Best Survival Jobs For Actors In 2024

19 mins read
survival jobs for actors

Hey there, New York’s aspiring stars! 🌟 As 2024 unfolds, the acting industry in our bustling city continues to buzz with excitement and challenges. Whether you’re stepping onto an off-Broadway stage, filming in the heart of Brooklyn, or exploring indie projects in Queens, the journey of an actor is as thrilling as it is unpredictable.

In this ever-evolving landscape, survival jobs for actors have become more than just a means to an end. They’re the unsung heroes in the narratives of many actors, providing financial stability and often, unexpected opportunities for personal and professional growth.

For actors in 2024, these jobs aren’t just about making ends meet; they’re about maintaining flexibility for auditions, enhancing skills, and building networks that open doors in the entertainment industry.

In this article, we’ll dive into the world of survival jobs that are not only actor-friendly but also empowering and fulfilling. From remote opportunities that offer the freedom to audition to creative gigs that align with your artistic skills, we’ve got you covered.

So, let’s explore how you can balance your passion for acting with survival jobs that offer more than just a paycheck. Stay tuned as we unveil the top survival jobs for actors in 2024, tailored to fit the unique rhythm of your acting career.

Understanding Survival Jobs

Hey there, NYC’s creative souls! Let’s chat about something every actor, whether seasoned or just starting, knows a thing or two about: survival jobs. These aren’t just any gigs; they’re the backbone for many in the acting industry, providing financial stability while you chase your Broadway dreams or land that breakthrough role.

Survival jobs are those flexible, often part-time roles that actors take on to support themselves financially while pursuing their acting careers. Think of them as your sidekick in the superhero movie that is your acting life. They’re there to ensure you can pay rent and buy groceries, but also to give you the freedom to attend auditions, rehearsals, and acting classes.

In 2024, the landscape of these jobs has evolved. We’re seeing more remote and gig-based opportunities, which are perfect for the unpredictable schedules of actors. From virtual teaching to freelance writing, these jobs can sometimes even complement your acting skills.

Juggling Survival Jobs and Acting

Now, let’s talk balance. Juggling a survival job with an acting career is like mastering a complex dance routine. It requires skill, timing, and a whole lot of practice. The key is finding a job that offers flexibility and understanding employers who support your acting pursuits.

Remember, it’s all about harmony. Your survival job shouldn’t overshadow your acting goals. Instead, it should provide a stable platform from which your acting career can leap forward.

If you are looking to start your search for a side job you can look up job posting on sites like

Top Survival Jobs for Actors in 2024

This year, the job market is all about flexibility and innovation. With the rise of remote work and the gig economy, actors have more options than ever to find jobs that suit their unique schedules. These gigs aren’t just stopgaps; they’re career enhancers, skill builders, and network expanders.

Job Description
1. Personal Trainer / Fitness Instructor / Yoga Teacher
2. Hospitality ( Bartender / Waiting Tables)
3. Dog walker
4. Virtual Assistant
5. Freelancing ( any skill you have you can freelance on the side).
6. Babysitting
7. Temping
8. Graphic Design
9. Production Assistant
10. Tutoring

1. Fitness Instructor / Yoga Teacher

Why it’s great: Keeping fit is essential for actors, and what better way to do it than getting paid for it? As a fitness instructor or yoga teacher, you can work flexible hours, keep your energy levels high, and connect with a community that values health and wellness.

2. Hospitality ( Bartender / Waiting Tables)

Hospitality jobs, such as bartending or waiting tables, are considered good survival jobs for actors due to several reasons:

  1. Flexibility: These jobs often offer flexible schedules, which is crucial for actors who need to attend auditions, rehearsals, and performances. The ability to work evenings or weekends allows actors to keep their days free for acting-related activities.
  2. Networking Opportunities: Working in hospitality puts actors in environments where they can meet new people, including industry professionals. This natural networking can lead to new opportunities and connections in the acting world.
  3. Skill Development: Hospitality jobs require skills that are useful for acting, such as communication, improvisation, and the ability to handle different types of personalities. These skills can enhance an actor’s performance abilities.
  4. Financial Stability: These jobs can provide a steady income, which is essential for actors who may have inconsistent earnings from their acting gigs.
  5. Exposure and Observation: Actors can observe and interact with a wide range of people in these roles, providing real-world experiences that can inform their acting.

3. Dog walker

dog walker
Part time dog walker job in pandemic situation

Being a dog walker can be an excellent survival job for actors due to several reasons:

  1. Flexibility: Dog walking often offers flexible scheduling, which is crucial for actors who need to manage auditions, rehearsals, and performances. It allows them to work around their acting commitments.
  2. Independence: This job provides the opportunity to be self-employed, giving actors more control over their working hours and conditions. This autonomy is beneficial for managing an unpredictable acting career.
  3. Financial Stability: Dog walking can be a lucrative job, offering a steady source of income. This financial stability is essential for actors, who may face periods of inconsistent work in their primary career.

