Sideline Work for Actors AKA Jobby-Jobs

1 day until I can bathe in lox spread and exfoliate in tuna salad.

Well, I’ve been told by my blog mentor and best bitch that this isn’t my diary, so I need to keep my story-telling to a minimum and save it for my Benjamin Franklin-sized autobiography. 

My purpose for this blog is to help anyone reading that may find themselves in a similar position. I had a phone interview last night to talk about Darling http://screenmediafilms.net/productions/details/1645/Darling

images-17 There she is!

And I told the interviewer, sadly, that some of the best actors I’ve ever known have decided to abandon acting because it’s impossible to survive. When I was in my teens and early twenties, I couldn’t have cared less about survival. There’s something very romantic about struggling when you’re a young artist. But as time goes on, you start caring about things that never crossed your mind before. Maybe you want the freedom to travel, to live in a house with a yard, to have a family, or perhaps you simply want underwear that aren’t from Duane Reade.

I don’t want to watch any more talented actors walk away. There are too many crappy ones out there, and I won’t take it as a consumer! COME BACK YOU GUYS!

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I am re-hashing my experiences thus far, and documenting new ones, so that perhaps I can help some of you. And through the process, maybe I’ll help myself.

Temp Work

“A temporary work agency, temp agency or temporary staffing firm finds and retains workers. Other companies, in need of short-term workers, contract with the temporary work agency to send temporary workers, or temps, on assignments to work at the other companies.” – Wikipedia 

Temp agencies are hiring all the time in New York City. Beacon Hill Careers is the one that I am in touch with: https://www.beaconhillstaffing.com/About/Beacon-Hill-Careers

The duties range from reception (greeting people, answering phones, taking memos), expense reports (you’ll use excel a lot, if you don’t know how, there are many tutorials online. Lynda.com has courses for beginners, intermediate, and advanced http://bit.ly/1VVLJmY

David Rivers (Up and Running with Excel 2016), for instance, starts you from scratch, and he explains things thoroughly and slowly http://bit.ly/1qZNKAY

Or you can scroll away screaming now.

Making travel arrangements (plane, car, hotel reservations) may also be a part of the job. It’s very flexible. Have an audition next week? No sweat. Email the staffing company immediately and they’ll give the gig to someone else. You also have the opportunity to take a long- term commitment if you like: 3 months or more. You make your own schedule week to week. Gents and ladies will need a suit for some of the gigs. Ladies, you can also wear blazers if you don’t have a business lady suit.

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RISKS: You will be around lawyers and finance dudes and dudettes.

Dog walking, Babysitting, Nannying, and Odd Jobs

Care jobs in New York City are great for sanity and so that you don’t have to work the vampire shifts that bartenders and waiters do. In my last post, I shared links to some of these websites. Another great one is Thumbtack https://www.thumbtack.com/ This is an app you will install on your phone. You decide which odd jobs you can do. Some of them are care jobs, but others are house cleaning, organizing, and other interesting last minute opportunities. When you sign up, you will pick which jobs you are capable of executing, where you are comfortable working, and your contact info. When someone needs a job done that you are signed up for, you will receive an alert on the app and in an email. You can then send a quote to the person. A handful of people will also be sending quotes, so timing is essential. The faster you respond, the more likely you are to book the job. I know a few people who use this as their main source of income.

RISKS: Nannying and babysitting are a little more difficult. Nannying is a full-time job, and there’s no way to fit auditions into your schedule. Because of this, I don’t think that it’s conducive to this career.

Babysitting works if it’s in the evenings and on weekends. The one drawback is that WHEN you book a play or film, you’ll have to find a replacement.

RISKS: I have found that finding a great replacement for babysitting or dog sitting has been one of the biggest challenges of this sideline job.

Playbill also posts jobs for performers, teachers, and other careers in the “back of house” in the arts. There are opportunities to work in the arts as teachers in schools, summer camps, and other after-school programs. Want some discount theater tickets? There are box office positions available! Check out the website daily for new listings: http://www.playbill.com/job/listing

I recently interviewed with a temp agency. It was easy breezy, and they want to send me out right away once something is available. It will be quite the adventure because I’ve never done it before. The pay is typically around $12-$16/hr.

I also had interview with a doggy day care to be a pet handler at “D is for Doggy” http://disfordoggy.com/ The pay is significantly less at $10/hr. They suggested that I may prefer walking with their other company “Pooch Pals” http://www.poochpalspetcare.com/ since I have experience with dog walking and I enjoy being outdoors. We’ll see how it goes!

RISKS: Getting down and dirty (fecal dirty). The job requires cleaning up a variety of messes including poop, pee, and “other”.

Beggars can be choosers. I suggest looking into all of these things thoroughly, but also get your butt moving because it takes a long time to get into a groove and get the money flowing  trickling.

Next time, join me as I explain my alarmingly audacious decision to go to graduate school.*

*No, it’s not for:

  • acting
  • drama
  • musical theater
  • clowning
  • miming
  • puppetry
  • juggling
  • escort services
  • snuff film

Author: Lauren Ashley Carter

Lauren Ashley Carter is an actress, producer, writer, director, mystique, bagel-eater, lover of all things red. You've seen her in The Woman, Jug Face, Pod, Darling, The Mind's Eye, Law and Order SVU. You will see her in Imitation Girl.

1 thought on “Sideline Work for Actors AKA Jobby-Jobs”

  1. Ah snap, I sort of like the diary style posts so far. It gives blogs that special sort of insight that keeps you coming back. Oh yeah, I just went back to grad school after graduating from college 10 years ago so I’m excited about your next post!

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