Every actor knows that an acting career can be unstable. Finding acting jobs is hard, especially for aspiring actors just starting, and relying solely on acting income is rarely enough to carry one throughout the year. Finding at least one side job is a necessity for most professional actors.
This guide will list the best side hustles for actors chosen for their ability to generate a stable income while staying flexible enough to make space for potential auditions and other opportunities offered by an acting career.
- The Best Side Hustles For Actors in 2024: At A Glance
- 1. Voiceover Work
- 2. Modeling
- 3. Teaching Acting
- 4. Freelance Writing
- 5. Personal Training
- 6. Dog Walking
- 7. Waiting Tables
- 8. Virtual Assistance
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other Side Hustles to Consider
- Final Thoughts
The Best Side Hustles For Actors in 2024: At A Glance
An overview of our suggestions below.
- Voiceover Work
- Teaching Actinghe flexibility extends to th
- Freelance Writing
- Personal Training
- Dog Walking
- Waiting Tables
- Virtual Assistance
1. Voiceover Work
Average Hourly Rate (US): $30.52/hour
Freelance voice acting is a popular side job among many actors, as it lets them make extra money while staying inside their main expertise.
The job involves recording audio for various clients and purposes, including corporate videos, commercials, audiobooks, cartoons, and video games.
While doing voiceover work doesn’t require any particular education, having a certification from a voice artist program will help you get more work opportunities.
Having high-quality audio recording equipment and audio editing software to help clean up and enhance the recordings is a must.
Average Hourly Rate (US): $29.37/hour
Almost every successful actor possesses the gifts of photogenicity and personal magnetism, the most crucial factors for a successful modeling career.
This is why modeling jobs have always been among the favorite side gigs for actors, helped by the fact that they require no special education or certificate.
Modeling offers great flexibility, allowing you to choose your hours and schedules. Most actors will appreciate this since it leaves room for answering whatever opportunities for acting auditions may show up.
The flexibility extends to the vocation itself, with various modeling niches one may find their place in, such as plus-size, lingerie, swimsuit, runway modeling, etc.
3. Teaching Acting
Average Hourly Rate (US): $15.99/hour
It’s common for actors, especially more experienced ones, to find ends meet by offering acting classes to aspiring actors, helping them develop their acting skills.
Most students will be young people — children, teenagers, or adults enrolled in drama schools, making this gig ideal for people who like working with the youth.
Teaching requires a separate skillset from acting, so aspiring acting teachers need a professional drama teacher certificate issued by relevant educational associations.
Most will demand a bachelor’s degree or higher as a prerequisite, usually in a drama-related field.
4. Freelance Writing
Average Hourly Rate (US): $25.24/hour
Since it requires no prior experience or qualifications other than a knack for writing, freelance writing is one of the most popular side jobs.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that many actors opt for writing as their freelance work due to its flexibility and potential for making solid amounts of money with enough experience and references.
Over time, writers tend to find a writing niche in which they specialize. Building a strong portfolio in a certain niche, such as software, digital marketing, case studies, blogging, etc., opens the way to better-paying gigs.
A freelance writer is usually paid per word, making the final hourly rate dependent on the negotiated rate and the writer’s average number of words delivered per hour.
5. Personal Training
Average Hourly Rate (US): $20.06/hour
If you’re into fitness and health, you can combine your fitness knowledge with the actor’s persuasion skills and become a personal trainer.
Personal trainers work for individual clients in gyms or their own homes, where they help them maintain a consistent fitness and nutritional schedule to keep them as fit and healthy as possible.
A personal trainer job has flexible hours and can be entirely scheduled around your commitments, making it ideal if you want to leave enough time for attending and preparing for potential auditions.
A professional certificate is vital, though, so make sure to get one from a personal trainer certification program.
6. Dog Walking
Average Hourly Rate (US): $15.64/hour
The perfect job for an animal lover, a dog walker gets paid to walk dogs for pet owners who cannot do so themselves. Sometimes, the job also involves pet-sitting responsibilities.
While the job requires no certificates, education, or exceptional skills, not everyone can be a dog walker — most owners won’t give full responsibility for their beloved pets to anyone, so building a good reputation is necessary.
While making money for spending time with furry friends is a pleasant prospect, it’s a heavily responsible job that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Being always on time and consistent with the schedule is important, and clients won’t have much tolerance for inconsistency. Still, it’s easy to find clients in certain areas, especially big cities.
7. Waiting Tables
Average Hourly Rate (US): $7.82/hour
Restaurant jobs have been the go-to temp jobs for many people — especially younger ones — for decades.
The same is true for aspiring actors: household names such as Jennifer Aniston, Chris Rock, Sandra Bullock, and Sarah Silverman all used to work as waiters before making it big in the entertainment industry.
Jobs in restaurants are always in demand and easy to find. Sadly, they’re notoriously underpaid, and the staff has to rely on tips.
This is where your acting skills may come into play, though — throw on that charm of yours, see the tips suddenly rolling in, and your work hours may turn into an acting class you’re getting paid for.
8. Virtual Assistance
Average Hourly Rate (US): $17.57/hour
Virtual assistants work remotely on various administrative tasks for their clients. They mostly work for professional clients, and their duties include tasks such as scheduling appointments, managing social media accounts, and handling inquiries.
While landing a virtual assistant job doesn’t necessarily require any qualifications, having a business-related degree or at least a virtual assistant certification is quite welcome.
This certificate should prove that you possess basic skills in business administration, computer use, communication, and other skills required from personal assistants.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes Good Side Hustles for Actors?
A good side gig for an aspiring actor should provide enough financial stability and time to allow you to focus on building your career. Look for gigs with flexible schedules that can allow you to keep going to auditions.
Can You Make Money as a Movie Extra?
Working as an extra can also help you make money on the side, but the work can be unpredictable, with long hours and significant downtimes between gigs.
Still, it can be a way to get a foot into the movie business. Background actors can earn around $12.63 an hour.
Other Side Hustles to Consider
Here are a few other survival jobs for actors you may want to consider for extra money.
- Remote gig jobs: Earn more money without leaving your home with any of these great remote gig opportunities.
- Weekend side jobs: Focus on your activating career from Monday to Friday and leave your making money efforts for the weekend.
- Jobs that pay $100 an hour: If you need to earn more money, these high-paying gigs provide the perfect opportunity.
Balancing your acting gigs with various ways to acquire extra cash may be a real challenge if you’re a struggling actor. Still, some options are better than others, and this article only scratched the surface of the best side hustles available for actors.
If you have extra suggestions, please let us know in the comments below. Also, if you find the article helpful, feel free to share it with others who may find it useful.