Survival Jobs for Performing Artists: Nanny Actress
Interview by Lauryn M.
One of the greatest opportunities for a flexible job, accommodating audition schedules, tax-free hourly pay from $15-$50/hr depending on the family, and a fun, adventurous, creative environment, is nannying. Granted, not all nannying jobs are ideal, but it is a great way to hang out with adorable city kids, helping care and shape them as best as you can, creating unforgettable bonds, ranging activity each day, while their parents continue to work and provide. Not all performers are cut out to care for children 3-5 hours Monday through Friday, but if you do have a love for children, and can handle juggling parental duties for a limited time, assisting them with homework, dinners, and after school programs, you could find a job you truly love.
Read on to see how one performer truly enjoys her job as a nanny in the city, while pursuing a career in the arts.
Interview with Leah Fox
How many years have you lived in NYC?
I have lived in New York City for 4 years this coming July
How did you become interested in working as a nanny in the city?
I got tired of being treated so poorly by the restaurant industry and quite literally tired of the bartending hours. I hated feeling so expendable by my bosses and so pressured to be "on" all the time by my customers.
How long have you been working as a nanny?
I have been a nanny for 6 years-- 3 in NYC
How did you hear about your nanny job opportunities?
I love care.com but a lot of my nanny friends also find work through UrbanSitter.com
What ages have you nannied for?
I have nannied for newborns, elementary school aged children, and pre/teens.
Do you believe working as a nanny is a reliable, flexible, enjoyable source of income, while pursuing a career in the arts?
I think that it's an incredibly rewarding experience-- with the right family. I was with the wrong family for far too long and unfortunately it was difficult to get out of; A. because the money was so great and B. all of the other nannies in that specific school environment were being treated as poorly as I was so it made my poor treatment "normalized." I love having my mornings free to audition because school pick-up doesn't start until 2:30-- and I know some schools that don't let out until 3:25. I think as long as your family understands that you care deeply for their children but also are striving to make it as an artist, it can be the best job to have as an artist. It's easy to forget how imaginative and playful children are. A specific memory I have is coming from an improv class right to school pick-up and releasing how naturally inclined children are to say "yes and" without hesitation or fear of embarrassment. I would just say to HEAVILY listen to your gut (even and ESPECIALLY at interviews!) when it comes to deciding if this family is FOR YOU! Not the other way around! I think it's really easy to be blinded by the amount of money they are willing to pay you and it doesn't allow you to really comprehend what is being asked of you a lot of the time. You also need to fully comprehend the amount this family depends on you. i.e.- If you get a callback tomorrow, out of nowhere, does their world fall apart because you can't pick someone up or be there to make dinner? If the answer is yes, understand that going into the job.
Would you recommend working as a nanny to new artists in the city?
Absolutely. Again, I know money is probably tight but I would really advise taking time to make sure the family is the right fit for you and your values. Also, you can totally pick up date-night and after school pickups all the time without having to fully commit to a single family.
Have any other comments or concerns you would like to share?
I guess one thing I didn't really go into detail with is also making sure your values and the family in which you are RAISING THEIR CHILDREN's values align. After a long period of time you start realizing how much of an impact you have on the children you spend time with, and if there is a huge gap between what they are teaching their children to believe about the world, and what you think about the world, that can be really difficult waters in which to navigate. I love so dearly the two children I look after and their safety and happiness have become my priority like someone who has known and loved them their whole lives. Although caring for children --who are truly absolute chaos-- can at times be stressful, the rewards and benefits to experiencing the world again as a child are endless. AND if you really want kids you get to sort of have a test-go at it!
Leah Fox is an equity actress originally from Erie, PA who has lived in New York City for 4 years. She lives in Harlem with her boyfriend, Ross, and their dog, Finn E. Bear.
Also follow @theatrebetches
Facebook: Leah Fox
Top Babysitting/Nannying companies in NYC:
Artist Babysitting (Rachel’s current employer)
Email [email protected], and include your resume, artistry and availability.
The top site for nanny’s who are artists
The Calendar Group
Check out their Job Listings at http://www.thecalendargroup.com/job-listings/