Actor’s Survival Kit

The Actor’s Survival Kit has been the backbone of Business of Acting courses and a constant resource for its many readers across Canada. But, after seven years and two editions, the business has changed. Peter Messaline and Miriam Newhouse have revised the original Actor’s Survival Kit and addressed a number of issues and areas of current concern. These include: Online Casting – the happening thing, or still a scam? Megamusicals – they swept the country, but will they provide work in the future? Motion capture, realtime animation -opportunity or problem? Women and Minorities – have they replaced the rule of dead white males? Multi-Media Productions – ACTRA is moving, but is it soon enough? The third edition of The Actor’s Survival Kit gives the actor fresh research and today’s experience, new lists of country-wide contacts, and input from current success stories.

About the Author

Peter Messaline is often seen in Canadian and American commercials. He is seen, but rarely recognized, in bad-guy roles. He has performed at both the Stratford and Shaw festivals, and on stages from Vancouver to Montreal, from Fort McMurray to Niagara Falls, and in half a dozen U.S. regional theatres. He is a performers’ tax preparer and college seminar host on the Business of Acting. Miriam Newhouse has acted and directed in Canada, the United States, Britain, Denmark, and Holland. She has performed in theatres large and small across the country, and has played principal roles in television, radio, and feature film. She continues to be a guest lecturer at Toronto-area colleges, and is the Labour Co-chair of the Ontario Ministry of Labour Advisory Committee for Health and Safety in the Performing Arts.


  1. Taking Charge: Art is business. Make smart business decisions.
  2. Gloomy Reality: Low pay, unemployment, discrimination, rejection.
  3. Working to Get Work: Investment, research, networking, persistance.
  4. Show and Tell: Resume, photographs and video
  5. The Art of Auditioning: Theatre, musicals, film/video, commercials, voiceover
  6. Be Prepared: Fees, negotiation, contracts, conflicts
  7. Hi Ho, Hi Ho: Day to day, what it’s like to work in each industry
  8. Job Etiquette
  9. The Ten Percent Solution: What an agent does, what an agent doesn’t do, getting an agent, leaving an agent, do you need an agent?
  10. All for One – But is it for You? Unions
  11. Fitness: Health, physical fitness, skill training
  12. Grownups: Multiple jobs, making work, government and taxes

Bonus material:

  • 15-page Glossary
  • 12 pages of Addresses (Unions, Agents, Publications, Companies, etc.)

The Actor’s Survival Kit: Third Edition

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