4. Virtual Assistant

Why it’s great: As a virtual assistant, you can manage schedules, answer emails, and handle social media – all from your laptop. This job is perfect for actors because it offers immense flexibility. You can work from anywhere, fitting in auditions or rehearsals around your work schedule.

5. Freelancing

Actors are natural storytellers, and what better way to use this skill than content creation? Whether it’s writing blogs, creating videos, or managing social media accounts, this role lets you flex your creative muscles while earning a steady income.

6. Babysitting

Babysitting offers several advantages as a survival job for actors:

  1. Flexibility: Babysitting allows for a flexible schedule, which is essential for actors who need to be available for auditions, rehearsals, and performances. It can often be arranged around their acting commitments.
  2. Potential for Lucrative Earnings: Especially when working for high-profile clients, such as celebrities, babysitting can be quite lucrative. This financial stability is crucial for actors who often face irregular income streams from their primary profession.
  3. Downtime for Personal Work: When children are asleep or engaged in activities, babysitters may have time to work on their own projects, such as memorizing lines or planning auditions.

7. Temping

Temping, or temporary work, is an ideal survival job for actors for several reasons:

  1. Variety of Opportunities: Temp work covers a wide range of industries and roles, offering actors the chance to gain experience in different settings and develop a diverse skill set.
  2. Income Stability: While acting jobs can be intermittent, temp work can provide a more consistent source of income to manage living expenses.

8. Graphic Designer

Why it’s great: If you have a flair for design, freelance graphic design allows you to work on diverse projects on your own schedule. It’s a perfect outlet for your creative energy and can be quite lucrative.

9. Production Assistant

production assistant

Working as a production assistant (PA) offers several advantages for actors, making it an excellent survival job:

  1. Industry Exposure: As a PA, actors gain valuable exposure to the film and television industry, learning the ins and outs of production.
  2. Networking Opportunities: This role provides a chance to work closely with a variety of industry professionals, including directors, producers, and sometimes actors, offering significant networking opportunities.
  3. Understanding of Production Process: Being a PA helps actors understand the various aspects of production, from set preparation to coordination, which can be beneficial for their acting careers.
  4. Flexibility: Often, the work schedule of a PA can be flexible, allowing actors to continue attending auditions and acting gigs.
  5. Developing Relevant Skills: The role requires teamwork, coordination, and communication skills, which are also crucial for actors.
  6. Access to Sets and Studio Lots: PAs get to experience different sets and studio environments, providing them with a practical understanding of different filming locations and techniques.
  7. Possibility of Transitioning to Acting Roles: Working on set can sometimes lead to opportunities for small acting roles or extra work, providing actors with additional experience and exposure.

10. Online Tutoring: Share Knowledge, Gain Flexibility

Why it’s great: If you have a knack for teaching, online tutoring can be a rewarding option. It allows you to set your own hours and work from anywhere, giving you the freedom to focus on your acting career. Teaching another language online ca be a great job so if you speak more than one language fluently that could be a great option!

Remote Work Opportunities

In an era where digital nomadism is the new norm, remote work has become more than just a convenience – it’s a strategic choice, especially for actors. The ability to work from anywhere means you can audition in Midtown in the morning and log into your remote job from a café in SoHo in the afternoon. This level of flexibility is unprecedented and is changing the game for actors juggling rehearsals, auditions, and side gigs.

1. Voice-Over Artist: Lend Your Voice, From Anywhere

Why it’s great: Got a unique voice? Voice-over work can be done from the comfort of your home studio (or closet!). It’s a fantastic way to hone your vocal skills while bringing in steady income.

2. Online ESL Teacher: Teach and Touch Lives Globally

Why it’s great: Teaching English online offers flexible hours and the chance to connect with students worldwide. It’s rewarding, pays well, and you can schedule classes around your auditions and rehearsals.

3. Social Media Manager: Master the Art of Engagement

Why it’s great: Managing social media for brands or individuals lets you dive into the digital world, a skill that’s invaluable in today’s market. Plus, it’s all about storytelling – something you, as an actor, excel at.

4. Freelance Writing: Your Script to Success

Why it’s great: Writing articles, blogs, or even scripts can be done from anywhere at any time. It’s a great way to keep your creative juices flowing while earning a paycheck.

Leveraging Creative Skills

In the vibrant hustle of 2024, the job market is ripe with opportunities that crave your unique actor’s toolkit. Your ability to empathize, communicate, and captivate an audience is a rare gem in many professions. It’s about finding those gigs where your performance skills aren’t just useful; they’re celebrated.

