07 Jul

Finances for Actors

Survival Jobs for Actors started out in 2008/9 when I just got back into town after a gig – didn’t want to go out of town anymore, and needed a Survival Job. I couldn’t find much info out there, so I created this resource to be everything I wish I would have known on the subject when I moved to the city.

Then, marriage and kids happened and Survival Jobs went to the back-burner until about 2017, when I felt the need to talk about Survival Jobs again, but this time it wasn’t just about Survival Jobs. The gig economy had become more prevalent, so it was easier than ever to have a side hustle – so I wanted to speak to that. But it wasn’t just about a Survival Job or Side Hustle – it was about your financial life as a whole.

That’s where Finances For Actors came in.

#1 – No one teaches you about this stuff in life – I mean, as one of my favorite quotes go – (add sarcasm) “no one taught me how to write a check, but memorizing the presidents has really come in handy”

#2 – There are a ton of great financial books out there – here’s a link to my favorites – but not all of the advice applies to us. I mean, we don’t get a consistent paycheck, most of us don’t have a mortgage, and we can’t live in a city with a low cost-of-living.

So – I wanted to help share what I’ve learned and tailor it to our lifestyle.

**Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor. Please consult one. Additionally, this has nothing to do with my Survival Job.**

If you’re interested – check out Finances For Actors – please let me know what you think and what I can improve upon (too much info on one topic, not enough on another). I want this to be a jump-start to your financial education & because time is the ultimate resource – get you started saving for your future TODAY!

xoxo, Michelle

06 Jul

Job Fair

Wow – so the night of Monday, June 24th I decided to have a Job Fair… that Friday.

I had been seeing a lot of temp agents in my LinkedIn feed post about needing temps for the upcoming season. So, I had always wanted to have a true Job Fair (I hosted a temp night years ago), but decided to just go for it!

That night I created an event on Eventbrite (highly recommend it) and the next morning got approval from my Survival Job (yes, I have one) to take the vacation day – and it was off to the races.

MelRob from TheBizOfShow.com emailed it out to her list, and that night – after the kids were in bed – I sent the link out to my email lists and submitted a Job Posting/Ad on Playbill.com.

Five SUPER AWESOME employers were in (thanks for helping me pay for the room!) and I’ll include their info below if you aren’t on my email list and didn’t receive it already.

From 12-1pm we had the Job Fair and from 1-2pm we chatted about Finances for Actors (you can find the course at FinancesForActors.com). Thank you to everyone who showed up to meet awesome employers – and to chat about their journey. I’d like to quote one of the attendees (please remind me of your name!) “It was nice being around like-minded people.” Yes, yes it was.

So – if you want to be on my mailing list to know when these events are happening again – sign-up below and add SurvivalJobs (at) g….(you know the rest) to your address book (so the emails don’t go to spam.)

I can’t wait to see you at my next event!

Now for the good stuff – the Awesome Employers who supported the first Survival Jobs for Actors Job Fair –

Beacon Hill Staffing Group – Heather Cukierman

Beacon Hill is a staffing agency that helps candidates by placing them in administrative and support roles. For example, they staff positions includ ng but not limited to: executive or administrative assistants, receptionists, coordinators, data entry and office managers/assistants. We try and help candidates with many different backgrounds as well. Maybe you don’t have traditional administrative experience, but have worked in retail, food service, child care, or fitness; it’s still worth connecting! 

Heather works on short term and long term opportunities and they’re easy to work into a freelancers schedule if you’re looking for some additional income. She can work around schedules, including auditions and rehearsals, week to week and can assist in a long term and permanent job search to hopefully find some great matches.

Should you be looking for or interested in these types of opportunities, please feel free to email your resume to Heather at hcukierman@beaconhillstaffing.com 

Forrest Solutions – Gavin Davis

Forrest Solutions is the nation’s first and leading onsite outsourcing and staffing firm providing enterprise-wide people solutions on an onsite outsourced, direct hire, temporary, temp-to-hire, or consulting basis. Whether you need onsite outsourcing or staffing, Forrest Solutions recruits skilled people to help your business thrive.

We work on brand ambassadors, street teams, retail, and many other jobs for a flexible work force, perfect for the professional actor to supplement their income while pursuing their dreams.

If interested in hearing about opportunities for actors, please reach out to Gavin Davis, Client Service Manager: gdavis@forrestsolutions.com 

Green Key Resources – Sacha Rupall

Green Key Resources http://www.greenkeyllc.com/tm/ is a temp agency in Midtown Manhattan who are looking always looking for actors, musicians, artists and freelancers who are looking to supplement their income with short and long term temp work.

We have various clerical, customer service, administrative, data entry and project based work available to suit all schedules.

