Need something flexible. either full or part-time? Promotional marketing may be for you. Never heard of promotional marketing? Have no marketing background? Have never seen anyone in this position? Actually, you don't need any training and you've seen people in these positions all over the place.
Ever gotten a sample of a new product at a fair, gotten to try a new liquor from branded representatives at a bar or club, or visited a booth to enter for a prize? The people working these events likely have no affiliation with the brand they are representing. They are simply hired for the shift of for the length of the event.
Promotional or event marketing companies hire people to work on a short term basis to represent a product or service. There are many different job titles out there that have slightly different job descriptions, but fall under the promo gig umbrella. The basic position entails wearing a specific uniform, learning brand information to share with consumers, and often helping the the set up and teardown of the event. Here are just a few brands that I have worked with and titles I have had.
Promo Gig F.A.Q.s
How much should I make?
This depends on the position. If you are working a single event, you could make between $16 and $40 per hour. Depending on the client and location, you may also be reimbursed for parking, receive gas money or drive time, or be provided with lodging. It all depends on the client. Make sure to read all the details before accepting a position.
On a long term position as a tour manager? Expect to make $800-$1200 a week on average. These positions often come with added benefits and of course, travel!
What types of brands are hiring?
Did you see my list? All of them!!!
How do I get hired for these positions?
Seek out staffing companies and start creating profiles with each of them. You can also look for these types of positions on job boards or even in Facebook groups. I found my first one on Craigslist (yes, really.). Make sure you have a great, recent, natural headshot and full-body shot to submit to clients.
What will get me fired or blacklisted?
Not following instructions, taking unschedule breaks, smoking in uniform, discussing pay, and bad attitude can all be factors in not asking you to return. Most importantly, always show up. The best way to get ousted from the promo business is to miss a scheduled event and not let your contact know. This is known as a "no call/no show."
How often can I work?
This is totally up to you. These positions are available year-round all over the country, so the amount you work is up to you. Be courteous, work hard, and follow directions and local managers will be more likely to refer you for future work. Just make sure you are organized. Keep an accurate calendar of your work and the sky is the limit.
Most everyone has experienced having a substitute teacher, but what do they actually do and what makes a good one? One of the worst situations for both students and teachers happens when the sub doesn't know what is going on, but how do you combat that? While substitute teaching can seem like a glorified babysitting position, to do it well you need to be prepared and ask the right questions. As always, this blog is based on my real experiences in this position.
First, know what you are teaching. When you get a call, you will be asked if you are available on a certain date, if it is a full or half day, and, usually, you will be told the grade level and sometimes the subject that you are being requested for. As one colleague wisely pointed out, "If you are subbing for a gym teacher, dress like a gym teacher." Keep in mind, if you are working with younger students, you need to be sure to be able to crouch down to help with assignments, take on recess duty, or be prepared to complete a messy art project. Likewise, if you will be in a lab make sure to wear closed-toed shoes and long pants. Layers are also helpful to adjust to room temperatures which can fluctuate throughout a building.
Next, get all the information that you can. When you arrive at the office to check in for your assignment, you will usually get a name tag, directions to your room, and, possibly, keys. Check to see if there are any forms to fill out (like a sub log) and if it should be left for the teacher or brought to the office at the end of the day (I always make sure to leave a note for the teacher with specific details about absences and behavior for each class period.). This is a good time to ask about cellphone policy. Sometimes it is teacher specific, but it is good to have a general idea, because this is one of the first things students will try to get away with. Also find out if there is a substitute log in for the school computers. Another great thing to ask is if there are any special events in the building that day.
After checking in, head to your room. Hopefully, the regular teacher has left you specific notes about the day. Take this time to read through the day, locate your teaching resources, find out if you switch rooms throughout the day or have extra duties (before or after school, or at lunch), and get organized for the morning. Morning tasks generally include reporting attendance, taking a lunch count, and showing the announcements. Often, if you cannot do one of these things, there will be a note about where to send students or a student that can be put in charge of the task. If there are no classroom instructions, check with the office or neighboring teachers. In a worse case scenario, you will run a study hall all day. Write your name on the board and be prepared for constant monitoring. Finally, take a few moments to check out the posted emergency procedures. You never know if there will be a last minute tornado drill or evacuation.
