First off, I own a theater company and have been successful (and un successful) as a performer and director.
It's not always so easy. First off, don't ever expect to become a paid actress of the bat. You'll spend at least a year going on auditions until you get something that's paid (that is unless you're going to 3-5 auditions a day which isn't really feasible.
Then when the job IS paid, it's maybe $250-500 a PROJECT, which isn't much.
You have to make a living working a job which will also diminish your ability to go to many auditions.
The point is, there are specific things you should be focusing on before worrying about paid work.
But regardless, you'll be surrounded by many actors who are in your boat and you'll find a lovely community. Don't forget, there are many projects out there that are unpaid. It's really amazing to just be creating with others. Also unpaid jobs is where you'll get the most connections and put you on the road to paid jobs.
Don't stress about money. That'll come. Just enjoy yourself and your passion.
Georgeta recommends the following next steps:
- Get a paid job once you're out of college. In or out of the arts.
- Get your resume and headshot together
- Get a few auditions in the schedule
- TAKE UNPAID WORK!!! It'll get you connections.
- Enjoy life