Please forward your resume to srupall@greenkeyllc.com 

(Note from Michelle: Regina Gatti, an actress that I worked with at North Shore Music Theatre, is now a recruiter at Green Key. I was lucky enough to interview her for my podcast – check it out – Really good info. https://survivaljobsforactors.com/temp-talk-with-regina-gatti/) 

Bohemia Realty Group – Michael Arnone

Bohemia Realty Group is looking for artists and performers interested in a dual/alternate career in real estate.  Over 70% of our agents are working artists that have thriving real estate careers, giving them financial freedom, autonomy, and flexibility of schedule during and in between gigs. 

Especially seeking those living or with easy access to Upper Manhattan. 

Join a firm that will support your passion while helping you pay the bills – and find out why Bohemia Realty Group is the hustle of choice for performers looking to be their own boss! 

We are hosting an information hiring event Weds. Jul. 10th, 7PM at our Harlem location. If you’d like to attend, you can RSVP HERE: (https://dev.brg-ny.com/hiring/index.php?p=event&2a8e94f3a56e45fa3fb1e361859a74a2&Hiring-Event-7/10#!

Bonbite NYC catering – Hannah James


What we do: Catering for day & night, Events & celebrations, Chef tasting dinners and pop ups, Corporate & private services

Staffing specifics: 5 hour minimum, Flexible scheduling, Competitive hourly pay, Opportunities to grow, Fun and positive work environment

Email Hannah James, Head of staffing and recruiting at staffing@bonbitenyc.com 

Mention “survival jobs for actors” and send a food/service oriented resume!
31 Mar

Merch by Amazon – Side Hustle Series

Merch by Amazon is a super easy way to sell your designs on Amazon.com.

As of April 1, 2019 you can sell t-shirts, sweatshirts and pop-sockets with your own designs.

It’s great!

Here’s my video on the process, check out the highlights in the blog post below.


Here’s what you do –

  • Request an invitation to Merch by Amazon
  • Create a 4500px x 5400px design on a site like Canva
  • Choose which item you’re going to sell (t-shirt, sweatshirt or pop-socket)
  • Upload your artwork
  • Pick colors
  • Fill out description
  • Submit your design!

That’s it!

After your design gets approved, to get out the word – you can include links to its page on Pinterest, your blog, social media, etc.

*But – I highly recommend applying for the Amazon Associates program so you can make affiliate fees off of any shirts (or other items) when purchases are made after clicking on your link. (See Amazon Associates rules for posting on Social and in email, though. There are definitely rules that they enforce to avoid spammers).

Here are some of my designs.

(& yes, the links above include my Amazon Associates link. You don’t get charged any more when you purchase something via my link and I get a % of the purchase!)

Thanks for stopping by!


04 Dec

Temp Talk with Regina Gatti


In the second episode of my podcast Acting Successfully with Michelle Dyer, I talk with actress turned recruiter Regina Gatti to explore why Temp Work makes a great Survival Job and how it adds experience to your resume for your future endeavors, whatever they may be!

If you’d like to speak with Regina about future opportunities email your resume and a little bit about yourself to rgatti@greenkeyllc.com.

23 Nov

Is Passive Income Really Passive?

The ideal side hustle is finding a jobs that you can do at any time from anywhere.

The ultimate side hustle is having passive income.

Now, by definition passive income is making money while not actually doing anything. Think of owning a rental property, you make the purchase up-front, and then get income from the rent payments each month. An author writes a book once, then once the book is published, benefits from the sale of the book. An actor works on a TV show, and once it hits syndication, residual checks arrive in the mail.

But, let’s look a little more at that author example. An author usually spends hundreds of hours writing that book. Once, it’s published, the publisher goes into gear marketing the book. The author will do a publicity or book signing tour.

Same with your side hustle/passive income opportunities. A lot of the ideas I talk about are great ideas, but it’s how you execute on them. You can build the best Shopify store with the coolest widgets in the world, but if no one knows about it, who’s going to buy? Keep that in mind when you’re picking your side hustles. If you’re like me, you’ll try a few to check them out to see what you like. How you market your course, t-shirt or book is a whole other conversation (or blog post). But other than stock dividends, I really haven’t found such a thing as true – do the work once, then go sit on the beach and never work again – passive income.

20 Nov

Survival Job vs. Side Hustle

What’s the difference?

  • A Survival Job is your traditional job like a catering, temp or promo gig. When you work 5 hours you get paid for 5 hours.
  • A Side Hustle could be a type of gig where you put in 5 hours up front creating an online course, but you don’t get paid until someone purchases it. Ideally – you’re not trading time for money. The goal is to get a Side Hustle that you can do anywhere at any time to product income.
    Both are incredibly valuable.

Work your Survival Jobs while you’re in town to make money. If you work a certain amount of hours, you know you’re going to get paid for them. The catch is, you have to be in town and not at the height of audition season to be available for your temp agents. Survival Jobs are especially great to work when you book a gig and have months to go before it starts.

With most side hustles you don’t make a lot of money when you initially put in the hours. You could spend hours on an online course, and then no one buys it. Or you could spend hours designing t-shirts and have 3 sales in the next week. Those 3 sales won’t pay your rent, but it’s another stream of income – and you need to have multiple! So, start brainstorming ideas for your side hustles!