Looking for Part-Time Work: Sophie's Story


So this is my life at the moment: I study performing arts at university and I work two shifts a week as a waitress at a local Greek restaurant. I also teach some ballet classes at my old dance school. It’s a lot of fun, but it doesn’t pay enough for me to live on.

I don’t get treated very well at the restaurant so I’m looking for another casual or part-time job. I want to save up so I can travel to Europe at the end of the year and hopefully study acting in Paris.

Week One

I got this job at the restaurant through my brother. He’d worked there for a year or two in the kitchen and he recommended me when they needed more waiting staff. I’ve worked there on and off for almost a year now, but I need something that pays more.


This week I told pretty much everyone I know that I’m looking for work. I scan the uni performing arts noticeboard for job ads every time I walk past. I’ve been looking on job search websites to find out about job vacancies but no luck so far.

I want a job that can give me some more experience in performing arts. It has to be something that won’t take up too much of my time each week because I have all these assignments for uni and then there’s always another audition or rehearsal to go to.


Week Two

There aren’t that many jobs when you’re just starting out in the performing arts industry. I do have an agent but she hasn’t found me any work yet!

One of my friends just got a job in a call centre. She offered to get me a job there. The pay is great but I don’t think I want to work in that environment. And they also want you to do a minimum of five shifts a week, which I just don’t have the time for.

I subscribed to email job listings from SEEK.com (new window)  but they’re mostly jobs for people who’ve already finished their university degree and are looking for full-time work.

Week Three

So I finally found it, on the Arts Hub Australia website, a job vacancy with a children’s theatre company. I gave them a call and it turns out I might have a chance at getting this one! I have to audition for them next Friday - I’ve got one week to think of a creative way to tell the story of The Three Little Pigs.


I told my agent I didn’t want to do extra work but she called me this week with the chance to be an extra on a new Australian soapie for pay TV. All I did for three hours was walk across a lawn pretending to be a uni student. I do enough of that when I’m actually at uni! I wasn’t too happy with the way that went but at least I got paid for it. And I guess it’s another thing I can add to my résumé.

Week Four

The audition went ok, not quite as well as I hoped. I got to find out more about the job too. It turns out one of the performers is leaving to have a baby, so they need someone who can start pretty soon. If I get the job I’ll get to play characters at themed children’s birthday parties and I’ll get to perform short plays and songs at schools and libraries. I’ve worked with kids before so I’m sure I can handle it.

It’s a good deal: I’ll get paid for rehearsals and performances and they’ll provide all the costumes and equipment I’ll need.

One thing though, I had to fill out this form at the audition and I wrote down that I could do face painting even though I’ve never done it before! It seemed like the better option than putting down that I could make balloon animals. I didn’t want them to think that I didn’t have any experience and I have done people’s make-up for school theatre shows before so it can’t be that different, can it?

Week Five

I got the job! I have to meet with them next week to sign all the contracts and get the dates for the first rehearsals.

I talked to my manager at the restaurant this week. I explained my situation and gave him two weeks’ notice that he’d have to find someone else to do my shifts. I offered to come back and do the odd shift later in the year if they really, really need me.

For more information about part-time work, check out our Part-time, casual and short-term work page.