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  • cogswellmatt77

The Cost

I ran another Twitter promotion. I spent $10 for 24-hour promotion. I promoted the YouTube link of my solo show and asked for more followers on Twitter and YouTube. The promotion brought in 11,900+ views and 7601 impressions. I'm still not sure of the difference. The post had one more like, was retweeted once, and brought me six new followers. In that time, my YouTube statistics brought in two views of "38 Cookies, 39 Reasons", one for "Why Can't I Find a Job?", and one for "One Angry Gay Man." I have no additional subscribers.

Back in July, I ran a two-week promotion for my solo show in Providence. It cost me $140. It resulted in a ridiculous amount of views, several retweets, and one of my followers, who is still on my list of twelve followers. I had to pay $135 to put on the show, and the hotel stay (voluntary, but I did not want to commute; the drive to the location from the hotel and back was stressful enough for me) set me back too much money. The three-night run had a total of thirteen different audience members, mostly festival staff. I earned $30.

Twitter has been useless for me. Twenty-nine people looked at my profile recently. I don't know how many of the six new followers were part of the twenty-nine. I won't get followers with only twelve followers to start. Most of my tweets are aimed toward working actors. I yearn to be one of them, but I have yet to figure my way toward that goal. (It is worth noting that since I started putting this together that I've gained the same follower on both Twitter and YouTube. It came in after the promotion ended.) My Instagram has 37 followers, four at least that are spam accounts. I never spent any money on Instagram, but it is an option. I gave up Mastadon after a month and change of no traction. I have 26 connections on LinkedIn, yet 38 followers. I tried TikTok. My videos had 7,260 clicks/views and garnered 100 likes and 4 followers in two months' time. I have a free Facebook page, with 18 followers. There is a way to promote individual posts on your page, but when I attempted to do so, it wasn't accepted. I don't know why, but it would have just been another waste of money. On the playwright-writer end, I paid $12 for a year's membership to New Play Exchange. I've had three recommendations in a month.

Outside the world of social media, which "every actor should have," there are casting services. BostonCasting cost me $120 for a year back in August. I have a "total activity" count of 1241 submissions/considerations, company or client views, or public website hits. No work has come from it. Casting Networks, which Slate Casting falls under, cost me $259.90 for a year also back in August. It has not brought me any work. Backstage cost me $99.95 in December. Thinking I could land some voiceover work, I paid $46.74 for a microphone and $73.22 for basic recording software. I have had four applications thus far that have not landed me any work. Most of the work is far from my apartment.

I returned to three courses' worth of work this week. The 310 total minutes on two different campuses three days last week is earning me money again, but the four days per week I report to a campus makes background/day gigs even more difficult to land because I would have to dedicate the entire day. This past half-week earned me less than my unemployment benefit, so I seem to still be eligible. But, this week, assuming I have four days of work (a snowstorm is predicted), it will bring me to over my benefit amount and thereby make me disqualified. I'll be earning less money this semester than I did the semester before, and that is going to hurt.

I have put out feelers in various ways, including Craigslist, as well as job searched on Indeed and HigherEdJobs. The on-site postings I looked at conflict with my jobs. I've asked people to share my information. Some have. It hasn't brought in additional work yet. I keep trying these methods, sometimes spending too much time per day doing so. It's all I know how to do to balance my teaching life and desired artistic life. I'm grateful for the courses because they bring in more money than not having the courses, obviously. Come mid-May, though, I may be in a completely different situation, and that emotional cost is killing me.

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