Do Some Things for Free


Counting down eight personal and professional tips from Liz Gumbinner.

As with most things in life, it's not about the money you earn but the experiences you make. Contributing our expertise or time to an activity or project can lead to a richer life as well as contact with others with similar interests and professions. As the saying goes, "Tis better to give than receive." In acting this can be especially true, where playwrights and composers are always seeking ways to get their material out to an audience, and this often involves little to no pay. 

For example, after two years of auditioning and pounding the pavement in NYC, I finally landed my first Off-Broadway show. It was a beautiful new musical by a wonderful composer/lyricist team. However, it had barely any pay and required a lot of rehearsal time. So much so I had to cut back hours significantly at my survival day job. But the unique role and the chance to work with 5 other talented performers (and creative team) paid in other ways that a paycheck just can't match.

That show, aptly named THE EXTRAORDINARY ORDINARY, gave me the confidence that I had made the right decision in moving to NYC and gave me hope and momentum moving forward in my career. In fact, the following year I landed Co-Star roles in two TV shows and was cast in my first National Tour. It really was extraordinary year!