“Make a trillion dollars working 2 hours a week!”
That may be a slight exaggeration, but you could spend hours, even days, just reading internet stories that promise you can make piles of money for doing literally almost nothing. It’s easy to see the appeal in these crazy ideas. Working is hard. You know what’s not hard? Not working. Hanging out at home, playing with toys, dressing up like a dork – why can’t somebody pay you to do the stuff you’re actually good at? But no, you have to put on pants and drive across town to sit under fluorescent lights while some guy in a tie tells you to stop reading stuff like this on company time. But maybe you don’t have to do that. Maybe people will pay you big bucks to just screw around all day. Well, there are a few ways to build up the bank account.
Cosplay is basically an eternal Halloween for adults. You dress up like your favorite character – probably sinking way too much money and time into the costume – then you go to a con and stand in line for sixteen hours while nobody gets your reference. It’s a hard-knock life. And yet, you can make a living out of it. For some, cosplay is a lucrative job that brings in a six-figure income. As long as you don’t mind the occasional airhead asking if you want to see their “Mjolnir.”
Professional cosplayers spend several months and thousands of dollars on a single costume, but if they’re good at it (and they get lucky), they might pull in $50,000-$100,000 just for standing at a booth all weekend. Literally just standing and posing for the occasional photo with the unwashed masses. Take Enako, one of Japan’s most famous professional cosplayers. She rakes in around US$100,000 a year just by playing dress-up on a super-serious level. And cat ears are only like 10 bucks on Amazon, so that’s basically all profit.
Rent Your Home To Hollywood Studios
Lots of movies take place in and around houses, because they’re usually about people, and people often live in houses. And yet Hollywood doesn’t actually own one single giant suburb full of every type of house they’ll ever need for filming. Often they just send out scouts to prowl local neighborhoods, looking for the right location. If they find a house that looks like somewhere their protagonist would be comfortable pooping, they knock on the door with a suitcase full of movie money.
And the great thing is that, most of the time, they won’t even make you move out. If you can deal with the imposition, you just say good night to Mark Ruffalo and tell him to keep his feet off the table, then head to bed while they film what they need.
That’s the deal L.A. local Jessica Fleischmann took, along with $15,000, when she agreed to pretend her house belonged to Ruffalo’s character in the 2010 film The Kids Are All Right. The filmmakers dug up her garden and repainted the house, but they put it back together better than how they found it after shooting was finished, so she not only scored a paycheck but a free renovation. Though that was in no way repayment for what Ruffalo did to their plumbing.
Some homeowners do this for a living, actually advertising their property through talent agencies, hoping all the attention doesn’t turn their precious home into a spoiled brat that eventually turns to drugs for validation. That’s why some houses keep turning up in a whole bunch of different movies, shows, and commercials. Allison Du Val lives in a converted ice cream factory that was a setting for Gossip Girl, Boy Meets Grill, The Sopranos, and Sex And The City.
Of course, sometimes, lending your private property to a film studio has its drawbacks, like when they decide to detonate explosives in your living room. Just try to find out what kind of movie it is before you sign the place over. If you see Sylvester Stallone hiding in the bushes, maybe read the fine print real closely.
Playing With Toys On YouTube
On YouTube, there are content creators who make seven-figure incomes just by filming themselves playing with kids’ toys. You might think that’s absurd. Where’s the fun in watching someone else play with toys instead of doing it yourself? But then, isn’t that what we all said about Twitch? Isn’t that what some of us still say about Twitch? Some of us just don’t understand the world anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t forge a living out of the weird.
YouTuber “CookieSwirlC” is one of the mega-stars of the scene, and she makes a mint just uploading videos of herself playing with action figures. Her channel has almost four million subscribers and, in total, gets around seven million views daily. In YouTube ad dollars, that’s around 10 grand per day, just for grabbing Troll dolls by the hair and wiggling them around a bit.
This isn’t an adult thing, and it’s not a “look at cute girls” thing. Evan is the nine-year-old proprietor of EvanTubeHD, and he makes a million-dollar salary just by opening toys and playing with them in front of a camera for the enjoyment of his four million subscribers. And to think, when you were a child, you mashed G.I. Joes together and made explosion noises for free. What a world.
Odds are that you look just a little bit like somebody famous, and this could earn you hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you thought “celebrity impressionist” was a sad joke career, well, you’re probably right. But they can’t hear you over the sound of their wallets exploding. This is all thanks to the Screen Actors Guild. If you join SAG as a performance artist, you can apply for standard minimum payments, in addition to healthcare, legal representation, and other union benefits. Also, the weekly scale for SAG members is almost $3,000. Better impressionists earn thousands for single appearances.
You don’t even have to be dead on. Take the case of Thaddeus Kalinoski, just some regular Vegas dude who lost his job and got divorced, teetering on the edge of homelessness until his beard of despair and general air of depravity got some folks mistaking him for Zach Galifianakis.
He actually doesn’t look much like Galifianakis at all – there’s like three inches of exposed face there, total. But he’s got a beard, floppy hair, and knew where to find those sunglasses. Baby, that’s a career. He now charges a thousand bucks a pop – around $250,000 a year – to appear at parties and events as the idiot from the Hangover movies. A lot easier than the creation of the Hangover movies.