Out of work actors sign up for Cameo video app for cash

An app that lets celebrities — from athletes to actors — report and promote customized video messages has seen a surge in sign-ups as the Hollywood strikes drag on

Greater than a month into The Display Actors Guild and American Federation of Tv and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strike, which started on July 14, 1000’s of actors are turning to video app Cameo for money. 

They use their appearing abilities, with out violating the strike guidelines, to report brief greeting movies they promote to followers for as little as a couple of dollars and as a lot as 1000’s of {dollars}. Cameo additionally lets actors promote movies to companies, basically as spokespeople, by means of its Cameo for Enterprise arm.

Even recognizable actors with roles in widespread motion pictures and TV collection can wrestle to make ends meet, notably within the age of streaming. They report taking over second jobs as waiters, bartenders, flight attendants, roles far faraway from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, to pay their payments once they’re not on display. 

On Cameo, which has been round for six years, greater than 50,000 performers set their very own charges. Followers can buy movies to ship to mates as presents for weddings, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, birthdays and different events. For customers, the common video prices roughly $80. The app takes a 25% reduce of the posted price. 

Summer time surge

Enterprise is often sluggish in the summertime season, in accordance with the app’s CEO Steven Galanis. However in July, the service noticed a 137% improve within the variety of expertise that both reactivated their Cameo accounts or joined the app for the primary time. 

“We have seen a major spike over the previous month and a half because the SAG strike started,” Galanis advised CBS MoneyWatch. “Cameo is often busiest round holidays, so it is atypical to see a spike like that, and the factor that is modified is the strike.”

SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher is among the many large identify actors which have reactivated their accounts and are promoting movies on Cameo. A greeting from Drescher prices $1,500. Alyssa Milano, Cheyenne Jackson, Chris Wooden, Melissa Benoist and China McClain have not too long ago reactivated, too. 

SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher has reappeared on the Cameo App, the place she sells customized movies for $1,500.


The best earner among the many actors which have reactivated accounts has revamped $25,000 up to now six weeks alone, in accordance with Galanis. Others have solely made a couple of dollars. 

“The perfect ones have made tens of 1000’s of {dollars}, and a few will get booked a few times,” Galanis stated.

Setting charges

Expertise can cost as a lot as they need per video that are a minimal of 30 seconds lengthy. Cameo additionally provides steerage based mostly on how a lot a celeb says they wish to earn. 

“We assist them set the worth that meets their targets based mostly on how a lot they’d prefer to earn and what number of movies they’d prefer to make,” he stated. “We propose ranges that we expect would resonate with their followers.”

Elijah Wooden of “Lord of the Rings” fame expenses $340 per private video message. Alyssa Milano expenses $300. A video message from Brian Cox of HBO’s not too long ago ended hit collection “Succession” will value you $689. 

Hollywood strikes having ripple impact on British leisure trade


Notably, SAG-AFTRA members’ Cameo for Enterprise earnings accrue towards their well being care and pension advantages. 

The performers joined greater than 11,000 TV and script writers represented by the Writers Guild of America who’ve been on strike since early Might. It’s the first time two main Hollywood unions have been on strike on the identical time since 1960. 

Half of SAG-AFTRA’s members make lower than $26,000 a 12 months from appearing jobs and barely qualify for guild-sponsored medical health insurance.

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