Throughout the day, try to move through the room as much as possible. Students know they are less likely to get away with misbehaviors if you are not sitting like a lump in the corner. Also be consistent. If there are no specific instructions, be upfront with your students and let them know what you expect. Can they work with a partner? What is an acceptable noise level? What activities can they do if they are done with their assignment? If the classroom teacher has left a way to reward their students, tell them exactly what you expect to be able to reward them. Unless otherwise stated, I always limit people leaving the classroom for bathroom breaks or locker runs to one guy and one gal and I keep an eye on the clock to let the teacher know if they were gone for an extended period.
Normally, a substitute will have two breaks throughout the day. One is a plan period. This is a great time to run to the bathroom (You should not leave the room while you are supervising students.), check your phone for messages (You should not have your phone out while supervising students.), and relax (Bring a book.). The other is a lunch break. Depending on your school, you may be able to head to the cafeteria and pay cash for lunch. Some schools require you to have an account set up to purchase lunches and may not set one up for the casual sub. This is something you might inquire about with the office. I always found it easiest to simply bring something cold for lunch. Most schools will invite you to use the teachers lounge, but lunch periods are usually very short and taking time to find the lounge and participate in a microwaving cue will eat into your break.
Remember, safety is the most important thing. You want to get all your students through their day safely. Follow your teacher's instructions as closely as possible. If in doubt, call the office for backup. Good luck!
When on tour, your aren't magically transported from one venue or one city to the next. There is travel time. Also, no matter how efficient the schedulers can be there are a million reasons that there could be great distances between one stage you are playing and the next. This leads to: day stops.
Drivers of tour buses(or the trucks carrying your equipment) are limited by how far they can travel in a day. They have to stop to rest, which I am grateful for. Who wants a tired driver conveying them? So, if there are long distances between cities, they have to stop part way. For example, when traveling from Tupelo, MS to El Paso, TX, one might stop at Fort Worth, TX for the day(which reminds you how vast Texas is).
Now every tour is a little different, so I can only attest to my experience with my company. When we would have a day stop, it would most often occur on a Monday, after a weekend of shows. We would drive part way overnight to the next city, then, the drivers would all stop to get some sleep. Meanwhile, each bus would have access to a hotel room for the day to get cleaned up. Buses can hold up to twelve people, but the number actually living on them can fluctuate. It is up to the people on the bus to share the room for the day.
Twelve people can't stay in one room all day though, can they? No! Especially after working a crazy schedule together all weekend, absolutely not. So what do you do?
After grabbing a shower and passing the room key off to whomever is next in line, there are plenty of options for what to do on a day off. Some people like to take the opportunity to sleep in, read or catch up on tv shows in their bunk, utilize the hotel gym, or, my personal favorite, explore the town. You never know where you will be on a day stop and you know that it will only be for, you got it, one day, so you might as well go exploring.
Many take this opportunity to walk around and explore area shops, sites, and restaurants. You may want to stock up your snack and beverage stash for the next week. An option I always enjoyed was to take advantage of the fact that we were off on a Monday and have a nice relaxing meal out(Yes, this was during the time when T.G.I. Fridays was doing endless apps. Bring your iPad to play Monopoly, a couple of tour mates, and order a drink or two for a relaxing afternoon.). I have always appreciated getting into food and entertainment venues when there is no one else there and Mondays are one of the best days to do this. No waiting!
Day stops are great because you don't have your own hotel room to be comfy and complacent in so you are more likely to explore. If you know where you will be ahead of time and have a few minutes to research activities in the area of you stop, this can be a great money saver too. The best deals are almost always during the week. On a day stop, you could be sightseeing in Seattle, Good Willing in Glendale, beer tasting in Biloxi, or rock climbing in Rutherford. (Pics or it didn't happen. ;) ) Just remember, Cinderella, you have a curfew.
Bus call time is just before the drivers have to get on the road for the night. It is usually between 10pm and midnight, but again, can fluctuate. Make sure you are on the bus by then because if you miss it, you have to find your own way to the next city. Not a cheap mistake to make. So keep one eye on the clock and the other on a fun-filled day. Happy exploring!
