Acting Service Charges
I am now charging people for my acting services. That means that if anyone wants me to smile when I don't want to smile, be in a good mood when that's not how I'm feeling, be nice to people I don't like, or in any way pretend to be someone I'm not (such as when I pretend to be a good hardworking citizen type who was okay with going to school and is okay with working), I will charge per hour for this service.
$25 per hour is my basic rate, when we are in a comfortable setting.
$50 per hour is my rate when a situation is more out of my comfort zone, like someone wants me to perform such services while on a strenuous hike or while doing anything that's not easy.
$100 per hour is my rate if there is more than one factor that makes the situation more difficult, such as if we are on a difficult hike and it is also too cold or we haven't eaten enough or something like that. The amount does not stop in the middle at $75 because having more than one issue going on is an interaction of the two variables - they get multiplied together rather than just being added together.
From now on, if anyone asks me to smile or be in a good mood or otherwise act differently than how I feel for the duration of an event, I will calculate my price based on the length and type of event, and will let the person know my price. For example, a house party that lasts 3-4 hours would cost $75-$100. A hike that lasts all day would cost roughly $400-$500. An all-day physical outdoor activity that takes place in the winter when it's too cold, or that does not end with us going back to our own homes afterwards, would cost roughly $800-$1,000 per day.
Are You Serious?
Yes, I am 100% serious. I do not actually expect that people will agree to pay me. What I am providing is a choice. You can either pay me my rate for my acting services, or you can choose for me to not perform my acting services. I don't think I'm going to make money this way, but what I will do is eliminate the option of anyone receiving my acting services for free.
Are There Exceptions?
There are no discounts or freebies, and no situation-based exceptions. If it involves me pretending to be someone I'm not, I charge my acting service rates. Period.
This does not mean that I will automatically make myself the center of attention at an event for someone else, like a birthday or graduation party, or any other event where the focus isn't on me. What it does mean is that if I'm not in a good mood, I'm not going to act in a mood for anyone else's sake. It means that *if* anyone asks me how I'm doing or if anything is wrong, I will answer honestly. I won't always necessarily launch into tons of detail depending on the type of event I'm at and where the attention should be focused, but *if* people probe, I will answer. Most importantly of all: *if* anyone suggests that something that I say happened to me is not actually that bad, I will inform them that it was that bad, and I will keep repeating this until they back off and stop trying to deny my experience. I will do this regardless of the circumstances and I will not have any sense of backing down because I'm at someone else's party. I've let a lot of invalidation slide throughout the years because I have a sense of wanting to keep people comfortable and not create awkward moments, but that is gone now. I have decided that I'm not concerned about ruining parties for everyone else, and that if you don't want a party to be ruined, you don't deny my experience, and you don't push me to be something I'm not. It's very simple. If you can't do those things, please see the fees that I charge for acting services at the beginning of the post.
Things that Do Not Fall under "Acting Services"
While I do not give exceptions in terms of charging for my acting services, there are acting-related things that do not fall under the realm of my acting services. I am defining my acting services as pretending to be someone I'm not and acting differently from the way that I feel. Here are examples of things that do not fall under those categories:
If a friend has someone stalking them, and the stalker asks me for my friend's contact info, I would totally be willing to play dumb and pretend I don't have the information, because that might be safer for both my friend and me than if I firmly tell the stalker that I'm not going to give them the information.
If it is necessary to act or even lie a little bit in order to keep someone's secret. You just can't say to a friend's parents, "I can't tell you where we went yesterday" when they ask, because that will raise suspicion and might lead to them badgering my friend for information. If where we really went yesterday was a secret, I would be okay telling a friend's parents that we went someplace else.
Basically, if it's not about me hiding a part of myself or my feelings, it is not something that I charge for.
Please keep this in mind for the next time you request my acting services.