All I Want for Christmas is a Paycheck: 5 Holiday Gigs to Get You Through

shutterstock_158734355Holidays are expensive for everyone, but if you put the “starve” in “starving artist” they can be especially trying. If you’re looking to pick up that extra gig to get you through the season, here are a few places to apply:


  1. Theme Parks – Theme parks are often-overlooked sources for actor employment. Many will have a variety of opportunities for interactive characters and themed performances around the holidays. The great thing about these is that they are often annual events and could turn into a yearly source of income.
  2. Corporate Holiday Parties – Keep your ear to the ground for holiday event gigs. Lots of corporate holiday parties hire entertainment of all sorts to perform, mingle and work the event. Some put out calls directly, some hire through local theatres. Hit up facebook and industry contacts for word-of-mouth opportunities.
  3. Carolers – Most caroling is volunteer, but there is the occasional paid gig! You have to hunt around a bit, but if you know your theatre and performance community, be on the lookout for local theatres, entertainment/attraction areas, or non-profit groups that might be hiring carolers.
  4. A Christmas Carol – Approximately 200% of regional theatres in America do some version of this holiday classic. If your film auditions are thin on the ice, audition for local theatres that have holiday shows running through December. Look out for non-traditional shows as well–educational or out of state holiday tours, teaching museum performances, live radio plays, etc.
  5. Santa’s Helpers – anywhere that hires a Santa needs a magical staff! Malls, Christmas tree farms, and other, less character-specific retail work is out there for actors with big personalities and the Christmas spirit. Pick up some seasonal work where you can!
  6. DIY – Still coming up empty? Create your own holiday show and market it to any of the establishments above. Improv and musical abilities are in high demand around the holidays. Get a team together and produce your own opportunities!


Don’t let the holidays be your dark season. There’s plenty of non-traditional work to go around to supplement your income and get you to the next project. Happy Holidays and Happy Booking!

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Rachel Rachel Frawley is an actor living in Atlanta. She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Michigan State University (with cognates in Music and Professional Writing) and is an Apprentice Company graduate from the Atlanta Shakespeare Co. She also works as an education artist for local theatres, which have included the Shakespeare Tavern and Aurora Theatre. For more information, visit her website at