Were you excited or disappointed to see a substitute teacher when you were in school? Did you think you were going to get away with things, have less work, or be bored by busy work? Maybe you had no idea what to expect because it was a random person that you'd never seen before. Perhaps you were thrilled to see that someone you knew was taking charge for the day. All this may have gone through your head, but did you ever consider becoming a sub (Yes, the teacher, not the sandwich.)?
Substitute teaching has many pros and cons. Depending on your situation (Eh hmm, you moms trying to have it all), it could be a great option to help support your family. Let's take a deeper dive.
Think you have what it takes to sub? Check out your state's Department of Education and contact your local school districts. Schools are in need of great subs and often will help you navigate the process. Make sure schools know you are available, be prepared to walk into anything from seven fully prepped teaching periods to a day of study halls(bring a book), and if you are willing to sub for P.E., be sure to have a whistle!
Love to work hard, travel extensively, and can run on caffeine and no sleep? Then being a touring theatrical technician may be your dream job. I had the opportunity to work with one company as an Assistant Electrician and Assistant Rigger on a live theatre show. It is an experience I wouldn't trade for anything, but it is not for the feint of heart. While in the U.S. (Excitingly, I did get to travel to other continents with this show, awesome bonus!), this tour was called a Bus-and-Truck Tour.
The "normal" schedule looked a little like this:
Friday - Panama City, FL: 2 shows
Saturday - Jackson, MS: 3 shows
Sunday - Tupelo, MS: 2 shows
Monday - Day Stop: Fort Worth, TX (I'll describe this in another post.)
Tuesday - Day Off in El Paso, TX
Wednesday - Day Off in El Paso, TX
Thursday - Day Off in El Paso, TX
Of course, there can be plenty of variations. You may be in a popular location and have shows in the same spot all weekend. Occasionally, there could be a day off between shows. Once, I even recall five days in a row of shows in four different cities.
A work day, say Friday, would run a little like this:
4:30AM - Wake up, shower, get in your gear, pack up everything, check out of your hotel room.
5:30AM - Bus Call: Make sure your luggage is loaded and you are on the bus.
6:00AM - Load in begins at the venue.
8:00AM - Coffee Break (Mandatory in union venues)
8:15AM - Continue Load-In
8:30AM-11:30AM - Breakfast is served. Work with your department head to find the best time to take a break. This could be when your department is done or if you have a lull in work. For example, an audio technician with all his equipment in place might take a break earlier in the day and come back while most of the rest of the crew is at breakfast to set levels. This is dependent on if this is a union house, which will have a mandatory dark time (when no one can work) about five hours after the beginning of load in.
1:59PM - Load in should be completed by this time, unless something has gone terribly awry.
2:00PM - Doors open for guests to start coming into the venue and finding their seats.
3:00PM-4:30PM - First Show of the Day
4:31PM - Reset everything for the next show.
4:32PM-6:00PM - Check with your department head and find time for lunch.
5:00PM - Doors open for guests to start coming into the venue and finding their seats.
6:00PM - Second/Last Show of the Day and also the Load-Out Show (As many props, costumes, and set pieces as possible are packed up and sent toward the trucks as quickly and quietly as possible while the show is going on. And yes, a great crew makes it possible.)
7:30PM - Show ends and breakdown begins backstage while the venue clears. When the last guest is out, the music turns off, the stage lights are doused, and load out goes into full swing.
10:00PM - If we had an efficient day and knowledgable local help, this is when the truck doors are closed, ramps strapped in, and the crew released.
10:01PM-10:30PM - The crew searches the venue for available showers, gets cleaned up, and heads to the buses for a bite to eat and to climb into their bunks.
10:30PM-4:59AM - Get as much sleep as you can while the buses are on the road.
5:00AM - In the next venue, ready to do it all again.
You have to learn fast, work hard, be safe, and it helps to have a great attitude, which is very difficult living and working in such close quarters, getting no sleep, and being ever prepared for a last minute change. So grateful to have had the opportunity to meet a plethora of interesting and talented individuals from around the world through this venture.
In other words, I have had many a job, but doesn't the alliteration make it sound so much more fun?
