Economic crisis hits showbiz, yet again: Find out how actors are placed with their finances
Besides the health crisis, the ongoing pandemic has also taken a toll on many people’s finances including those in the entertainment industry, especially, as work has been very sporadic in the past 14 months. There have also been unfortunate cases of actors ending their lives due to struggle to survive. As the industry is slowly opening up, we talk to actors about how they are keeping stock of their finances.
For actor Shloka Pandit, who recently made her film debut with Hello Charlie, the lack of work has affected her.
“I live alone in Mumbai and have rent to pay. I’m thankful that I have my parents who can help me. It’s the case for most actors because we don’t have a fixed salary. If we don’t have projects, we don’t get any money. We’ve to cut down on expenses, use what’s necessary and just living on essentials. All the extravagance has gone out of the window and rightly so,” says Pandit.
Actor Meera Deosthale, whose last TV show Vidya ended in March 2020, admits that she, too, has cut back on expenses ever since the lockdown happened last year.
“Us actors have a lifestyle to maintain but I don’t spend when it’s not necessary. For a year, I haven’t shopped anything, no new clothes. This is how I’ve been saving money. I’ve seen friends who didn’t save money and had to go back to their parents’ house to live, as they couldn’t afford rent,” she points out.
Noting a similar situation, Bidita Bag says that so many actors who are depressed because of no or low income in the past year.
“It’s a scary situation. Thanks to my savings, I’m not in that phase. But, many are helpless, and some film body needs to take note of that and do something to help them. We can’t ignore the financial troubles actors are facing,” she asserts.
Given that acting is such a profession where everything depends on shoots, things got very difficult for artistes as work hasn’t been smooth in the last one year.
“My film shoot got stalled and I can’t even take new work right now because of the situation. Finances have been affected. I’ve been doing some music videos and that has taken care of my income. I’m doing whatever I can to earn,” says Himansh Kohli , who is currently in Delhi, “helping my father in his business and looking after the accounts.”
Due to the situation, many confess to have got themselves occupied with other sources of income beyond acting.
“I’ve been focusing on digital work to keep the income inflow. It’s important to do that. We’re lucky to have the option of using technology to help our work. So, videos, collaborations are not only keeping me busy but also helping me earn,” shares Delnaaz Irani, who has also been doing online chat shows.
While actor Sharad Malhotra acknowledges the economic setback many have faced, he stresses on the importance of saving.
“The expenses are high, we have houses to maintain and EMIs to pay. For actors, it becomes difficult because payment is on project basis. It’s unfortunate that we’re eating out of our savings, as there’s no income currently. So, it’s important to save 30 percent of what you earn and invest smartly. Until then, we’ve to wait for our cheques to come in and work to start,” he hopes.