9 Survival Jobs Actors Can Do From Home

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We all know about Starbucks and retail, but these days, options for in-the-flesh survival gigs have dwindled if not essentially disappeared thanks once again to the coronavirus pandemic. But even though you can’t pay your bills mixing up macchiatos for the time being, there are still ways to buoy your bank account as you wait for your next gig—and yes, you can do them from the comfort of your own home (sweatpants are optional, if not encouraged). 

Copyediting and/or fact-checking
As we all know, the internet is a rapidly moving entity, and there is frequently (for better or worse) a push to be first. Sometimes, a superfluous “t” gets in there, or that senator was actually elected in 1988, not ’89. That’s where you come in; all you need is a seriously scrupulous eye, a search engine, and access to a style guide (AP Style, APA Style, CMS, or MLA, for example, depending on the outlet’s preference). 

COVID contact tracing
Here’s an opportunity that COVID-19 actually created rather than destroyed for a change of pace. Contact tracing is going to be an important aspect of the next couple of years, and it’s opened up an entirely new field. These are all remote positions that will mandate training, but no medical background is required. 

Data entry
It’s boring and it’s hardly going to be the leading chapter in your memoir, but it’s tried and true and you can do it from your bed. What else do you need to know? 

Freelance software work
As actors, you should be very used to the notion of freelancing. After all, is being an actor not also spending life as a freelancer? But when people hear “freelance,” they usually just think writing, but there are tons of other freelance services needed these days, most of which can be done with nominal software knowledge; this includes video or photo editing, and simple design work.

Online tutoring
Though much of the world is on pause, education certainly is not. And now more than ever, parents are worried about their children falling behind in their studies (and are also exhausted from home-educating). There are tons of programs matching tutors with students; check out Chegg Tutors to start. 

Paid surveys
It’s not the most glamorous, but there are tons of surveys out there that will pay you for partaking. The bright side: This is the kind of task that can usually be done while listening to music or even a podcast so rev up a playlist. Surveyjunkie.com is a great place to start. 

Transcribing
This one is as straightforward as it gets: Type out audio or video files, usually billed on an X-dollars/minute basis. Clients will also frequently pay higher rates if your turnaround is quicker so crack those knuckles and get to typing.

READ: How to Put Your Craft to Use During COVID-19

User testing websites
Have you ever been organically perusing and thought, “Wow, this website is terrible”? Well, you’re in luck, because you can now put your shady opinions to use for actual money! Tons of websites need feedback from engaged users and your opinion is not only valid but could actually have an impact on the user experience for a given site.  

Virtual assistant
Assisting someone is a history-old way to get by, but even in these times when you can’t necessarily be fetching coffee for a boss, those higher-ups are still in need of assistance from a virtual standpoint. Specifically, think about the nuisance that is email correspondence—now, you can be hired to take that load off someone else’s digital plate. (No one ever said capitalism was perfect.) 

Looking for remote work? Backstage has got you covered! Click here for auditions you can do from home!

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Casey Mink
Casey Mink is the senior staff writer at Backstage. When she's not writing about television, film, or theater, she is definitely somewhere watching it.
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