Recommended Day Jobs

Sam writes:

Do you have any recommendations for day jobs that a new PA might take? I’m talking about jobs that are super flexible, and allow for last minute schedule changes, as many PA gigs are short notice. Preferably something besides waiter or minimum wage slave. Might seem like a dumb question, but I’m having trouble finding such a decent day job that doesn’t require 2-3 weeks notice. Am I supposed to just call in sick, and hope I don’t get fired?

You’ve put too many qualifications on this magical dream day-job. The only jobs that are flexible are ones were either A) the employees are interchangeable or B) the employee is so valuable the company is willing to accommodate her.

The first case only happens with low-skill jobs, which inherently means low-pay, as well.

In the second case, you’d have to be so talented and productive that the company needs you more than you need them. So, you’re positing a hypothetical in which you’re the top of your field in one area, but are simultaneously willing to be a PA on a TV show.

That’s unlikely, to say the least.

The reason so many actors are waiters and bartenders is because those jobs are flexible.

Your only other option is to take a job that you’re okay quitting at a moment’s notice. You’d be burning a bridge, yes, but it’s a bridge that leads to somewhere you don’t want to go, anyway.

It’s a shitty position to be in, but we’ve all been there. That doesn’t make it any easier for you to go through it, I understand, but still, know that we’re waiting for you on the other side.

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8 Responses

  1. Anything that hires you as an Independent Contractor. The company will tell you when they have new events or clients and all you do is let them know if you’re available to work. You do have to do your own taxes and send in a quarterly tax estimate payment, so make sure you’re super organized when it comes to logging your expenses.

  2. +1 for Lyft or Uber. I drive for Uber and quite like it for the extreme flexibility. As long as you’re giving even *a* ride once in a three/four week period, your account will stay active. I have student loans and a car payment in addition to all the usual bills, and I can make enough to cover my expenses with about 32 hours of driving a week. So if you’re old enough (23, for UberX) and your car meets the requirements (any four-door in great condition, for UberX), it’s well worth considering.

  3. Yeah I agree Lyft is good. So is being an extra. Other things that I have done if you have any special skills include tutoring, music lessons, graphic design/web design work, photography, video editing. There is a lot of work out there for people with skills like this that can be done on your own time and not 9-5. Check Craig’s List where a lot of this work is posted.

  4. I work for LYFT, the ride sharing company. You make your own hours. I made $308 from working 12 hours. You should look into it! The way I see it.. I cart people around in rentals as a PA anyways!

  5. I was very lucky to have an understanding management team at the bookstore I worked at for about a year and a half. Half of them had moved to LA to pursue film and TV themselves so it was a matter of giving my hours away to another co-worker. If you end up doing retail, find a way to talk about the industry to find out who’s in the same boat as you, and will be your ally when you need to drop some hours and vice versa.

    After I left the bookstore and my show ended, I started working as an extra between shows. Usually 8-12 hours, minimum wage, I got bumps for using my car in shots and for multiple outfit changes as dictated by production and I got to see how big-time shows worked. I worked enough to keep me off unemployment and I just needed to call my calling service the moment I knew I had a job, or the possibility of a job.

    1. What’s a decent way to get a job as an extra on a legitimate production. It can be minimum wage as long as it’s not a scam.

      1. Central Casting to register.

        Pay a calling service so you don’t have to do it yourself. If they get you 2 jobs a month they have made you a profit.

      2. I registered with Central Casting because about 80% of the work comes from them. Pay super attention to the FAQ on their site, and get there about two hours early to be sure you get in.

        Because I’m a minority without a beach bod, I was having trouble booking myself. I signed up with Extras! Management, a calling service. What happens is, I pay them $80 a month and they submit me for work to about a dozen of the biggest extras casting agencies around town, and they got me work about 4-5 times a week.

        Good luck!

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