10 Best Side Hustles For Actors to Make Extra Money

Everyone knows that actors live on a shoestring until the day they hit the big time. The statistics are a bit grim with numbers showing that around 90% of actors are not working in an acting role at any given time.

If you are an aspiring Liam Helmsworth or Keira Knightly then you may get creative not just in your chosen craft, but also in ways to make money on the side to help you survive. 

Most actors spend a good amount of time applying for and attending auditions and callbacks, so you will need work that you can fit around any appointments.

Try some of these side hustles to earn extra cash. 

1. Temp Jobs

image of temp job

There is a wealth of companies that need to get help with a whole range of jobs. This could be anything from temporary office work to car parking attendants at a concert. Whatever the position you can make decent money by offering your services for temporary positions.

You will need to be reliable and show up for any scheduled work but usually, once you have established yourself as a trustworthy employee you will be requested for future jobs. Temp positions can often be worked around other commitments as you may often be able to select the shifts that you work.

This can be helpful if you know that the majority of your acting auditions fall in an afternoon, for example. If you have skills like IT or Data Analysis you will be able to earn even higher rates as these positions require experienced people.

Advantages

  • Usually decent pay
  • Variety of jobs
  • Repeat work for good employees

Disadvantages

  • Scheduling conflicts
  • No consistency
  • Work for different companies
  • Fluctuating income and pay rates

Other Things to Consider

Temporary placement companies need people they can trust or rely on so be realistic about the hours and days that you are willing to commit to. Also consider the areas that you can travel to, if you are in a large city like New York there may be locations that are just too far for you to travel if you are using public transportation, so be honest about what you are able to manage.

2. Dog Walking

image of Dog Walking

A great way to make some extra cash and get some exercise into the bargain is by dog walking for people that are too busy to let out their own pooch due to work commitments or for other reasons. People are often picky about their pets and reluctant to put them in a cage at the vets or be exposed to other animals at local dog boarding facilities.

This provides a great opportunity for you to charge money for dog walking services. If you can manage to handle 3 or 4 dogs at a time then you can really cash in. There is also room to upsell with this type of business. For additional fees, you may offer additional playtime for dogs, or extended walks for example.

For those that don’t mind picking up after Fido, there is also money to be made for offering doggie clean-up services, keeping people lawns and garden areas tidy after the dogs have done their business. You will need a few bits of equipment for this, bucket, gloves, poop-scooper, but relatively speaking it is a minimal investment. 

Advantages

  • Good earnings
  • Upselling opportunities
  • Free exercise
  • Spend time with animals

Disadvantages

  • Competition
  • Aggressive dogs
  • May need insurance
  • Responsible for dog

Other Things to consider

While busy metro areas are prime locations for gaining dog walkers you may also encounter quite a lot of competition. It may be worth getting a dog trainers or dog handling certificate to prove you are qualified. Depending on the city or state you are working in you may also need to be bonded and insured.

3. Amazon FBA

image of amazon fba

Sell your items on Amazons Marketplace and ship them to your customers using Amazon’s logistics network. This is a good way to create a scalable business that you can operate from home. Amazon will package, label, and ship your product directly to your customers and handle any issues with mis-shipments, damages, or returns.

You decide on the prices that you sell the product for and earn the commission after paying Amazon their storage and handling fees. This system takes a bit of capital investment to purchase inventory and the setup can take a while but rewards are many. After you are up and running this can be a great way to make a lot of money quickly.

The market can be saturated especially with certain popular product niches so do some research before committing to purchasing large amounts of inventory. Examine competition and read product reviews to give you an indication of how well items are selling, or how much is already flooding the market. 

Advantages

  • Uses Amazons network
  • Trusted name
  • Customers can use Prime
  • Fast shipping
  • Returns Management

Disadvantages

  • Setup time
  • Inventory costs
  • Inventory tracking can be hard
  • No direct customer relationship

Other Things to Consider

Carefully assess how much time you might be able to dedicate to your business. Although in some ways this is a hands-off way of making money and many issues handled for you, there is still the matter of buying and shipping inventory.  Amazons specifications can be quite demanding too so it may take a few times dispatching good before you get it right which can be frustrating.

