If Money = Dedication, I Care About My Career. A Lot.
I did my taxes last night after groaning for nearly four weeks about needing to do them. The good news, is that I spent a lot of money on my career last year so I will have plenty of business deductions. The bad news, is that I did not organize any of my receipts so it took nearly five hours to wade through the muck. The good news, is that I kept all of my receipts! The bad news, is that I made less money as a performer in 2008 than I did in 2007. The good news, is that super sister accountant Robin does my taxes for free! The bad news...well...there isn't really any bad news when you have a super accountant in your corner. I think I'll just stop there!
Holy crapola, I spent a lot of money on my career. More, in fact, than I think I ever have in the past. Although, it may just be that I'm getting better at saving my receipts and tracking my business expenses. Next time I think I'm not taking enough classes, I'll give myself a break and refer to my '08 educational write-offs.
I keep a detailed tally sheet that lists my itemized deductions from year to year and I'm beginning to notice some trends. Money spent on headshot reproductions? WAY down! Everything is online these days and while that costs money too, it's a lot less than forking over expensive heashots at every single audition. If I only knew what to do with all the excess headshots sitting in boxes on my desk...
Acting classes? Way up! I decided to recommit to studying my craft and it shows. I feel better and stronger, even though my pockets are a bit emptier. But I'm hoping that money will eventually make it's way back to me.
Business expenses? Way up! The more serious I get about my career, the more I seem to be investing in it. Last year I bought a camcorder, a tripod, a hardrive and a much needed laptop with editing capability so that I could start working on my craft and stop waiting for others to decide my fate.
And yeah, I made less money acting in '08 than I did in '07, but it was still my best year yet. I'm here to tell you that there will be good years and spare years and that it comes with the territory. No embarrassment here. I'll save when the going is good and I'll skimp when work dries up.
And if I can be your mother for just one moment, let me encourage you to SAVE SAVE SAVE the receipts for your business deductions, especially if you live in California. The state of California is eeeevil and they can go back three years and audit you. The state has a huge deficit. How do you think they make up that deficit? By auditing poor actors who try to write off things like Starbucks. So, keep your receipts for at least three fiscal years and consider paying a minimal amount of money to an accountant who can itemize your deductions in a way that won't raise any red flags.
Sister Robin, please tell me I'm getting a refund. And here's to hoping that if I do, it won't go to new tires this year!