627
9 min 1 sec

Rehearsal App for Actors Earns $500,000

Not satisfied with the iPhone’s built-in Voice Recorder, a radio host and acting coach creates his own app to help actors rehearse. It goes on to earn more than $500,000.
App High Profit Power of Observation Service

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What It's About

Hollywood is rough—so this actor finds his own audience.

Business Model
Service
Skills Required
Acting & Power of Observation
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
High

Words of Wisdom

The more people know how to market themselves and their skills, the more successful they will be. David credits part of his success in performing to his previous experience in business and the understanding that it is important to work independently from your agent—to build skills and knowledge on your own time rather than solely relying on someone else to find opportunities for you.

Fun Fact

David added the “XVII” to his name to distinguish himself from all the other David Lawrence’s that were a part of the Screen Actors Guild. The reason he chose the number 17 was because he popped up 17th on IMDB for David Lawrence.

Notes from Chris

Episode 627

David H. Lawrence XVII—yes the 17th—wanted to be an actor ever since he was a teenager acting in his high school’s theater productions. Although he scored the lead roles, David didn’t feel confident about turning acting into a career, at least not directly.

So instead, David went into radio. He started in music, then eventually progressed to talk shows. His shows grew and changed with time—from discussing politics to exploring the newest technological innovations. He worked his way all around the country and eventually ended up in Washington D.C.: the home of some of the most influential and innovative thinkers in the country.

But after 16 years, he was sick of DC, especially the winters. It was time to go somewhere warm. His mind drifted back to his childhood dream, and he knew exactly where he was going. At 45 years old, it was time to move to Los Angeles.

The best part? He wouldn’t have to be a starving artist. David could do his radio show from anywhere in the world, and in his spare time, he could work on building his acting skills as well as doing voiceover work. And here’s where our story is going to pick up.

On the acting side of things, he booked a consistent role on NBC’s Heroes as the Puppetmaster. His success there led him to be contacted by another NBC show. They were interested in him auditioning! David was thrilled, but he only had a couple of hours to prepare.

Normally, David would record an audio file of his scene partner’s lines, then upload it to iTunes and rehearse with it until it was memorized. But in this case, there was no way he had time for that, though. Instead, he sat in his car and recorded the lines on the built-in iPhone app called Voice Memo.

However, Voice Memo had a fatal flaw. There was no repeat feature on the app. Normally, this would be okay… but David needed to rehearse on the drive to Paramount Studios. So, as he weaved in and out of traffic on the 101, he tried in desperation to press the replay button over and over again without getting into a wreck.

David couldn’t believe that there wasn’t something as simple as a repeat button. He scoured other available apps to see if there were any that had the function. He found only one… and, in his opinion, it sucked. He knew he could do better, and that’s what he did: he made an app called Rehearsal® Pro. This app was going to help his fellow performers to learn their lines without fidgeting with the Voice Recorder all the time.

The only problem was that he didn’t have the skills to create the app himself. Luckily his friend recommended a developer… who happened to be a fan of NBC’s Heroes. The developer agreed to make the app on a revenue share basis, which turned out to be a good choice for the developer, and soon they were all set.

Once they got ready to launch, they released Rehearsal® Pro in the AppStore, and, as luck would have it, they were chosen to be the app of the day! They were thrilled. On their very first day, they would get tens of thousands of downloads!

As time went on, David grew Rehearsal® Pro along with another side hustle, a voice acting training course called VO2GoGo. From each of these projects, David earns $200,000 a year.

His choice to create side hustles relating to his industry helped him to make leaps and bounds in his competitive career field.



MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:


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Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Resources

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Quote of the Day
"Remember that version done is always better than version none. Try to take initial steps that get you started, and know that you'll get better and better over time. Don't fall prey to the idea that you have to have everything perfectly lined up to simply get started."
—David H. Lawrence XVII #SideHustleSchool

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CRAZY ENOUGH TO WORK

This week, Side Hustle School is brought to you by Crazy Enough to Work, a popular podcast and film series. 📈

When the rest of the world is still zigging, some companies know when it’s time to zag. Elizabeth Banks has teamed up with State Street Global Advisors to make a series of podcasts and films that uncover the bold moves mid-cap companies make to thrive and survive.


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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau