by Jeff Kontur
Legal Ways to Make Money From Your Body
Sell your hair
Extensions, wigs and hair-pieces are increasingly popular and many are made out of real hair. European hair is particularly sought after as it is rarer in type than, for example, Asian hair. If you have long flowing locks, and you were going to get them cut anyway, why not make money out of them?
Your hair needs to be at least 6 inches long for it to be of any use in making a wig. It must be clean and must have had no chemical treatments at all – no colouring, perming or tinting. Once it is cut it needs to be put in a ponytail so that it is obvious which is the top and which is the bottom.
The main buyer (and therefore seller) of real hair for wigs, extensions and so on are Banbury Postiche (also known as Wigsuk). “People can send us their hair by post and if we want it we’ll weigh it and send them a cheque back,” says sales director Nick Allen. “If it’s not right we’ll just send it back to them”. According to Banbury Postiche, the fees are around £3 per ounce if your hair is 6 – 12″ long and £5 per ounce if it is more than 12″ long. You won’t get rich this way but if you’re planning a major haircut you might as well get some pocket money for it!
Be a life model
If you’re good at sitting still and you don’t mind a bunch of strangers painting you, this can be a relaxing way of making some cash. In London, life models make between £7-8 per hour clothed and £10-11 unclothed. There’s also a growing trend for hand and foot models if the idea of full body modelling leaves you cold. Outside London the pay is about 10% less.
Art colleges and adult education centres are always looking for life models. You can contact your local ones for an application form or information on how you can offer your services. You can also put ads up in local art schools or newsagents to offer your service. Once you work for a few artists or art schools word should get about that you are available for life modelling which will bring in more work.
Life-modelling sessions usually last about 3 hours each, with breaks for rest. It may be for a school or institute class, an art society group or privately for a professional artist or sculptor. Most artists will need a few sessions to get the likeness they are after.
Work as an Extra
Anyone can be an Extra in films, ads or TV programmes. Film companies look for people of all ages, sizes, shapes and looks.
Extras agencies work like temping agencies, you can join as many as you like – check out website UKscreen for a comprehensive list. However, you must be careful with agencies as there are plenty of charlatans in this sector. Check and double check the agency you decide to go with, and the people you decide to build a repertoire with. If they ask you for money straight away, move quickly to the door and keep running. Clive Hurst’s webpage about dodgy agencies is worth checking out before signing up and, certainly, before handing any money over.
If you get a good agency, though, you can make money easily. The basic day rate for extras on films is £79.59 per day plus travel money. For overtime (payable after nine hours) you can expect £7.46 per half an hour. Rates are higher if you’re asked to work on public holidays or at night. For TV you can expect £90 for a ten hour day if you’re in the background of a commercial and £200 for a proper walk-on part. Depending on who you’re working for you might be able to get extra allowances for wearing your own costume, and you’ll almost always get free meals on set.
Jasmine Birtles is the founder of the money-making an
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