Grants for Actors

We usually think of actors as glamorous personalities always basking in the glare of klieg lights, pampered and adored by blushing fans all over the world. But cliché as clichés go, they are human beings too, who weren’t born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouth. Many of them would have started at the lowest rung of the acting world, as extras or mere stage hands, in charge of towels and props of the main actors. Actors dream of getting their coveted role of a lifetime but before they do, they go through some of life’s most trying moments and believe it or not, should they need it, there are grants for actors that can help them through until they get to the big time.

Actors would know the needs of their fellow actors. One of them, knowing how hard it is to go from one audition to another and how this could take its toll on one’s shoes, thought of putting up an actor’s shoe fund, and thus the Conrad Cantzen Memorial Shoe Fund was born. It was 1945 and Conrad believed that casting directors would get good first impressions from actors with a good pair of shoes. If you are an actor who is currently unemployed in the entertainment field and performing arts and member of an actor’s union, you can be reimbursed up to the amount of $40.00 for a pair of shoes that cost you not more than $100.00. You can mail the application form (downloadable from their website) to:

The Actors Fund
729 Seventh Avenue, 10th floor
New York, NY 10019
Attn: Shoe Fund

The Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowships are grants for actors who want to advance their artistic and professional goals. Recipients must show interests in deepening and enriching their professional commitment to the performing arts, and must be able to work outside their own comfort zones. The fellowships come in two categories, namely: first, to actors who are in their early to mid-careers and have completed training within the last 15 years; and second, to actors who have wide experience in professional theater. The first award is called “extraordinary potential” and gives $15,000 to the recipient. Another $10,000 is added if the recipient has student loan debt. The second award is called “distinguished achievement” and carries a $25,000 bounty. The theatre that hosts the actors will be given $7,500 to defray the cost of the actors.

There are many other grants for actors that you can apply for and help you establish your career in the performing arts. You may have to wait for the best role for a long time, but it will come if you are patient enough.

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