There's something comforting about knowing that most of the time, if you ask your server if they have a job outside of serving, they will tell you they are an actor. You can spend your meal knowing that whatever you do, you are secondhandedly supporting the arts by either giving them a good tip, or giving them quality material. But has New York's Bedbug Scare 2010 begun to put an end to all of that? The Wall Street Journal reports that the city's struggling actors are now turning to the lucrative business of bedbug hunting. Now we're just one step away from the bugs invading Broadway. Seriously, folks.
Janet Friedman of Bed Bug Busters NY says she likes hiring actors because they have "great personalities and follow directions well." They can also create new, bedbug-free worlds for themselves while they work. Aspiring actress Meagan Gilliland said she will "pretend to be OK, like you're still having a good time with friends and stuff, while you're choking on a lot of dust." And apparently, bedbug work offers its fair share of networking opportunities (because 6.7% of the city has them); Gilliland says she has been offered a number of babysitting gigs, but unfortunately no acting ones.
Kathy Schrier of the Actors Fund Work Program says that catering and waiting tables are still the most common jobs for aspiring actors, but "because of the economy, catering and waiter work has been way down." Bedbug hunters are usually paid $15 to $30 an hour to clean up houses before professional extermination, and many say they've rarely encountered a live bedbug. And now, when one of them makes it, you'll be able to say you forced them to root through your underwear for pests.