Despite what you see in the movies, not everyone in New York has what you would consider a “typical” job. Sure, there are plenty of media companies, financial firms, restaurants, and dream jobs, but there are a lot of opportunities to get paid for unusual jobs that you won’t find in other major cities. Here’s a handful of weird jobs to make extra money in NYC.
Seat-filler for a live TV show
With the number of television shows that get filmed in NYC, it stands to reason that some have difficulty filling all of their seats for every show. Whether it’s a live reality show finale or the taping of a standard episode, certain television programs pay for guests to fill their seats. Many shows that offer this job are small and still trying to find their audience, so you won’t come across any of the more popular shows paying. But, for $40 a taping – sitting in the audience could get you your grocery money for the month. All you have to do is laugh, smile, and applaud on cue! These jobs are production-specific, so shows like Beat Bobby Flay and The People’s Court could fund your next food shopping trip.
Serving as a professional bridesmaid
Unlike sitting in an audience, becoming a professional bridesmaid takes a lot of time and effort leading up to the bride’s wedding day, but if you love event planning and providing support to people who need it – this could be the gig for you. Bridesmaid for Hire, an NYC-based company founded by Jen Glantz, is an organization that offers exactly what it sounds like. Professional bridesmaids can take on the traditional maid of honor responsibilities, hold virtual one-on-one sessions leading up to the big day, and even write speeches for other bridesmaids to give at the reception. And, of course, you’d be paid well for the work.
Are you looking to get into the world of marketing but don’t know where to start? How about on the ground floor as a promotional model? You don’t have to have the traditional model physique for this role, as promotional models are essentially brand ambassadors, encouraging event-goers and audience members to try and purchase a product. Being a promotional model is part being friendly, part selling a product, and part looking confident while doing it. If you work the right kind of event, you could get up to $75 an hour for your work. To find these jobs, promotional models usually work through an agency. Check out Mustard Lane and Kandu Marketing & Staffing to learn more.
Getting a haircut or color
Yes – really! While this might seem like the strangest inclusion on this list, sometimes beauty schools or new hair salons will pay you for letting them cut your hair. The downside? It’s not as easy as walking into the salon and asking for a haircut. You’ll submit a picture of your hair when you apply, and the hairstylist will tell you specifically what style they’re going to create.
For example – if you’re not willing to have your hair cropped into a pixie cut and dyed bright red, it may not be the opportunity for you. In some cases, your hair will be cut in front of an audience or even as part of a class, so you’ll also need to be okay with being in front of a crowd and having all attention on your hair. Regardless, this gig is worth the 15 minutes of hair fame and the free haircut that comes with it, You can find gigs and learn more on the Hair Model Express website.
Have you ever held a weird job in NYC?