It’s one of those basic life facts – working is hard. Do you know what isn’t 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 actually enjoy? 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 visiting humor websites 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. Here is a list of random jobs that actually pay well:
Renting Out 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 live, 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 goddamn table, then head up 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 also a free renovation.
Some homeowners do this for a living and advertise their property through talent agencies. 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 The Rock skulking about in the bushes, maybe read the fine print a little closer.
You Can Do Cosplay Full-time
Cosplay is basically an eternal Halloween for adults. You dress up as your favorite character, then you go to a con and stand in line for sixteen hours while nobody gets your reference. And yet, you can make a living out of it. For some, cosplay is a lucrative job that brings in a six-figure income.
Professional cosplayers spend 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 masses. Take Enako, one of Japan’s most famous professional cosplayers. She rakes in around $100,000 U.S. every year just by playing dress-up on a super-serious level.
Celebrity Impressionists Can Actually Make Bank
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 may be wrong. 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 accurate. 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 had some folks mistaking him for Zach Galifianakis.
He actually doesn’t actually 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. 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.
People Make a Living by 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 we all said 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, regardless.
YouTuber “CookieSwirlC” is one of the mega-stars of the scene, and she makes her money by 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 ten grand per day, just for grabbing Troll dolls by the hair and wiggling them around a bit.
This isn’t an adult thing. For example, 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. Like a sucker!