The story of the wide-eyed ingénue who waited tables at night before making it big as a prime time TV star is an oft-told tale in the city of eternal dreams, Hollywood, CA; or the legend of the aspiring leading man working nights at a 7-11 counter before he became an A-list superstar; and how about the saga of the penniless comedian who tended bar from midnight to 6 a.m. before landing a dream gig on a network comedy hit? Accounts of actors who toiled by night to chase their dreams by day are so often told they’ve become cliché. But, as with every cliché, there’s probably a bit of truth to these larger-than-life, would-be fairy tales.

Being a successful actor takes talent, determination, skill, hard work, and a measure of good luck. But acting is also a game of numbers. You’ve got to go on as many auditions as possible to tilt the odds in your favor. The more times you get up to bat, the more opportunities for a hit. And it’s just a simple fact: auditions generally take place during the day. So, should you follow in your acting ancestors’ footsteps and work the night shift to fulfill your career ambitions? Well, unless you’re independently wealthy, or independently employed, working nights is probably a capital idea. Now, you may have a generous boss who lets you cut out for auditions–and that’s a beautiful thing; but, bosses tend to be less amiable when there are deadlines to make and bottom lines to be met.

The point is, whatever you have to do to audition like crazy, do it. If working a day job is cramping your acting, there’s probably something at night that pays the same, but offers you the opportunity to pursue your dream.

What kind of jobs have proved to be compatible with your acting goals? Please share your ideas on what has freed up your time to audition more.