I’m a mid-20s actress living in Melbourne, which is apparently the most livable city in the world. That unfortunately also makes it one of the more expensive. I live in a ‘snug’ one-bedroom in an inner suburb because living with people turns me into a whimpering hermit who skips meals to avoid social interactions. And what does all this mean?
I had to learn the art of the hustle, baby *snap snap*
The standard acting cliche is that we’re all waitstaff begging for tips by night and auditions by day.
While the hospo life worked for my first few years in this wonderful country, it doesn’t really bring me a lot of joy. The hours a long, the pay is low (-er than I can earn now), and you’re frequently either risking your hearing in noisy bars, or your sanity as you deal with yet another hungover Sunday brunch-er. No thank you.
However I still need money, and a job that didn’t mind if I vanished for a few hours for an audition or a few months for a shoot. Unfortunately (outside of every movie about actors ever) those sorts of jobs are difficult to come by. Most workplaces operate as a team, and they can feel understandably a little put out if a member of that team keeps whipping on the ol’ invisibility cloak and disappearing.
So if one job wouldn’t work for me… why not three?
Three jobs mean that I’m never in the same place for the full 40 hours per week. No one team relies on me overly much and if I need to disappear, each work place is only going to miss me for 1/3 of the total time that I’m away. Score! My rent is paid, my auditions are attended, and so far (touch wood) the emergency baked beans remain happily rusting away at the back of the pantry.
This may sound like a commitment-free dream to you or you may be getting a cold flush at the thought of it – YMMV.
BUT the key to living outside the 9-5 is know your system. Doesn’t matter how you keep track of those many employers clamoring for your services; work out how you’re going to do it and then protect that system with the zeal of Taylor Swift protecting her last tube of red lipstick in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
So what do you think? Could you live with a diversified income stream, or do you think I’m a nutter? Is this something that you would like to hear more about? This gal wants to know!