10 Jul For Struggling Actors, No More Waiting Tables. The New Side…
She estimates that sponsored brand events now amount to a quarter of her income. She even started an immersive event company called Minute Zero with five fellow performers. âThere are very few artists these days who can afford to just do one thing,â she said.
Like any job, being a brand ambassador has its downsides. âGiving out free things brings out the ugly in people,â said Mr. Hankinson, the onetime mummy. âWhen youâre standing in the park handing out free Popsicles, you experience the most manipulative, lying, negative side of people. And you have to be able to keep smiling and laugh it off. Even when youâre like, Ugh, I know youâre not really allergic to strawberry because, Honey, I just saw you go over there and eat the strawberry Popsicle, then come back and ask for a coconut one.â
He also noted that lately, as more staffing agencies have cropped up, heâs been approached to do the same kind of work that pays $30 to $50 at his current agency, but for $16 per hour instead.
Ms. Malone, for her part, worries that her B.A. gigs are becoming less accommodating. One agency she works with has begun requiring commitments of up to five days at a time, making it harder to schedule last-minute auditions.
For now, she feels upbeat about the future. In March, she performed in a play about Harriet Tubman. In April, she landed a small role in an Amazon docuseries. âThey put us all up in such a fancy hotel,â she said. And the past few months, sheâs been working as a B.A. at a Dolby audio âpop-up experienceâ in SoHo.
Mr. Hankinson, on the other hand, recently relocated to Atlanta, drawn by the boom in film and TV production there. But he is always ready to return to New York for work: his B.A. gigs certainly beat working in restaurants, he said, and still pay so well that he finds them hard to turn down. At least for now.
âYou donât want to be a waiter when youâre 45,â Mr. Hankinson said. âI donât know if you want to do B.A. work either, but you could.â