8 Ways Improvisers Can Make Money
It was just a few years ago that improvisers struggled to make ends meet. Luckily for us, fellow millennials who couldn’t find actual jobs have created a demand for non-actual jobs that allow you unlimited earning potential, the ability to set your own hours and pay you exclusively through PayPal. I myself have about 12 of these jobs. Here are my 8 favorites:
A lot of dog walking places will hire back-up walkers whom they can call when their regular staff of hungover DePaul students starts fucking up.
Downside: A lot of the dogs you’ll walk are smelly and old, their poo will be straight liquid, and you’ll spend half the walk picking crust out of their cloudy eyeballs.
Upside: For every five of these decrepit Tim Burton puppets, you’ll get a puppy!!!!
This is absolutely the best way to get strangers into your backseat and have them navigate you towards undisclosed locations. This is especially exciting at night. And in Logan Square.
Downside: Someone may puke in your car.
Upside: Great way to meet people. I’ve made exactly two Facebook friends.
Because letting strangers into your car isn’t personal enough. The guests are usually awesome. We’ve hosted folk musicians, pilots, Australians, a magician’s assistant, a female Korean hip-hop duo, a guy who owns a houseboat, jugglers, the perpetually homeless and a jujitsu black belt.
Downside: The couple that loves to bonk uglies on your air mattress.
Upside: The gifts! Our guests have left us homemade whiskey, Korean bookmarks, a lone thong in the dryer and Californian apple vinegar.
People will pay you to live in their condo while they are on vacation. These are typically rich people who used to fully trust their neighbors, but now their condo association accepts renters. They’re convinced that the moment they skip town, the unmarried pregnant couple renting downstairs is going to bust in and throw an orgy.
Downside: They will certainly have nanny cams and will call you several times a day about where you’re leaving your shoes and how you’re loading the dishwasher.
Upside: Access to bidets.
This is the Internet version of trying to pick up work in a Home Depot parking lot. You post what you’re capable of and for how little you’re willing to work, then people contact you with jobs and ask if they can pay you less, but in cash.
Downside: Get ready to clear out a lot of dead people’s garages.
Upside: Newfound pride in how little you own and how easy your sudden death would be for other Task Rabbits to deal with.
My oldest standby. Watch a You Tube video, get in a quick practice run on yourself, make a sign, and you’re all set! You can camp out in a Whole Foods parking lot for hours before they ask what you’re doing.
Downside: If you take off an eyebrow, that’s on you.
Upside: None. This looks and feels weird the whole time.
Think Tanks (or Hill Milk)
Companies are desperate to understand the needs of millennials. This is very good news for you. To the tune of about $500 a day, companies will pay you to imagine new products that they could sell to you at a later date.
Downside: You’re going to be hanging out with a lot of mid-40s corporate types who secretly hate you and your millennial ideas.
Upside: Being paid to create insanity! Recently, somebody gave me a gross amount of money for my exercise plan, Hill Milk. This is where you chase a small ice cream maker up and down a hill for 30 minutes, until the liquid ingredients inside have been stirred enough to solidify into ice cream, and you eat it as reward for all your hard work exercising. Somebody paid me for that. Trust me, if I can get paid for Hill Milk, you can get paid for anything.
This is the mother of all part-time jobs. It pays hourly, plus cash tips. You spend your summer outside, downtown, meeting tons of people from Europe, Asia and Wisconsin.
Downside: Sexy, sexy farmer’s tan.
Upside: I saw Henry Winkler at the Planetarium! We locked eyes, and we both knew that he was Henry Winkler, and I was on a Segway.
Erin Lann is an understudy to the Second City Touring Company, and a cast member of Second City Improv All-Stars, the Annoyance Theater House Ensemble and Laugh Out Loud Theater. Follow her on Twitter and Tumblr.