The Ridiculous Survival Jobs of a Struggling Actress

I suppose if I was at the maximum for a New York cliché, I would be waiting tables. It’s the ultimate clichéd day job. Thing is, I’m a bit of a klutz and would more than likely spill things. I can’t stand working behind a desk, as you may have read about once or twice. While I’ve recently been making some money acting (don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about it in a following post), that does not happen all the time. So how do I pay my bills? I’ll give you 11 examples:

1 The circus came to Queens. Wanting to take advantage of the fact kids beg their parents for things, I was sent to Highland Park on a lovely sunny day where it was my job to make as many kids as possible look like this→→→→

2 The insane world of bridal that I never before had need to entertain. That is until I promoted a low-calorie yogurt at the New York Bridal Expo. Went home with cases of artificially sweetened strawberry and key-lime yogurt. Not to mention for dinner I ate nothing but naturally sweetened cake samples. Wedding cake is the best.

3 Some events you get paid an inflated amount to just stand around and look friendly. If I was a Nicki Minaj fan, this would have been the best job ever: I promoted a camera at one of her concerts and ended up watching most of the concert because no one wanted to look at cameras while she was performing.

4 Occasionally my day ends at 3AM. When one promotion asked me START my day at 3AM I couldn’t imagine what it was for (often a job is posted with very little detail- like the brand you’ll be promoting). Turns out it was for the Royal Wedding. I was on the job at 4AM handing out free snuggies to the first 50 people to show up for the biggest viewing party in North America. I did very little actual work and basically got paid to watch the Royal Wedding, which I enjoyed far more than I expected to.

5 I may or may not (I signed a contract so I have to say that) be involved in this:

6 Same goes for this:

7 Some events you get paid an inflated amount to just stand around and look friendly. If I was a Nicki Minaj fan, this would have been the best job ever: I promoted a camera at one of her concerts and ended up watching most of the concert because no one wanted to look at cameras while she was performing.

8 The Academy Awards have fallen pray to decreased ratings. As a result, they had a massive promotion this year. The main hook was a photo-op to take a picture of yourself holding an actual Oscar. Some people were beyond enthusiastic about this, dressing up in tuxedos and ball gowns for their one snapshot in the spot light.

9 Some couples choose to have their wedding pictures taken in Times Square. I do not understand why you want to celebrate your union with the backdrop of consumerism. I especially don’t understand these pictures after spending hours wearing a wedding dress myself. An Off-Broadway show decked me out in a full gown and veil and stuck me with fliers by the Mariott Marquee. The result: a horrendously dirty wedding dress (the bottom was grey after mere hours) and my picture in many people’s “Trip to NYC” scrapbooks.

10 New Years Day, 6 hours after puking on Safa Boy’s pants, I hauled my hung-over butt out of bed and took a 90 minute subway ride. From 9am to 3pm in 30° weather, I stood on the boardwalk and passed out samples of lotion to participants of the Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge. Yes, I tried to save the skin of people choosing to jump into frigid water. I was a ridiculous event, fortunately the participants were colorful enough to distract me from nausea.

11 Can’t forget to the events I’ve previously devoted entire posts to: the time I promoted with models, Fashion Week promotions, working at ComicCon, liquor promos (which are the best and best paying), and my original Times Square experience promoting Mary Poppins.

What can I say? I never get bored!

About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

23 thoughts on “The Ridiculous Survival Jobs of a Struggling Actress

  1. Great list. I am a total spazz waiting tables too, several embarrasing spill stories.
    The purpose of a wedding is to get your dress dirty, I am convinced a bride with a clean dress at the end of the night didn’t have any fun.

    1. That’s a great point about wedding dresses! I never thought about it that way. My only wedding dress experience comes from watching too much Say Yes To The Dress on Netflix…

  2. Damn, how do you find all this stuff!? I’m sure most of this stuff is available in Toronto, I just need to open my eyes! I need a job..badly!

    1. I find most of it on craigslist! Once you get one job, you get many more following. In NYC anyway, Good luck with the job search!

    1. I’ve never done a post like it before! I’m glad you likes it- that may inspire me to do more like it

  3. I must admit, I want desperately to be in a flash mob, so I’m jealous of those two. The others…well, at least you have some good stories, right?

    1. primarily craigslist! would you believe it? Most of them in the “gigs” section. I’ve also started making enough contacts where agencies come to me now, which is great.

  4. I LOVE this list! What fun… well, most of it (the bridal stuff would have killed me). How fantastic that these are all paying gigs. They are worth their weight in gold in fun life experiences!

    Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

    1. Exactly. I fun life experience is important to me at this stage. You said it very succinctly! And thanks for loving and stumbling!

  5. I don’t know how often you get this but I am so jealous of your life! The only way I ever make any money is babysitting bratty rich kids and it gets so old so quickly.

    1. You should try to get promo jobs! Especially if youre studying acting, you’d probably be great. They pay really well and are really easy- at least in the states!

  6. Hi there! So glad to stop by and see your adorable blog! I do hope you are feeling better! I love leading the 31 day challenge for so many reasons but most of all i love being able to meet new ladies who share such great stories! Love your list post!
    shelley “your 31 day hostess” 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and leading us through such a great challenge! Can’t thank you enough really!

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