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Eight Ways to Be Like Robinhood

November 2, 2011

Robinhood was a lovely human being.

He stole from the rich, and gave to the poor.  As theatre professionals, we have got to be more like him.  Personally, I’ve become very tricky.  For example, did you know I have roughly eight (yes EIGHT) highly qualified personal trainers at my beck and call?

Ok, that is a sliiiight exaggeration.  However, it’s not totally removed from the truth.

I’m very lucky.  My job that pays my bills just so happens to be at a gym and we get a free membership as employees (score number 1!).  When I work out, I strategically place myself approximately 9.7645 feet away from the members who I think have the best bodies.  And who, might you ask, is standing roughly 2.5 feet from them?  THEIR PERSONAL TRAINERS!  Hooray!! (score number 2!)  As my targeted member squats and stretches and bends and squats again, I am not far, squatting and stretching and bending and squatting again too! … however, my George Washingtons are all hiding  in my locker.  All seven of them ….

This past week, my best friend was put up in a beautiful Wall Street hotel for a work conference (she’s a financial adviser … and doing very well – I’m so proud).  Anyways, we didn’t have much time to see each other, so I slept over for a night.  In the morning, I realized there were many things around the room.  I could look at them as one of two things: Stuff To Be Used During Our Stay or …. Gifts (please say this like “Buddy” from Elf).  I chose the latter.  No, I didn’t take every shampoo, conditioner, or vegetable soap – that would be cheap – but my bag was slightly heavier when I left than when I first walked in.  Besides, if I hadn’t done so, the complimentary Nantucket Nectars Orange Juice never would have told me “Cars were not allowed on Nantucket until 1918.”  I feel as though I was reimbursed ten fold because, guys, knowledge is power.

Eight Way To Steal From The Rich And Give To The Poor When The Poor Is You And The Rich Is … not you.

1. Find deals on Actor Q ( This is a terrific site that is similar to Groupon, Living Social, etc. except it’s geared towards actors.  Get discounted photo shoots, theatre tickets, workshops etc.

2. Be the Write Off Queen (or King) Save your receipts!  Learn about the myriad of things you can write off. You’ll be surprised – You can write off a portion of your rent (studio space!), portion of your electric bill (light for your studio space!), any cab rides or lunches happening between auditions, rehearsals etc., scripts, plays, books having to do with acting, marketing etc., haircuts!, audition clothes, gym memberships, make up you use for headshots or shows…the list goes on.  You just need to know how to justify it, and, of course, be legal about it.

3. Subscribe to I LOVE this blog.  Ever walked around NYC, looking for something cool to sporadically appear.  It’s New York!  Doesn’t that happen all the time?  Sometimes, no.  However, with The Skint, I don’t miss a beat.  They tell me about every free and/or cheap event going on on the island and in the Burroughs.  Subscribe to their email list.

4. Take advantage of “Gratis Jabon” Wednesdays.  Well, at least this is what the signs say in my laundromat.  Gratis Jabon= Free soap!  Why the hell not!

5. Save bottles. I redeemed 95 cents worth today 🙂 I’m keeping all my nickels in a container to prove to myself that the trek from my apartment to the grocery store is worth it … and I think it will be.  Every little bit counts!

6. Go to Yoga to the People ( This is a great yoga studio where you “pay what you can.” Usually I drop only about $5 per class rather than the usual $20+ required at many other places.  Avoid the mat rental fee and invest in one of their quality mats or just score a cheap one at the K-Mart nearby (Astor Place).  Oh yes, and Namaste’.

7.  Find free theatre. Ok, so some of it ends up being bad, but keep sorting through and you’ll find quality stuff.  For example, Convergences Theatre Collective holds free Web Readings every so often.  Never been to a web reading?  Then you’ll definitely want to check them out.  Like them on facebook to stay current.  Also, at Upright Citizens Brigade, “Asssscat” performs for free every Sunday night.  They are incredibly hilarious improvisers and last time I saw them, guest performers included SNL’s Taran Killam and Bobby Moynihan.  I know.  Seriously.  So grab a friend and get in line a couple of hours early.  Show starts at 9:30pm.

