Breaking into acting is challenging under the best of circumstances. And in a year when both writers and actors were on strike, finding work was particularly challenging. But Vanessa Garcia, 30, doesn’t have to worry about paying the rent. This actress has a $7,000-$8,000 monthly side hustle.
Working through Taskrabbit, an online platform that allows freelancers to offer a wide array of personal services, Garcia cleans, organizes and redecorates. And she charges hourly rates that range from $46 (for waiting in line) to $103 (for deep cleaning). In an average month, she earns between $7,000 and $8,000, she says. But she’s earned as much as $10,000 in a single month.
Notably, Taskrabbit is among the highest-rated side hustle platforms on SideHusl.com. It stands out because it allows freelancers almost complete freedom to offer and price their own services. You set up a profile that says what you do, what you charge for it, and you determine when you’re available. Taskrabbit charges nothing to freelancers. However, they add a platform fee onto consumer bills.
We caught up with Garcia to learn a little more about her acting, her lucrative side hustle and her secrets to success.
Vanessa, I understand you’re an actor. Can you tell me a little about some of the things you’ve acted in?
I have worked on many lead projects, such as Pocha, Google commercials, short films, and smaller roles in Star Trek, Doctor Strange, Euphoria, and Grey’s Anatomy. I’m also in The Chronicles of Jessica Wu. And the show has recently been nominated for an EMMY!
Did you study acting?
Not in college. I actually went to school for Biology. My educational plan was to eventually go to med school and become a pediatric oncologist. I went to all the pre med conventions, did all the “pre work,” met with doctors and students who were already part of that medical path. However, I think deep down I always wanted something different for myself.
Can you fill me in on how much you typically earn in any given month or year from acting?
My earnings on acting would typically depend on the type of project, but in general in the past it had been about $10-15K. I am still non-union so those jobs don’t pay well at all. And they always want to use them in perpetuity, which is bad since we don’t get royalties. I am eligible for SAG, but with the strikes, I had been waiting to join to see the outcome.
$7,000-$8,000 monthly side hustle
Acting can be a tough profession to break into and may not produce a steady income for years. Is that why you started side hustling?
You are 100% correct. There can be months where there isn’t any work. So many sacrifices need to happen at first, unless you have created a steady income you can rely on.
I’d say the way that I keep an extra income is by monetizing any skill that I have. If you know you have a skill that someone else doesn’t have — or are willing to do something that someone else simply doesn’t want to do themselves — monetize it! It can even grow to a full blown business if you cater to it properly.
How did you find Taskrabbit and when did you start offering services here?
I found out about this platform back in 2017, when a friend of a friend of mine mentioned to me that I could get paid for building furniture. IKEA furniture to be exact. And I was sold because I love doing that.
I started working on the app in November of that year. And really the rest is history. I just went for it.
What makes Taskrabbit stand out for you?
The flexibility it offers to scheduling work around living life and not surviving it. The flexibility it offers to work quite literally any day or time I’d like to work. The flexibility I also have to know I don’t have to worry that I won’t have a job when choosing not to work for a certain number of days as well. Flexibility offers peace of mind.
What is the range of income that you earn from Taskrabbit?
My earnings vary every month. But I typically earn about $7,000 – $8,000. My highest earning month on the platform to-date was about $10,000.
Do you currently offer services through any other freelance sites? If so, which ones? And what do you do there?
I actually do not, I have considered it. But I do tend to get a lot of work through past and recurring clients with Taskrabbit. Not only that but there is another Tasker whom I met there and we work a lot together in Interior Design and Organization as well.
You have a wide array of services on offer at Taskrabbit — from making crafts to baby proofing. What made you choose these specific services?
These are things that I know how to do. And things that I am very confident that I can do at a level that justifies charging a higher hourly rate, while still keeping clients happy and coming back to hire me.
I also notice that you charge different prices for different services. How do you determine how much to charge?
My pricing differentiates per task because different skills require different levels of expertise. Also, the amount of work that is needed for a task – either physical, mental, or very detailed jobs.
My rates also have gradually increased throughout the years. And I would also say that my rate is based off of the amount of reviews, as well as the fact that I am an elite Tasker. [Elite Taskers score among the top 10% in customer ratings.]
Even though you charge more than $100 an hour for cleaning, you have hundreds of great reviews. What do you do that other cleaners don’t?
Detail! That is what clients always say to me. That it comes down to the details. I pay attention to things that are not necessarily things you see from afar, but once you get closer you do.
You’ve been on this site for a half-dozen years. Without naming names, can you tell me your favorite job — and your least favorite — and why?
Oof, this is a tough one, I have had so many! But I’d say my favorite ones are interior design/organization. I thrive on those tasks, not only because I feel like I’m creating art and can really change the look of a home, but because this can truly be life changing for my clients. I recently worked with a client who shared with me that the closet I redid for her has brought her back to a place of joy she hasn’t had in a long time.
You manage to make a very good living as a freelancer on Taskrabbit. Are there tips you can share with our readers to help them become more successful?
Be consistent in accepting all tasks. Also open same-day tasks to gain more work. And I’d say you shouldn’t raise your prices too high, until you have had a certain amount of positive reviews. But, eventually, you can raise your rates to earn a much higher rate per hour.
What do you see as your future? Will you remain on this platform when you’re an A-list actor?
I can’t say I won’t. Never say never to something that can happen! But I will never delete my account, as I actually also use it as a client from time to time.
What are your dreams and goals?
My dreams are to represent the Latina women in film, both in English and Spanish. Win a couple Oscars, maybe even a Grammy! But I don’t want to just be an actor. I wish to build businesses that creates residual income so I can choose to wake everyday with the choice of how to truly live life and just be happy.
Any final words of advice?
I’d say that there is no one single path we all need to follow. So don’t be afraid to do something different and take risks! The worst that can happen is that you’ll learn a lesson or a new skill. And never underestimate the power of your will to succeed.