2016 Payrates for Solo Singers For On-Camera Performance and TV Guest Appearances

How much can singers, actors / actresses make for TV guest appearances and on-camera performances? This is the question that many ask themselves when looking to break into the entertainment industry. When thinking of the acting world, glitz and glamor is the first thing that comes to mind. The reality is; There are only a few stars who can command millions of dollars for television appearances. Here is an initial breakdown of what you can possibly earn in the movie / film area:

Background Actors and Actresses

This type of talent is often used anywhere a crowd is needed for a scene (bars, offices, street corners, etc.). The earning potential for film background and extras is vast and complex. The average pay is around $ 100- $ 350 for a 4-10 hour shoot. This is a based rate, whether the talent is a member of SAG or not. Of course, union members can earn a whole lot more for big-time television commercials. If represented by AFTRA or the screen actors guild, it's possible to earn up to $ 40,000 a year for doing tv commercials! The average ad campaign for million-dollar companies can extend up to 10 hours. In this case, extras can make up to $ 342 per hour! While the pay is good, landing these type of gigs is extremely hard, and most actors who get them are represented by seasoned talent agents who are affiliated with major acting unions.

Solo Singers For Television On Camera Performance / Guest Appearances

Another interesting way for singers to break into the film and / or television industry is to try to land a gig appearing in a series, sitcom or pilot made-for-tv-film. If the singer has a good agent, they can negotiate a smaller pay in return for a speaking role (this could be the singers leverage to crossing over as an actor / actress. Some female / male vocalists will simply make a small appearance performance one of their original songs. Performers who perform alone can make up to $ 1000 (for union members). If you are not apart of an union, it may be a good idea to get represented by an agency who is affiliated with one.

Pay Rates For Certain "Screen Credits"

Some producers of shows like to give titles to their guests. Some of the screen credits are categorized as, 'Special Appearance by', 'major role', etc. These type of credits can lead up to a base rate pay along with an extra 10 percent (days pay). For those who have a crafted brand, such as celebrities, they can demand a larger sum. If the talent does not have a huge following or fan base, the average pay for sitcoms is $ 5000 a week. TV series have a higher earning potential ($ 8000 a week on average).


While there are many ways to getting around no being a union member (to get the highest payout), you can work around this by seeking out local talent agencies who are affiliated with these screen acting unions.

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