What It's About
Improv leads to an impromptu educational side hustle.
Words of Wisdom
Chelsea's advice—use your village! There is always someone in your community who possesses a connection or a special set of skills. She knew a ton of people in comedy, whom she roped in for her first gig. Working with other photographers, videographers, and designers in her day job also helped as she was able to get recommendations with her launch of MuseumProv. The best part of tapping into her network was being able to hire the services of her fellow creatives.
Many people who have studied improv have noted that the guiding principles of improv are useful, not just on stage, but in everyday life. As Stephen Colbert in a commencement address said: “Well, you are about to start the greatest improvisation of all. With no script. No idea what's going to happen, often with people and places you have never seen before. And you are not in control. So say "yes." And if you're lucky, you'll find people who will say "yes" back.”
Notes from Chris
For museum educator Chelsea Hogan, having a side hustle was always a necessity. Living in Los Angeles is not one of the cheaper cities in the world. Moreover, she had pursued a less than lucrative career in the liberal arts field, which made finances somewhat of a problem. Part-time jobs and side hustles were hence a necessary accompaniment for her to continue doing what she loved. It wasn’t possible to make a living from just the arts, it seemed. That changed when one of her colleagues at the Hammer Museum reached out to Chelsea and asked if she knew any improvisers who would be willing to perform at an upcoming Family Day. That was her moment. Unbeknownst to her colleague, Chelsea had been honing her craft as an improviser for the past 6 years, taking classes and rehearsing by night. She quickly assembled a group of friends in the improv scene and prepared a 30-minute performance. It was a spectacular success. That was the story of her first improv gig. It wouldn’t be her last. The success of her first gig at the Hammer museum made her wonder if she could base an improv show based on art from the museums she worked at. Fundamental to her concept was creating a balanced blend of artwork appreciation and short-form improv games. Her new side hustle, MuseumProv, was thus born. It’s often said that there’s no money in the arts, but Chelsea proved otherwise when she started bringing in upwards of $800 working a few events or workshops each month. So what’s the biggest win from pursuing this side hustle? To Chelsea, that’s the ability to pursue both interests at once. As she says: “If I were a full-time Improviser, I'd miss Museum Education. If I were just a Museum Educator and didn't regularly perform and practice improv, I would die artistically. Where I am truly happy, is the place where Museum Education and Improv meet, and that I get to create this thing and put it out there, and people hire me to do it, is amazing, and makes me so so happy.”
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- MuseumProv: Learn more about Chelsea's improvisational side hustle on her website
- SquareSpace: The website building platform that Chelsea used to create MuseumProv
- Hammer Museum: The LA museum that Chelsea had her first gig at
- How to be a Better Improviser: Interested in improv? Check out this "how to" guide on improv from Dan Goldstein
- Renegade Museum Tour Guide Earns $2 Million: A man in New York City proves that with enough passion and innovation a side hustle can thrive in museums
- Guitar Teacher Sells Lessons on Craigslist and Makes $80/Hour: How a very busy, new father created a part-time hustle teaching guitar lessons for $80 an hour and has been able to turn it into a full-time income
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