1. Brand Ambassador: Be the Face of a Brand

Why it’s great: This role is all about personality and engagement. As a brand ambassador, you’ll use your charisma and communication skills to represent and promote products. It’s like playing a role, but for real-world products and services.

2. Event Host or MC: The Spotlight Awaits

Why it’s great: Hosting events or being an MC allows you to be on stage, engaging with live audiences. It’s a natural fit for actors who love the limelight and can think on their feet.

3. Creative Writing: From Scripts to Stories

Why it’s great: Your storytelling skills as an actor can translate beautifully into writing. Whether it’s crafting articles, blogs, or even scripts, your ability to weave narratives is a sought-after skill.

4. Art Therapy Assistant: Healing through Creativity

Why it’s great: If you’re passionate about helping others, consider assisting in art therapy sessions. Your understanding of expression and emotion can be incredibly beneficial in therapeutic settings.

5. Video Production: Behind the Scenes Brilliance

Why it’s great: With a knack for understanding scripts and scenes, actors can excel in video production roles, contributing to storyboarding, directing, or editing.

Navigating Part-Time Work

Part-time work is more than just a paycheck; it’s a lifeline that keeps your acting dreams alive. But not all gigs are created equal. The trick is to find jobs that offer flexibility, align with your skills, and, ideally, fuel your passion for the arts.

1. Research and Network:

Start by tapping into your acting network. Fellow actors, coaches, and industry contacts can be goldmines for leads on actor-friendly part-time jobs. Don’t forget to scour online job boards and social media groups dedicated to NYC actors.

2. Flexibility is Key:

Look for jobs with flexible hours or those that are gig-based. Roles in hospitality, retail, or customer service often offer shift work that can be scheduled around your acting commitments.

3. Use Your Skills:

Consider jobs that utilize your acting skills. Teaching drama classes, working as a tour guide, or even a position in sales can be great platforms to practice your craft.

Balancing Multiple Gigs with Your Acting Career

Juggling part-time work with auditions and rehearsals is like choreographing a complex dance routine. It requires planning, communication, and a bit of improvisation.

1. Time Management:

Invest in a good planner or a digital calendar. Block out time for auditions, rehearsals, and your part-time work. Being organized is half the battle won.

2. Communicate Your Availability:

Be upfront with your employers about your acting commitments. Many are willing to accommodate flexible schedules if they know in advance.

3. Prioritize Self-Care:

In the hustle of balancing multiple jobs, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Adequate rest, a healthy diet, and some downtime are crucial to keep you at your best.

The acting profession remains characterized by its intermittent and inconsistent nature, making survival jobs not just a necessity, but a strategic choice for many actors. The diversity of available side jobs, ranging from gig economy roles to more traditional roles like temp work, dog walking, and experiential marketing gigs, provides actors with the flexibility they need to pursue their craft. This flexibility is crucial in a field where last-minute auditions and scheduling changes are the norm.

Moreover, the current era offers actors more opportunities than ever to diversify their skill set and promote themselves. Survival jobs can be more than just a means to pay the bills; they can be a platform for networking, learning new skills, and finding balance. Actors in 2024 must navigate their careers with adaptability and resilience, leveraging these survival jobs not only for financial stability but also as a stepping stone to greater opportunities in their acting careers.

Survival Jobs For Actors FAQs

Survival jobs are important for actors because acting work can be intermittent and inconsistent. These jobs provide a stable income to cover living expenses and allow actors to continue pursuing their craft without financial stress.

Actors employ various strategies to survive and stay productive between acting jobs:

  1. Pursuing Survival Jobs: Many actors take up part-time or flexible jobs, such as waiting tables, bartending, or temp work. These jobs provide a steady income while allowing flexibility for auditions and acting gig​​​​​​s.
  2. Continued Training and Practice: Actors often use the time between jobs to hone their skills through classes, workshops, or self-practice. This continuous learning keeps their skills sharp and prepares them for future role​​​​s.
  3. Networking and Industry Engagement: Staying connected with the industry is crucial. Actors attend events, participate in workshops, and engage in networking opportunities to build relationships and stay informed about upcoming project​​​​s.
  4. Personal Creative Projects: Many actors work on their own creative projects, such as writing, directing, or producing their own content. This not only keeps them creatively fulfilled but can also lead to new opportunitie​​​​s.
  5. Self-Promotion and Marketing: Actors often use downtime to update their portfolios, headshots, and resumes. They also actively promote themselves on social media and through personal websites to increase their visibilit​​​​y.
  6. Physical and Mental Health: Maintaining physical fitness and mental well-being is important. Actors may engage in regular exercise, meditation, or other activities that support their overall health and readiness for future role​​​​s.

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