4. Acting Coach

image of acting coach

If you are an actor that has attended drama school, coaching or received professional training then you can cash in on that knowledge and sell it on to others in the form of acting lessons. You can teach new and upcoming actors the ins and outs of acting, your lessons don’t have to only revolve around performing either.

You could offer advice on how to find and apply to auditions, and how to present yourself best at auditions to give you the best chance of getting a callback. People that are new to the acting world are always looking for ways to give them an edge over the competition and you can supply them with the information they seek.

This works especially well if you have already landed a few roles on stages, in movies, or on the TV so you can really claim to be an industry professional and dictate higher fees.

Advantages

  • Teach classes on your schedule
  • Charge the prices you wish
  • Share your knowledge
  • Meet new people
  • Use your existing skills

Disadvantages

  • Can be tough finding clients
  • Clients can be difficult
  • May need to travel to sessions
  • Low repeat business

Other things to consider

While this is a great way to make money you may want to keep in mind that you are training your competition to be better. Acting is already a supercompetitive field and the more people there are of high ability the harder it will be to land roles.

You may even want to think about where you will hold training sessions, will people come to you, or will you travel to them? If you prefer the latter then you may want to add a premium for travel costs and decide on the areas that are able or unable to reach. 

5. Dancing or Singing Lessons

image of dance class

Following on from the previous suggestion of acting coaching is the option to offer dancing, music, or singing lessons. If you have had special instruction in the art of tap-dancing, singing,  or you play a mean guitar you can offer to tutor private sessions to other actors that wish to add these skills to their range.

Tuition times can be scheduled around your own calendar and you can set your own rates of pay. These rates can be quite good as you are teaching specialized skills. You may even be able to scoop up a few clients from your own work or auditions so have a few business cards at the ready with your information on. Classes can be easily held in a spare room, or in your own home or apartment. 

Advantages

  • Own schedule
  • Lucrative pay rates
  • A fun way to earn
  • Share your talents

Disadvantages

  • Cancellations lead to loss of earnings
  • Client management
  • May need to work unsociable hours

Other things to consider

If you are teaching music or dancing lessons from home then you may want to consider the times of day that you will teach. Noise from heavy footwork or musical instruments can be a nuisance to your neighbors, especially if they are outside normal working hours, and you don’t want to get into trouble with your housing association or apartment management. 

6. Freelancing

image of Freelancing

A good way to earn yourself some money on the side is to offer your services as a freelancer. There are many sites that are set up to help you connect with clients and outlay is relatively small. All you will need is a decent laptop and an internet connection and you can get up and running.

You can earn money for a whole range of different jobs including writing blogs, social media management, data entry, bookkeeping, web design, and almost anything else you can think of that can be done remotely.

If you use an online service like Upwork you can browse through and apply to any jobs that appeal to you. Some sites specialize in certain areas like transcription or evaluation services.

Advantages

  • Minimal equipment required
  • Flexible working hours
  • Range of work to choose from
  • Can sometimes negotiate rates

Disadvantages

  • Fluctuating workload
  • Fluctuating pay
  • Can take time to build up clients

Other things to consider

Working as a freelancer will require some self-discipline to keep up with the daily working requirements and to meet deadlines. It may be useful to set up a calendar for yourself with due dates for different freelance tasks to keep you on track.

Many of the freelance platforms use ratings or reviews system, good and bad reviews can affect the amount of work you are awarded so try and keep your clients as happy as possible.

7. Affiliate Marketing

image of affiliate marketing

As a tried and tested method for running an online business Affiliate Marketing comes to the fore time and time again as a viable option. The appeal of Affiliate Marketing is that it is easy to start with virtually no upfront investment needed, it can be managed from anywhere, and it can even make you passive income.

It ticks a lot of boxes for busy people that want to make some extra cash. It works by you placing product links on your website and earning a commission for anyone that makes purchases from clicking those links. If you have limited tech knowledge many Affiliate Partners like Wealthy Affiliate will assist you in creating your website and many have pre-made templates that you can use.

Simply determine your niche, choose your products, and start earning. The nice thing about using your product links is that they are trackable, so you can earn credit for the sale, but also, via the use of cookies, this tracking is maintained for up to 30 days. Meaning that if your customer makes the purchase at a later date, you will still receive the commission for it. 