I love trying out new opportunities, learning skills, and adding to my resume. Just the other day, I was able to attend a free Virtual Conference to add a new "badge" to my collection. I enjoy working and I am proud to be able to help ease the fiscal burden in my household whenever I can. Having children definitely complicates my mission and I always want to make sure that I am there for them and providing them the time and attention that they need as well, which means that some positions that I have just don't fit my current lifestyle, but I am thrilled to have experienced them.
"Why are you sharing this?"
Society asks teenagers to pick a career path often before they even have a chance to explore what is out there. I hope by sharing my unorthodox path to pique the interest of anyone looking for a change or just starting out.
"But how many different positions could you have possibly tried?"
In this case, I am specifically talking about job titles and their tasks that I was paid to complete. Yes, real live dollars could make their way to your pocket in these positions, or at least it worked for me. (I make no promises.) While I have had many different positions, you might notice that they seem to cluster around a few different fields: education, theatre, sales, and marketing. I have also found some of these positions contain overlap between these areas. Here are the titles and a little introduction to these opportunities.
Education - As of 2021, I completed my second M.A. in education which does help, however my earliest venture into this field was in 2004.
Theatre - Yes, really and I did not go to L.A. or New York.
Sales - They say everyone is selling something. I will delve into these deeper in future posts. Suffice it to say, things and services were provided and money was paid.
Marketing - These creative positions plant the idea for future sales in a target audience for a particular client.
This is just my experience thus far. I am hoping to share more about this variety of opportunities and one day I hope to add writer to my list. Maybe even blogger???
Day 2 of 30 complete! Time to go wash the babies and relax with a few episodes of Below Deck which contains other fun gigs that maybe I'll try one day...
I wrote my first query letter to a publisher when I was in the fourth grade. For those of you that have not come across this term before, a query letter is a proposal that a writer sends to a publisher to try to sell their work. This could contain a synopsis of their story, a sample chapter, some background on the author, or a variety of other things depending on the type of work. This publisher did not accept my idea for a zoo "abc" book, but they were kind enough to write back and encourage me to keep going.
It has been a few years and the idea of being able to write for a living has continued to nag at me and story ideas constantly fill my head, however, I have let the notion that my initial product must be perfect (which is completely ridiculous) hinder me from even attempting to write. One might see the evidence in this in the difference between the date of my first "MultifacetMom" Instagram post, April 18, 2018, and the date of this first post of the blog that I hoped to write, July 2, 2021. What a waste! I have decided that the time is now to conquer the most difficult, dreaded, draining part of being a writer... just starting to write.
In this vein, I am drawing inspiration from a talented weaver of tales, who also happens to be a great friend of mine for ...seventeen years! (Wow, when did that happen!?) The fantastic, fiction, fabricator himself, Chris Felts. If you have not had the privilege to be awed by his work, take a moment to check him out on Amazon (Can you say, legit!) https://www.amazon.com/Christopher-Felts/e/B00IW1BK8U?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_4&qid=1625249134&sr=1-4 He is hardworking and dedicated to his craft, but has realized that sometimes publicizing your challenges, such as his popular, "Write Everyday in November", helps to fuel your work and keep you accountable. Chris, be prepared to feel flattered as I mimic your method. Though it is not November, or the first of the year, the first of the month, a Monday, or any day a sane person would traditionally try to start anything, I have decided to begin today (Friday, July 2, 2021) and write a blog post here everyday for 30 days. There are all sorts of theories on how long it takes a habit to form, but I have decided that this will give me a good benchmark for progress.
"Who the heck do you think you are and what could you possibly be writing about for a month?"
Great question, self. Thanks for asking. (Yes, I will work on the corny stuff. Can you tell I'm a little nervous?) In this blog, I hope to share my experiences of working in a variety of industries (and the variety is quite various), being a mother, NICU time, traveling, and fighting for that impossible goal of "having it all" that we have all been beaten and brainwashed into thinking we can accomplish.
Thank you for starting this journey with me and be sure to follow me on Instagram @multifacetmom !
Day 1: Complete! Now to reward myself with a viewing of Something's Gotta Give while I make my dinner from Hello Fresh (not a sponsor...yet? ;) ).
Rayna Moore -
© 2021 by Rayna Moore