot and or comp card.

For under $200 you can actually get started in the acting and modeling industry.

Here are some additional blogs that will help you get started or get more work in the industry.

What Type of Acting Class Should I Take?

All Actors and Models Need This Free Ap

This video The Ultimate Guide to Success Video
is a must view for anyone wanting to get started or
to take their career to the next level.

About the Author:

Aaron Marcus has been a full-time actor and commercial model for over 30 years. His new book, How to Become a Successful Actor and Model is an Amazon Best Seller. Aaron has given his seminar: "Book the Job" over 600 times spanning 3 continents. He also offers online workshops. Aaron saves 5 days each month to give private on-line coaching sessions.

Comments (2)

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  1. Heaven says:

    Hi Aaron Marcus I am from Yonkers NY and hope you will see this. I’m working extremely hard to earn up the money to have a model scouts model profile, and also to arrange a one on one consultation with you. I just want you to know that I absolutely dream of becoming a model and I just don’t know how to create a portfolio and am scared to invest my money into creating a profile and not getting any results in ten days…is there any small advice I can get from you? Reason of me being scared is because I’m 19 years old living in my own apartment, paying my own rent and taking care of myself while helping others. I work in a school and work extremely hard to keep my head above water but soon one day I know I’ll be a successful model. Aaron Marcus I have so much respect for you please reach out to me if you can. Sincerely Heaven Rodriguez 🙂

    • aaron84 says:

      Hi Heaven,
      I have so much respect for not only what you are doing but how you are going about doing things. Don’t spend any money on a portfolio yet. Let me teach you how to create the right types of photos and even get some pictures taken free.
      If you are available on July 16th, I will have a great workshop in NY that will feel more like a private session ( but costing less) and I bringing in a great commercial agent to talk as well. You can get the details about the workshop by visiting
      My best advice right now is not to rush into anything until you get the right information.
      Best wishes.

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