Advantages

  • Easy setup
  • Little to no investment
  • Wide product range
  • Passive Income

Disadvantages

  • Commission set by affiliate partners
  • Fluctuating income
  • High competition in some niches

Other Things to Consider

The market is saturated within certain writing niches. Depending on how competitive your area is you may struggle to gain a foothold in your chosen market. So research carefully before committing to your given product or service area. You want to select an area that is unique and relatively narrow, but not TOO narrow.

8. Gig work

image of gig work

The term ‘gig work’ may seem a bit broad but the reality is that there are quite a lot of apps out there that will pay you for doing jobs, or even shopping for items and providing market research information. Apps like Gigwalk, Takl, and Mobee are 3 such platforms that will connect workers with tasks and pay them for their time.

Some of the jobs may even be local appointments like painting or organizing someone’s homes. Some smaller gigs may not pay super-high rates but of you can stack a few together you can maximize your earning potential. Market research gigs usually involved answering a few questions and taking photos with your cell phone. 

Advantages

  • Flexible
  • No financial outlay
  • Can work for multiple apps
  • Stack jobs to earn more

Disadvantages

  • Irregular pay
  • Inconsistent work
  • Need to travel to locations

Other Things to Consider

While most companies adopt a sign-up service for both customers and providers which verifies identity, safety may still be an issue. For some of these occupations, you may need to go into the homes of complete strangers so make sure you are following all the rules and never take a job outside of the platform you are using, as tempting as it may be.

9. Food delivery 

picture of food delivery

In busy cities and densely populated areas, you may be able to make yourself a packet from food delivery. While you can sign up as a delivery driver for your local pizza company you may be able to earn more by driving for services like UberEats or Doordash.

These companies partner with multiple restaurants and if there is a lot in your local area it should keep you busy. After hours and weekends are the times that have the highest earning potential so if you are able to commit to hours during these times you should do quite well.

No experience is needed but you will have to pick up food from restaurants and verify that orders are correct. Customers have the ability to leave you a tip for your services on top of the fee they pay, and you get to keep 100 percent of any gratuities which can significantly boost your earnings. 

Advantages

  • Work when you want
  • Keep 100 percent of tips
  • No experience needed
  • Good chance for steady work

Disadvantages

  • Customer issues
  • Higher Insurance Premiums
  • Traffic
  • Parking problems at busy restaurants

Other Things to Consider

Make sure you check with your insurance provider if you are using your own car to make deliveries. Now it is being used in a commercial capacity you may need to increase your coverage. Also, be aware of parking availability at and around your pickup location, many a food delivery driver has been stung by a parking ticket.

10. Write an eBook

image of eBook

Amazons self-publishing program, Kindle Direct Publishing has brought literally thousands of would-be authors out of the woodwork. While not everyone can be a best selling writer there is an opportunity to make money from your work. If you have the urge to write a book then Kindle Direct is a great platform to do this on, but it is also worth remembering that this marketplace is not just limited to novels.

There is also a whole host of self-help books, guides, teaching manuals and more besides. You may be able to write a book on acting coaching or a guide to help new and aspiring actors to ace their auditions. Whatever the content, once you have completed it upload it to Kindle Direct and name your price.

Any profits from sales will come directly to you after Kindle has taken their cut. The nice thing about making money this way is that if you manage to write a book that sells, it can be sold over and over without limitations. 

Advantages

  • Make unlimited sales
  • Set own prices
  • Write multiple books
  • Write on any topic

Disadvantages

  • Lots of competition 
  • Some subjects saturated
  • Kindles Fees
  • May need marketing funds

Other Things to Consider

Saturated topic areas may be your biggest challenge when deciding to write an ebook, so unless you are a gifted fiction writer you may want to stick to non-fiction areas. There is a large market for instructional books, guides, and any area where you may use gained expertise to teach others.

Summary 

If you need to make some extra cash on a side hustle then any of these job suggestions should be able to be worked around your acting commitments quite nicely. Some of them even use the skills that you have gained in the world of performing arts, like acting coaching.

Whichever ones you decide to try they should provide you with ways to boost or level out any income that you are making from acting work, and nicely fill in the times you are between jobs. 

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