Chris Ferretti pays his rent by making prank calls. "I've done all the actor cliche jobs," the New York-based actor admits. "I was in real estate, did catering, and was a waiter." In 2011, he started offering to do prank calls in character as Christopher Walken, and his new business soon took off. "I decided to do this as a joke; I didn't expect to be where I am now, making $1,500 to $2,000 a month."
Mark Gray has made more than $20,000 by filming short puppet videos. In 2011, he started offering to make short videos hosted by his alter ego, Professor Hans Von Puppet. Since then, he says, he has filmed over 2,500 videos, including commercials for restaurants in Australia, award shows for groups in Jordan, and personal videos for people around the world. "A lot of guys in India have hired me to propose to -- or apologize to -- their girlfriends," he says.
Linnea Sage pays her rent by doing voice-overs. "I started about eight months ago," she recalls. "I'm an actor, so it seemed like a natural progression. Now, I'm making between $1,000 to $2,000 a month." She has recorded voice mail greetings, commercials, radio ads, and public service announcements. "I cater to small businesses," she says. "Everybody needs voice-overs, and startups should be able to afford a professional."
Chris Hardy pays the rent by impersonating Homer Simpson. "When I was a kid, my parents said my most annoying habit was doing voices," he laughs. Today, however, he estimates that he makes a little more than $2,000 per year by doing voice-overs, recording messages in a variety of cartoon voices, and selling his original music. "It's really good supplemental income," he notes.
Marko Williamson and Annie Cheney have financed their trip around the world by providing media services. Marko builds websites, shoots videos, and does other promotional work, while Annie proofreads, writes scripts and records voice-overs. Between them, they earn up to $3,500 a month, which they have used to finance their travels to over 17 countries.
Mary Ingrassia pays her bills by making coloring videos. The freelance graphic designer offers a several different animated videos, in which she speed-draws, sketches, or otherwise produces a client's logo. "When I first started, I did simple graphic things, but it's definitely snowballed," she says. "Since I started in 2011, I've made over $15,000."
Elijah Salaah pays his bills by making beat box videos. The former soldier, school teacher and pharmaceutical consultant offers voice-overs, customized beat box recordings, and cartoon impressions. "My most popular gig is calling kids on their birthdays," he says. "I call parents and they hand the phone over to their kids, and I talk to them in character as Sponge Bob." Imitating the famous cartoon character has netted Salaah a lot of clams: He claims to have made over $4,000 with his videos and voice-overs since starting a year ago.