8. Shoplift. Oh my god, just kidding.

Anyone else have any money-saving tips?  Your beautiful faces and wonderful comments are always welcome below!

Onwards and Upwards,

12 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2011 7:54 am

    This is a really neat concept and great tips! I’ve never heard of Yoga for the People (it just might not be where I live), but that’s awesome. I think its amazing how when you allow people to “pay what they can”, most often they truly do rather than trying to be cheap. Maybe it’s the knowing they don’t HAVE to…

    • November 5, 2011 11:09 pm

      “Pay what you can” is seriously the loveliest thing ever. I wish there was more like it! And, from my experience, it really seems mutually beneficial. Where are you located?? Are you doing the whole theatre thing too?? Good to have you! And thank you so much for reading and commenting … Stephanie Bephanie Fe Fi Fo Fephanie Stephanie! haha

  2. The Reflective Artist permalink
    November 2, 2011 9:01 am

    So great to have such a complete list here. I had no idea about ActorQ, but I just signed up. Thanks for the recommendation!

    This has been stated on this blog before, but I’ll say it again: another way to save on resources as an actor is to GO TO THE LIBRARY. If you’re poor and can’t afford to buy that play you need to read, that soundtrack you need to listen to, that sheet music you need for an audition, or even guides for an accent you’re trying to learn, the New York Public library probably has it for you. I have saved so much money just from having a library card–which was free!

    • November 2, 2011 11:54 am

      Oh, totally. I am pretty much obsesed with the NYPL.

    • November 5, 2011 11:11 pm

      Yes! Such a great idea – I love that place! And you can watch videos of all past shows on Broadway. ooo! Next rainy day that’s what I wanna do!

  3. The Reflective Artist permalink
    November 2, 2011 12:09 pm

    ALSO: if you want to do something physical and can’t afford a gym/yoga membership (and don’t have the good fortune to work at a fitness venue), then you can also look for work study opportunities. Many yoga studios in NYC offer a free class for about 2 hours of work study, which usually consists of folding blankets, cleaning mats, sweeping the studio, etc. I know some dance studios offer discounted classes for work study, too–handing out fliers, and occasionally working at their desk or doing odd jobs around their studio. Definitely an affordable way to get into that for easy manual labor. All you have to do is ask!

  4. November 2, 2011 7:25 pm

    Newb, you had me at ‘Robinhood’.

    Seriously, I’m rippling with excitement over Good lookin’ out. You’re the big frugal wing of whom NYC artists are in dire need.

  5. Dan Krstyen permalink
    November 3, 2011 8:12 pm

    Great Tips Katelyn!

    I was wondering if you have any tips on what NOT to pay for or do as far as scams or ridiculous rip-off classes ect go. Thanks for the knowledge your blog is awesome!

    • November 5, 2011 11:23 pm

      Thanks Dan! I would say, don’t pay to act. If you audition for, say, a theatre company that asks for “dues.” Don’t really do it. Or should I say – don’t really DUE it. oh haha. puns.

      Anyways – It’s not the end of the world if you do it once. I did it. Simply put, I have a specific goal and I needed to achieve it and paying a company dues was going to help me do so. What I’m saying is, right now one of my goals is to be in three plays before my birthday in April. I really needed to jumpstart that a few months ago, so I auditioned for Love Creek Theatre Productions which asks for an annual payment, but it also guarantees you a few roles. So I did it, knowing that I may dub the decision as a “mistake,” but if I’m going to make a “mistake” with money and misplace it, I’d rather get something out of it, theatrically. However, I knew that paying to act was something I was initially against and I won’t be doing it again. It was just important for me to hit that number. I’m two down. One to go by April. It helped.

  6. November 5, 2011 11:27 pm

    PS – Sorry to everyone for taking so long to respond! Ironically, I’ve been working non stop. lol.

  7. July 23, 2012 12:00 pm

    Reblogged this on Katelyn Collins.

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