I remember when I started my first improv group my first year at Appalachian State University. I felt so alive doing it and we raised money and food for the local homeless shelter in Watauga County. At the time I didn't realize that I could make money at this. I was super altruistic to a fault?
We organized a city wide event called "The Boone City Jam" with bands called Discord and comedians like Dana Lowell and our improv group. Pat Hill took some of the proceeds to pay the band and cast. I didn't receive a penny. Looking back on it I wish I had the business sense to make sure I got paid as well. However, thanks to organized religion and wealthy parents, it was inevitable that I would have challenges turning the other cheek & give all I had to charity. But I don't regret it because I made a difference. A child received food and shelter they may not have received if not for my selfless act. We were written up in the college rag numerous times with me always on the cover.
Point being that it's ok to have money and not work (at your craft) for free; however, when you're starting out it's good to build your resume and it can give you acting credits as well as valuable experience. A counter point being that if a person can't help themselves (financially) how can they effectively help others? Kind of like the blind leading the blind.
In summery, give yourself credit for past mistakes and endeavor to make each day count from this day forward in your acting and film making career.
Mom, Actress, Activist, Amateur Painter / Artist