Actress Finds New Financial Life With Help from Underearners Anonymous

Underearners Anonymous
Underearners Anonymous

As an aspiring actress six years ago in New York, Juliette Fairley took the "starving" part of the starving artist axiom a little too seriously. While she wasn't starving, Fairley, who was then 29, was working for free in student and independent films while making next to nothing in temp jobs and relying on her parents and credit cards to fill the gaps.

"I wasn't making any money as an actress," Fairley said. "I knew other actresses who were making money, and I couldn't understand what was wrong with me that I wasn't making any money."

What was wrong, she eventually learned, was that she didn't value her work enough to ask to be paid for it, and didn't have the courage to ask for money. Fairley was addicted to low-paying jobs. Eventually, she found help at Underearners Anonymous, a group that helps people deal with the symptoms of underearning.