What It's About
A journalist acts out in a new creative medium and discovers a lucrative side hustle.
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.
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
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):
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Stella Talent | Eugene Yiga Voice: Check out Eugene's full acting profile on his Stella Talent page
- EugeneYiga.com: Learn more about Eugene and his journey to being an actor on his personal website
- How to Become an Actor: If you're interested in breaking into acting, here's a list of some good first steps
- How One Man Used a $100 Microphone to Make Over $8,000: After testing the waters with low-priced services on Fiverr.com, a Tennessee IT manager learns to focus on voiceover services for overseas customers
- Radio Personality Channels Her Vocal Cords for Extra Income: How a professor-by-day and former radio announcer makes a handsome side profit selling her most natural and accessible tool: her voice
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