Best Survival Jobs for Actors and Models


As you pursue your dream of acting or modeling, you’ll need survival jobs to help pay the bills. Most people instantly think of working as a bartender or waiting tables.

While these jobs do work well and tips can help boost your income, these options don’t work for everyone. Some people aren’t naturally night owls, and staying up late working negatively impacts their performance during auditions.

Fortunately, you don’t have to work a night shift job if that doesn’t fit your needs.

There are a variety of flexible jobs available that provide a livable income while allowing for time to audition for acting and modeling jobs.

To find the right survival jobs for you, first, identify what skills and interests you have. Then, you can look for opportunities that utilize your skills and passions. While it can take a little time to figure out what types of survival jobs will work for you, it’s worth it since you’ll end up finding a job that you enjoy!

Here are some survival job ideas to help get you started.

Substitute Teacher

Consider applying to your local school district to be a substitute teacher if you enjoy working with kids. In many school districts, you don’t need a teaching certificate to be a substitute. You will need to demonstrate you’ve had experience working with children and complete a background check.

Some substitute teachers find enough consistent work to live off of, but this can be an inconsistent job. You may need to pair this type of job with another kind of flexible work.

Virtual Assistant

Are you an organized person or have office skills? You may want to consider becoming a virtual assistant. You get to work from home and will have control over your schedule, which can provide the flexibility you need for auditions.

The types of tasks you do will depend on the job and what you feel comfortable doing. Some duties include providing bookkeeping services, social media management, managing calendars and email, booking appointments, or event management.

You can specialize in the tasks that you enjoy and feel comfortable doing. As a virtual assistant, you’ll be running your own business.

Personal Trainer

As an actor or model, you know the benefits of staying fit. If you have an interest in fitness and nutrition, you might enjoy becoming a personal trainer. You’ll be able to set your schedule and control the number of clients you see. You also can specialize in a particular area, such as becoming a yoga trainer.

This job will require completing a certification process. However, this can be a great way to stay in shape while earning a living. Additionally, many gyms offer trainers a free or discounted membership rate.


If you enjoy children, consider becoming a nanny. You can work with an agency to help you find job opportunities. You'll need to document having experience working with children and complete a background check.


If you’re open to starting your own freelance business, then there are a wide variety of freelancing opportunities available. First, decide on the type of work you’d like to do. For instance, if you enjoy writing, you could pursue freelance writing.

Other examples of freelancing work include website design, logo design, photography, video editing, proofreading, and more.

Most freelance work only requires a small upfront investment, including potentially taking an online course to get you started. Research any courses carefully, however, to avoid scams. But, by working in an area you’re interested in, you’ll end up having a survival job that you enjoy.

Finding the Best Survival Job Depends on Your Interests

These survival jobs are only some of the possibilities available. Be creative and take time to identify your skills and what you like to do. The key is to find a survival job that you enjoy. You'll be happier in your everyday life, which will show in your auditions.

Aaron Ayhan