How Actor Chelsea Alana Rivera Found and Created Her Own Flexible Side Gig

In 2015, I had it all. I had just moved to Los Angeles the year before to pursue my dream of becoming an actor. I had just gotten the BEST job – a remote, salaried position in customer service that was (gasp!) flexible. And I had the cutest little apartment. Life was shaping up to be pretty perfect. Except, it wasn’t.

One of these things ended up being NOT what I thought it would be. I loved LA and I loved my historic apartment building in downtown LA. What I did not love was my job. When I interviewed, I thought I hit the jackpot. Salary. Check. Work from home. Check. Flexible? Turns out, not so much.

I justified it in the beginning. Starting a new job is stressful for anyone. I knew all I had to do was prove myself and I’d get that wiggle room that I needed. But months in and I was still missing out on auditions. And the ones I was able to make? I was distracted. While in the waiting room, my phone would light up seemingly every minute. Calls from customers. Chats from customers. Messages from my supervisor. It was never-ending.

I was only a year into my Los Angeles adventure and things weren’t going to plan. I wasn’t auditioning. My debt had gotten pretty bad. And my job sucked. So I did what anyone in my position would do – I got online.

I was a member of a few LA women Facebook groups so I started there. I read through countless posts about babysitting gigs, waiting jobs, etc. But nothing stood out. Until I saw a post calling for a mobile notary.

Fast forward through a lot of research, an interview, and I got the gig.

Now for all of you not familiar with what a mobile notary does, let me break it down for you. A mobile notary is a notary – a certified professional who serves as a witness to the signing of important documents – who travels to their client instead of having the client come to them. At anywhere from $60 – $500 per travel fee (which does not include the cost of the notarizations), the cost can get pretty steep. So what kind of people use mobile notaries? People with money.

Thanks to my job, I’ve met studio execs, famous writers, and all sorts of interesting, creative people. What’s more? I actually like the hustle and bustle of the gig.

Here is how it goes.

I get a text that tells me a location and a time. If I can make it, I text back confirmed. If I can’t, then I say I can’t. Simple as that. I work most days but what I especially love is getting nighttime gigs. I’m able to charge way more if the notarization is needed at midnight versus 3 in the afternoon.

Since becoming a mobile notary, my life has changed dramatically. I am out of debt, was able to buy my first home, and I haven’t had to sacrifice my acting career one bit. In fact, my acting career has progressed a ton. One day I hope to be working consistently enough as an actor that I’ll be able to focus solely on that. But until then, I am going to reap the benefits of my sur-thrive-al job and keep on enjoying the ride.

Chelsea Alana Rivera is an actor, writer and mobile notary. Recently, she’s appeared in The Glorias, Council of Dads, Doom Patrol, and The Act. When Chelsea isn’t notarizing documents or acting, she is hanging with her overlord – a 5 lb. maltipoo.

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