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This Week: Sources for Survival – Overlooked jobs available now

I’ve been keeping quiet (at least publicly) about the economy a.k.a. The George W. Bush Legacy. As someone who is a news & political junkie I didn’t want to add voice, of what I know privately about some endangered producing entities both clients and non-clients, to the already depressing, non-stop, talking heads on MSNBC, CNN and that other cable network which my father faithfully watches.

Being the media addict that I am I listen and read intently for, what may seem to some, obscure indicators of things to come while digesting the parsing of Reuters, Olbermann, Matthews, Scarborough, Cooper and others. I also look to my e-mail in box. There is hope that we’re nearing the end of economic darkness. And now that pilot season has ended, casting is done for stock and regionals, and studios shutter for the summer; additional sources of income are needed for the entertainment workforce. Desperately.

I’ve recently been receiving a fresh influx of long ago familiar e-mails, which tapered off last fall, to one of my far too many e-mail addresses. Notices from senders from when I used to occasionally straddle the civilian world with my present career path. (If you think being on this side of the audition table garners big bucks can I sell you on the idea that Tim Gunn’s school-uniformed, sex-slave is Karl Rove?… shudder.)

Marketers seeking help are writing once again via missives to my AOL alias. Like cockroaches, marketers never go away… permanently. Marketing is one of the few areas of employ that neither firewalls or the Bush Legacy can kill. I used to be a part-time marketer. From writing ad copy for beers (which I never drank) to being, what you may or may not recognize as, a Brand Ambassador a.k.a. a promo model. The latter of which I’d never think myself to be but was.

There are civilian, survival jobs folks. And you don’t have to be pretty or intelligent (I think I just insulted myself… and the populous of Alabama).

If you can walk, be reasonably polite, follow instructions you can be a Brand Ambassador which can entail anything from giving free test drives in a new Caddy to strangers on the streets (did that in Philly for six weeks) to handing out Cliff Bars in Times Square (did that for a day). The hours are easy, the pay reasonable but not always immediate. But there’s pay. And best of all you don’t have to live in New York or LA to get involved. Repeat… you don’t have to live in NY or LA. Though I no longer do marketing (other than my own) I get offers of work from all over the country as I did this week for events in Connecticut, Florida, New York and elsewhere across the country.

Now, as I penned in that monster of an acting book I wrote, you do have to be careful of what marketing-staffing companies you get involved with. Below I’ve listed a few of the better companies for you to investigate.

OK, so you might be saying, “Paul, I ain’t no model.” or “I hate dealing with the public.” Fine. There is a side line job perfect for you presently hiring. Government.

The 2010 census is hiring. Now and next fall. All across the country people are needed to help with the census. Part-time and full-time. Take advantage of one of the few, at present, growth industries (albeit short termed). Following this missive is a link for finding more info on jobs with the 2010 census.

In ACTING Make It Your Business I, and the actors I interviewed, talk about a number of other civilian jobs opportunities available to get by. Now more than ever those jobs are vital to the survival of anyone involved in our industry.

I won’t go into doom and gloom here. I’ll keep what bad industry info I have and instead share some positive news that is beyond our community. Signs of hopeful growth and confidence are increasing. Slowly. While not at digital age speed impatience, present indicators are better than they were from several months ago. All of us need to follow that trend. Personally, I see June/July as a time when the indicators of better times ahead become more apparent. Those indicators are there now, but they’re faint whispers. Better a whisper than silence.

COMING NEXT SUNDAY: Deceitful Producers & Scam Exposed


My Best,


Paul Russell’s career as a casting director, director, acting teacher and former actor has spanned nearly thirty years. He has worked on projects for major film studios, television networks, and Broadway. Paul has taught the business of acting and audition technique at NYU and has spoken at universities including Yale, Temple and the University of the Arts. He writes a column for Back Stage and is the author of ACTING: Make It Your Business – How to Avoid Mistakes and Achieve Success as a Working Actor. For more information, please visit

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Marketing Job Links:

NOTE: (None of the following companies receive a commission or fee from the talent. If you come across a marketing staffing company that asks for a fee or commission one word; RUN)

Mirrorball (Based in NYC; they are a progressive, hip company. They also happen to be the company I wrote copy for many of their clients): (click on contact page for job info)

GMR (One of the event marketing leaders in the field and a company I worked for):

U.S. Concepts:

Event Pro Strategies (A sub-contractor that provides staffing):

GC Marketing Services (A sub-contractor that provides staffing):

2010 Census Jobs Link:


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