If you’re like me… you probably laughed at the title of this article and then cried on the inside while considering the harsh realities. When I was an acting major at the University of Northern Colorado I used to joke that the final class in our program should be a bartending class. We can just call it THEA 450. I mean… so many people end up going into the service industry, why not? Let’s be honest, we’re just in these jobs to pay the bills. So here comes the big question…
What day jobs are most ideal for the aspiring performer?
10. Bartending & Serving
I know this article is about alternate options, but there’s a reason why so many actors are drawn to these jobs! Work hours are flexible, multiple people can usually cover your shift, and there are restaurants and bars everywhere! Plus, walking away from each shift with cash tips… not so bad!
Between catering companies and catering departments at venues and event centers, this is a booming industry. You have the chance of meeting new people, attending different events, and traveling to appealing places. With all those people… you just never know who you might meet! Plus, can anyone say free leftovers!
8. Uber & Lyft Drivers
Do you have a car? Then you have a job! Companies like Uber and Lyft have made it so much easier to fatten up your wallet. You work as frequently as you want and whenever you want. People always need rides. The best part is… you are your own boss!
7. Tour Guide
What kind of tour guide? Any kind of tour guide! Every tour is practically a performance! Employers love to hire actors as tour guides. Actors are naturally enthusiastic, personable, and good at remembering things.
Maybe you’ve never considered sales, but you’re good at it! You know how to listen, react, and appeal to customers. Wow, you didn’t even know you had those skills. Maybe you picked the right major after all. You’ll be top salesperson by the end of the month!
5. Hospitality/Customer Service
The best part of these jobs is probably the character study. You’ll get to meet all the people… and then you’ll make all the characters. If you can tolerate needy people and do it all while smiling… you might actually enjoy a job in hospitality or customer service.
4. Movers & Junk Removers
These jobs aren’t for everyone, but if you like staying active… this might be the perfect option. You stay active and fit while traveling around town. Plus, these jobs often entail some kind of tip at the end of the job. (I was getting the feeling that you like money… so I thought I’d mention that part).
3. Teaching & Tutoring
Is there something you think you could teach? There are always opportunities to teach and tutor. There are websites dedicated to finding teachers and tutors for young kids and even adults. Even if you don’t teach an acting or directing class… you got an A+ in Algebra and little Timmy two blocks down is struggling and his mom is willing to pay good money to make sure he doesn’t have to retake that class for a third time.
2. House Sitting
Not babysitting… house sitting! You are paid to watch someone’s house while they’re on vacation! This job often entails an overnight commitment and usually feeding and walking animals, but that’s it! Every job is a little different, but you still get to operate on your own schedule. Do you have an audition at 2:00? That’s okay… you can walk the dogs at 3:00! Search for house sitting jobs near you and you will seriously consider applying!
1. Working in a Theatre
This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised! Actors sometimes forget that there are other jobs in the theatre world than just acting. Working in a theatre keeps you in the industry and keeps you connected to other people. We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” Make sure you know the right people. Any job in a theatre is going to help you get closer and closer to making the right connections and landing your dream role! There’s no doubt about it, you’re a performer first. Performing just doesn’t always pay the bills, so until it does, consider these options while you pursue your dreams.