Side Hustle Spotlight: The Teaching Artist Actor Who Gives Back

Photo Source: Courtesy Atlantic Theater Company

Last week, we talked about how a side hustle should fuel your acting, not suck your energy. To help illustrate what I mean about there being more options out there than slinging drinks and waiting tables, I’ll interview five actors who have fulfilling side hustles that don’t interfere with them kicking ass in the acting world. Their IMDBs are stacked, they’re producing their own projects, and their side hustles have actually helped them achieve acting success, so be sure to check back for much-needed inspiration. First up? Sheldon Best.

Side hustle: Teaching Artist (using drama or some other art form for educational and social aims)

General working hours: Depends on the contract

Years acting: 10

Favorite acting credits/opportunities?
Playing Romeo with the Public Theater’s Mobile Shakespeare Unit, working on the U.S. premieres of Roy Williams’ plays “Sucker Punch,” “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner,” and everything I do with the Vampire Cowboys Theater Company.

What do you do when an audition or shoot comes up?
One thing that has helped me is being upfront about auditions when I take a side hustle outside of this business. This way we’re on the same page and know how we both will go about trying to make it work.

I also make sure my reps know my daytime work conflicts, which I try to limit to one weekday. So first I try to avoid conflicts as much as possible. When one is unavoidable, I approach my side hustle as early as possible and make arrangements to make it to the audition. That may mean rescheduling a teaching artist lesson, having my partner at the side hustle cover until I arrive, or some other solution.

Have you ever felt like your side hustle was in jeopardy because of acting? How long did it take you to feel like you…

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