6 min 19 sec

South African Writer Launches Accidental Acting Career

After being told he had a voice for radio, a journalist stumbles into a profitable side hustle appearing in beer and soft drink commercials.
Arts & Crafts Creativity International Service Voiceover

Subscribe Now For A Free Five Step Tutorial

What It's About

A journalist acts out in a new creative medium and discovers a lucrative side hustle.

Business Model
Skills Required
Acting & Communication
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Eugene says filming television ads for major brands is a lot of fun and that it helps him get in touch with a more dynamic and playful side of his personality than his more serious writing and journalism work.

Who says that you can't have it all? A side hustle can help you get the best of both worlds and satisfy a creative desire that your day job doesn't fulfill.

Fun Fact

Eugene graduated from the University of Cape Town with distinctions in financial accounting and classical piano. He also spent a couple of years working in branding and communications and three years at an e-learning startup, all while building his writing business. He writes about travel, leisure, food, wine, marketing, media, television, film, music, theatre, art, books, business, personal development, and more.

Notes from Chris

Episode 391

Today’s story comes from Eugene Yiga in Cape Town, South Africa. By day, he’s a writer: he’s done journalism, blogging, copywriting and content marketing across multiple industries. His side hustle is television acting and voice over work... which he stumbled into by accident.

Eugene grew up surrounded by people from all over the world, so he’s always had an accent that people struggled to place. People had also often told him he had a voice for radio, so he decided to give voice-over work a try, in addition to seeing if he could get cast for commercials.

He figured “Why not?” He bought an acting book and took a couple of improv classes, and before long, he found an agent through a friend. Soon afterward, he started getting requests to audition for castings for television commercials.

Learning to audition well was more of a learning process. After seven unsuccessful auditions in a row, Eugene got his first call-back for a national beer commercial for Castle Lager. Eugene was nervous about his first time in front of the camera for a real gig, but it went well. Soon after, he was back for more auditions. Next, he landed work for two other ads: Lunch Bar chocolate and Sprite (the soft drink).

While he can’t discuss his exact earnings due to the terms of his contract, he says that this work accounted for a quarter of his income last year, which more than made up for his low startup costs of buying a book and taking improv classes. In fact, the extra money from his accidental acting career has helped him get a head start on paying off his mortgage early.

Check out one of his commercials for Cadbury's Lunch Bar below (Eugene is on the left):



Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


Download Episodes By Months:

Season 6 (2022): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |

Season 5 (2021): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |

Season 4 (2020): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |

Season 3 (2019): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |

Season 2 (2018): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |

Season 1 (2017): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |



Create your online store with Shopify using an exclusive discount for Side Hustle School listeners. For a limited time, get a free 21-day trial and a 10% discount for a whole year.

Many Side Hustle School listeners are building sites using Shopify's easy-to-learn platform. Try it free today!

Learn More


Social media is nice, but building an email list is still the single best way to get customers and clients for your hustle. It's not hard to get started—sign up for a 30-day trial and join the list-building challenge! You’ll be up and running in no time.

Learn More

Quote of the Day
"It can be disappointing when you perform well in an audition or a call-back but don't get chosen because it's mostly about whether or not you look the part. But my work as a writer has taught me not to take rejection personally. Each experience is an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and do better next time."
—Eugene Yiga #SideHustleSchool

Sponsors & Gratitude

Try ShipStation for 60 Days FREE!

Today’s episode of Side Hustle School is brought to you by ShipStation, the #1 choice of online sellers. 📦

To get a 30-day trial AND an additional month free, click the microphone at the top of their page and enter the word HUSTLE.

Get it Here

Like the Show? Leave a Rating!

Side Hustle School is for you! If you’re enjoying it, please take a quick moment to leave a rating or write a quick review. It's really easy and it makes a difference! ✅

It also makes a huge difference when you tell your friends about the show. Remember, it's 100% free and listener-supported.

Here's How

Keep in Touch

There’s a new story every single day on Side Hustle School. Episodes are produced to be short and to the point—I know you’re busy. Be sure you subscribe to get instant notification of the day’s broadcast!

To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau