- Written by Jennifer Caldwell
05 Oct 2012
These hard times have got at least one gal seriously in need of some cash flow. Yesterday, I went on down to a nifty outfit called The Actors Fund to attend a career assessment workshop. Upon arrival, our fearless career counselor, John Mattson. passed out a number of valuable handouts and assessment materials.
The workshop lasted two and a half hours. The whole point is to begin to zone in on what the heck it is that we should be focusing on in terms of finding some work. During the session, participants engage in all kinds of exercises designed to help us contemplate our true desires and analyze where we're at and where we want to be with regard to our skills and education.
These assessments cost a pretty penny in the office of an occupational therapist. At the Actors Fund, these tools are free of charge!
They've also got classes on resume writing, interview skills, job search strategies and cash flow planning, to name a few. Boy, these are really coming in handy right now! In addition these workshops, the Fund offers several other programs and services.
If you're looking for a place to live, The Actors Fund has a subscription to Westside Rentals that you can use at the office for free. There are also some plans underway to provide some 100 low-rent housing units at the ambitious Broadway Arts Center in downtown Los Angeles. This past spring, I participated in research for this project by filling out a survey expressing my opinion about what would be ideal for a low-rent multi-use space for artists in downtown Los Angeles. Pretty darn exciting, I'd say.
Nationwide, The Fund owns several residences where elder people and people living with AIDS can get low cost housing. In Los Angeles, the Palm View residence provides this kind of much needed assistance for people in the industry diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
The tax man is on his way up the stairs and, if you are able to produce a union card, you can get free tax assistance at the office through the VITA program. I've done this before and it really helps to find out what all you can and cannot deduct from your entertainment biz taxes.
Inspiration is on tap at he Actors Fund website, where you can click on a tab called "Podcasts" and find many videos related to job search and career building skills and strategies.
Finally, if you end up in a real bind, and you qualify as working primarily in the industry, you can get emergency social services, including crisis intervention and financial assistance for such necessities as rent, utilities and medical costs. This assistance is granted on a case by case basis and can be a real life saver.
As for me, I'm planning on continuing to frequent this valuable resource for the entertainment community. Just putting it out there for anyone else who may need these services or those who may want to make a donation to the Actors Fund. It's a non-profit entity, and a tax write off for the end of the year!
NEED TO KNOW:
The Actors Fund - Los Angeles
5757 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 410
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Hours: M-F 9-4:30
Vol 10 Issue 80
Pub: Oct 5, 2012