When I was made redundant from the Metropolitan police on 31st December 2015, I was lucky enough to be given an early ‘modest’ pension to stop me panicking about getting work as soon as possible. In a way, it has given me the freedom to start writing my second book, whilst trying to get the first one published. And to be honest, these two projects, take up most of my time and I have never been busier.
That said, I am also trying to earn a little extra so that I can delay going back to full time work for as long as possible, as I feel I am working for myself and never bored. Now I have the luxury of looking for work based on how much fun it might be, rather than it having to be anything I can find, as long as it pays my mortgage.
The first thing I did:
I signed up for one of the most famous model agencies in the UK, called Ugly…
I’m in pretty good nick for someone over 50 years old, so I thought I might find a slot in the mature modelling market, and fortunately for me now, you don’t have to look like a film star to earn some cash. Within a month I’d secured work with Puregym through Ugly, and a little later, with M&S for their new customer review service. It pays really well, but would never be enough (unless you look like George Clooney) to live on.
As a photographer myself though, it has been fantastic to work with other hugely talented art directors and photographers on a very professional scale. Some of the requests I’ve had in the last two months have been very bizarre, but you only get 1 in 5 of the requests made of you though. Requests made:
To dress up and interact with the crowd at a conference as James Bond… then, in the second half, change into a Ziggy Stardust outfit to do the same.
To dress up as a ‘Ghostbuster’ and ride the new Derren Brown Ghost train at Thorpe park for The Sun newspaper… I’d have done that for free!!!!!!!
To ‘streak’ in front of Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on the Alan Carr show wearing only fleshing underpants! Luckily they wanted someone with a big belly (of which I do not have) so my bluff of saying yes paid off, as it would have been painfully humiliating.
To be a cool dad, playing football with his wife… they are happy… happy because he has had a vasectomy and their sex life has never been so good.
To be an accountant buying flowers for his wife… wow, a normal one.
And today… I had an audition to play a doctor flying a plane whilst talking to a transvestite about HIV. I’m waiting to see if I get the part for next week.
So, if you are quietly confident enough to perform or pose in front of a camera, and have the flexibility to turn up at castings, shoots and auditions at very short notice, then this is a great way of earning a little extra cash to fund the writer in you. AND… it gives tons of new material to work with if you are a comedy writer… it is bonkers!
I’ve also signed up for Ray Knight, to get some film extra work, so looking forward to my first gig very much. The hours are quite long and start early, and don’t really pay that much (Approx £100 per day) but again, you meet some very interesting people, and it can lead to other opportunities.
Okay, my next blog will be more writer orientated, with the question… To ISBN or not to ISBN?
Sprinkled with any new adventures. Have a great week.