Side Hustle Spotlight: The Actor Who Finds People Dream Jobs While Pursuing Her Own

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Welcome to another edition of Side Hustle Spotlight where I interview actors and filmmakers at different levels of their careers who have used their other passions to capitalize on a fulfilling side hustle. These folks no longer or have never had to do serving work that drained their energy and made them miserable. Be sure to check out the original article for inspiration on discovering your side hustle.

This week we interview a corporate recruiter who works from home and makes her own hours, using people skills she learned from acting and casting her own projects!

Name: Michelle Lulic

Side hustle: Corporate recruiter

Years acting: Four years professionally

Favorite acting credits/opportunities: I recurred on the Travel Channel series “Mysteries at the Museum” where I was able to play a variety of strong women in history. I also starred in Investigation Discovery’s true-crime series “Hometown Homicide” and screened at the Cannes International Film Festival in the short film “Rock This!”

What do you do when an audition or shoot comes up?
The great thing about my side hustle is that I have complete control over my scheduling. If I know a shoot or an audition is coming up, I can block out hours or days on my calendar so nothing is scheduled during those times. My job is also completely work-from-home. So if an audition comes up at the last minute, I can move my calendar around and get ready with whatever hair, make-up, or outfit I need since I’m already at home!

Have you ever felt like your side hustle was in jeopardy because of acting? How long did it take you to feel like you had security at this side hustle, even if you took time off for an acting project?
Going into this job, I was very upfront with my employers about the fact that I was an actor. So from day one they have been incredibly supportive and understanding of what that means when it comes to schedule changes or reassigning certain tasks. When I was first assigned to a larger project, they actually put a disclaimer on my contract that said, “unless Michelle lands a major acting role!” My colleagues are so supportive and love hearing all of my crazy audition stories. 

What skills or talents did you need for this side hustle? How long did it take you to qualify or complete training for your side hustle?
Organization, good communication, and my experience casting actors in a few independent productions are actually the skills that helped me land this job. I started out as an intern, which provided free training, and balanced that along with acting and some excess temp work for about two months. Now I’m a recruiter on the team and only have to split my time between that and acting. 

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How does this side hustle fulfill you? Do you feel like you’re helping people/society/humanity in a tangible way?
I like to say that I’m connecting people with their dream jobs while going after mine. It’s exciting to interview candidates for companies and jobs in the corporate world that they’re excited about. Then, when they get hired for the job, I get to experience their excitement just as my manager or a casting director gets to experience my excitement when I book a part. It’s nice to be on the other side of the table for a change! 

Has your side hustle made you better at acting or achieving your acting goals? 
Recruiting is actually a lot like casting. Sorting through résumés and conducting interviews has taught me so much about why I may or may not get called into an audition or book a part. I can tell almost immediately if someone is right for a job based on the rrésumé they submitted or their confidence in the interview. That has helped me reflect back on my own audition submissions and behaviors so I can self-correct from there. 

Why did you choose to do this side hustle instead of more stereotypical acting side hustles like serving?
I’ve tried so many stereotypical actor side hustles before finding this one. I was a barista, an office temp, [and] a theater teacher for kids. I even traveled around the city as a secret shopper for a ride-sharing service! Finding this job was a blessing in and of itself. It’s provided me with the belief that I don’t have to struggle financially while I build my acting career. 

If you produce your own work, do you feel like this current side hustle allows you the freedom/resources to do that?
I produced my first short film “Fine” a few months before I had this job. Finding the time needed for pre-production and post-production was definitely a balancing act. But now that I have one stable job outside of acting instead of trying to balance many, I’m excited to be writing my next script. 

Do you have any advice for actors that aren’t sure what path to take while they are waiting for acting to pay all the bills?
The perfect side hustle really is out there. Keep searching, reach out to your network of people both in the industry and out, and you’ll find something that works for you. It may take some trial and error, and you may need to live frugally for a bit, but you absolutely don’t have to settle for something you hate. The happier you are in your life, the better you’ll perform in your auditions.

Looking for your side hustle? Check out these brand ambassador casting calls on Backstage!

The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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Linnea Sage
Linnea Sage is an actor, voice-over artist, writer, and producer in NYC. She currently stars in the comedy series “WILDCATS” on the Fullscreen Network, as well as voicing superheroes in the Marvel video game, Avengers Academy. Follow her @LinneaSage on Twitter and @Linnayeahhh on Instagram.
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