Up until now I have been one of the lucky ones. My jobs last year afforded me enough unemployment insurance to just squeak by while waiting for film and theatre to open up again. I started a few projects to keep myself busy and to hold impending doom at bay, but now those "for me projects" are now, by necessity, becoming a side hustle.
Unemployment is running out for many film and theatre professionals. Some didn't even have the luxury of a small unemployment insurance to bank on. I wrote recently about professionals having to leave NYC and mentioned Be An Arts Hero and The Costume Industry Coalition. These projects are important and I highly suggest reading up on both and the DAWN Act. But, some professionals need more than these organizations can supply. That is where the side hustle (now potentially the main hustle for the time being) comes in.
I decided to open an Etsy store. I contacted a few other industry friends who have done the same for some insight. (You can read my interview with my dear friend Kim Griffin about her store a few years ago here) With their help I navigated through opening my shop and posting a few of my designed products.
Although I have made very few sales at the time of writing this, I am crossing my fingers this shop will help me make enough to keep my head above water. Hopefully these side hustle businesses can go back to being side hustles soon. But in the meantime, please check out these film and theatre professionals' side hustles. I will leave links below. Happy shopping.
*Note-rachelsclosetrevival was added after original publishing of this article once her site went live.
After the news broke that Broadway was not opening any theatre's doors until at least Labor Day and the growing number of plays and musicals being streamed on various sites, I started thinking about what that meant for my industry.
Releasing filmed theatre is an idea many have had. For example, 'Hamilton' is going to be streamed on Disney Plus come this July. Although this was already planned and in the works before quarantine many other productions have warmed up to the idea; hosting recordings of their past performances on various sites or rushing to film a current show not yet opened. As a consumer I am excited to have new content to watch, but as a professional in the industry I have a few questions. Are those working behind the scenes, the wardrobe, stage technicians, etc. being paid residuals? Are the actors? Can those filming during quarantine keep safe social distance? Finally, what does this filming mean for theatre once things get "back to normal"?
I have a few friends in the industry and Actor's Equity, so I sent out a quick text to them to see what they thought about streaming theatre. The overall consensus was that we were all happy that streaming agreements were something being discussed by our industry. Streaming is new and there are so many different opinions on what is best for those working in theatre in regards to agreements and working on a filmed theatre show. Another question we were all interested to hear discussed: "when does the filming and streaming of theatre become film"? I am looking forward to hearing more from the different theatre unions and others in the industry about this new frontier in theatre.
-Curtains for Broadway: No Shows Til Labor Day, at Least- NY TIMES
-'Hamilton' movie will stream on Disney Plus on July 3 - NY TIMES
-How the Entertainment Industry is Dealing with Coronavirus -Backstage
-How to Support a Theatre Company and Stream a Show While Social Distancing -Playbill
I am currently home in my comfy clothes writing this article as the TV show I was working on has been paused due to COVID-19. While sitting at home I was wondering what this pause would mean for costumes, clothing, and fashion, and what other viruses and illnesses have done to affect fashion throughout history. (Fitting no?)
Smallpox and Tuberculosis are just two examples of how diseases have affected fashion throughout history. There are many other epidemics and illnesses that have changed the way we dress. Maybe I'll research a few more in the future for part 2 if I end up having to extend my social separation. Stay safe and healthy. Don't forget to was your hands!