Extra Income for Actors
Acting is one of the most beautiful jobs in the world. It requires intensive training, dedication, and sacrifice, and getting a proper acting job is always challenging. In between jobs, during those difficult “resting periods”, it is necessary to find things to do, ways to get that essential extra income, while still being available for auditions and workshops. Some actors receive calls from their agents, asking them to go to auditions with literally a few hours notice. Holding a “regular” office job, in that kind of situation, is not very easy. The most logical option for many actors is to work from home. Freelancing is the best solution to get that extra money, without losing chances at potential acting jobs.
Focus on Your Skills
You are an actor. By definition, you know how to do many things, even if you have never thought about it. You may be an excellent writer, or a very sociable person; you could be a great driver, or good with kids. Find out what are the things you can really do, and go for them. Trying to force yourself into doing a job you will hate, even if that job gives you the flexibility you need, is an endeavor that is probably deemed to fail. There are alternative sources of work for every taste; you just need to find your own path. If you get to a point where you believe you have no skills, then it’s time to start trying out things. Maybe by practice you will find out that you can actually enjoy a specific line of work. In other words: be ready to surprise yourself.
Act Like a Shopper
Secret shopping has long been a hard job to get into, but a new service called Mobee (mobeeapp.com) makes it much easier. By registering and accepting assignments from their app, you can earn points redeemable for gift cards and other items of monetary value.
Many websites have arisen as of late to help people get odd jobs done. This is an opportunity to make extra money without the long-term commitment (or security) of a permanent job. Some of the sites where you can find these personal assistant type assignments would include taskrabbit.com and zaarly.com with more popping up every day. And don’t forget about the “gigs” section on Craigslist. just be careful, those postings can sometimes be less than on the up-and-up, as anyone every looking for an acting job there already knows.
Some actors are quite good with words. Writing comes naturally to them. That kind of people can find an interesting way of living in the world of ghostwriting. It is not necessary to have a literary agent, or to interview famous people to write their biographies; there are online services -known as content mills- that put in contact micro job requesters with writers. The system is always based on reputation; the writer starts with small jobs and, as their reputation grows, they gain access to bigger, better-paid jobs. Some websites pay up to $100 per article, although earning $2 is also a realistic possibility.
iwriter.com is a perfect example of a content mill. Writers start off as Standard members, accessing only the cheapest jobs. After about 30 approved articles, the writers gain access to the rest, depending on their reviews. A good writer, who gets good reviews, will be able to write the Elite, or even the Elite Plus articles, which are paid much more generously, but which demand a higher level of quality. Any self-respected writer can write a minimum of two daily articles on this site, providing they find subjects they are familiar with.
Selling Other Professional Skills Online
Maybe writing is not the actor’s main selling point. There are more options. Some skill selling sites allow users to sell literally any skill. The most obvious are related to graphic design, modeling, or voice acting, but some people are really creative with their ideas. Just take a look at what people offer, and how successful they are, and you may find an inspiration. Having a bit of knowledge about audio engineering is a great asset to start a voice over home-based business. It may not attract the biggest clients, but it can make enough profit to pay the rent and keep the fridge full while giving the actor that much needed flexibility.
Sites like fiverr.com and fiverup.com are great examples of skill selling portals. There is an alternative method in this category, which is the bidding site model. Websites like elance.com, guru.com and odesk.com are good references of that model. In this case, clients post jobs that they need sorted out, and workers bid on them, making offers. The clients choose a worker based on the bid, and the resume of the worker. Both formats have their pros and their cons, and it’s up to every user to find out what fits them better.
Independent Freelance Driver
If you have a car, and you like to drive, giving rides to strangers for money is a very interesting job for any actor. Right now, there are a few companies that are changing the model of the taxi services, allowing regular people to use their own cars to transport passengers. As a perfect example of that system, Uber stands apart from the rest. The whole system is based on user ratings, so the drivers need to be extra careful with their customer service abilities, the cleanliness of their car, and their knowledge of the city. However, once sorted out the basics, it can be a very interesting and profitable side job, which would give the actor all the required flexibility to go to auditions or workshops.
Looking for a “resting job” can be a frustrating experience, but it is a necessary step in the life of every actor. Those jobs have very specific requirements, particularly in terms of flexibility, and they are not that easy to come by. Searching the Internet for that sort of job is a very smart solution to that problem. The most important thing, although, is to keep in mind that a profitable job is an enjoyable job; forcing yourself into a job you will hate in the short run is the best way of setting yourself up for failure. Be realistic, use all your skills in your favor, and be active. That resting job (or jobs) you are looking for exists, and it is easier to find than what you would imagine. Good luck!