fran drescher
SAG-AFTRA president shares what 86% of actors on strike are really paid in a year
02:51 - Source: CNN
New York CNN  — 

For every glitzy movie star in Hollywood, there are hundreds of actors living paycheck to paycheck working odd jobs when gigs dry up.

Some wait tables. Others film short videos for fans on Cameo, fetching anywhere up to $1 to $1,500.

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The reality of actors’ livelihoods has come into full focus since the SAG-AFTRA strike began on July 14. Seeking extra cash, many out-of-work thespians have flocked to Cameo, a site where they can earn income from fans who buy personalized celebrity videos.

Since the strike began, more than 2,400 performers have joined or reactivated their Cameo accounts. That’s an increase of 137%, Cameo CEO Steven Galanis told CNN Business. It’s the biggest influx since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, when the virus essentially shut down the industry.

“You just assume that they’re making all this money, they’re rich and famous, but the vast majority of them just aren’t,” Galanis said. “Something like Cameo is certainly the better way for many of them to bridge the gap.”

Even SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher, who created and starred in the ’90’s sitcom “The Nanny,” reactivated her account this week, Cameo said. Drescher charges $1,500 for a video.

Drescher wishes fans a speedy recovery or happy birthday with her signature, raspy New York accent. Some videos on Cameo are as casual as a short conversation on FaceTime.