Survival Jobs: Painting


PrintFinding survival work as an Actor that doesn't involve a major time commitment, it's important to have flexibility for auditions and any last minute work that may come, is not that easy in New York City.   Especially a job that can pay a livable wage in Manhattan's exorbitant costs. Being entrepreneurial of spirit, I had the brilliant idea to start my own company about ten years ago.  I had absolutely loved scenic painting in High School and College and thought learning the craft of Faux Finishing and Decorative painting would be a great job.  I have a great eye for color and am very good with my hands (that's a euphemism).

It started by painting friend's apartments.  One of my favorite jobs was painting one of  my agent's nursery in the most beautiful Potterybarn stripes.  Then I did a commercial pilates studio in which I created a stencil and all.

Eventually I received a scholarship from the Career Transitions for Dancers to study at Dundean School in New Jersey.  I called the company McCole Designs based on my middle name, and ended up painting many apartments and even getting to paint the lobby of the Disney Theatrical offices.  (My favorite)

Finally it proved too difficult to compete with the experienced artists in the city.  Plus being on my feet 8 hours a day painting and trying to do 8 shows a week was just too taxing.

However, you never know when a part of your history may come in handy in the future when craft becomes a necessity. When I wasn't working much as an actor in 2013 I was hired to paint part of the sets of a haunted house on the lower east side. I miss painting sometimes, but it's always there waiting.

What do you do as a hobby that could help you make a living?  Leave your comments below.