Jobs That Are “So L.A”.

From yoga instructor to Gwen Stefani’s nanny, most jobs in Los Angeles are already cool, but we found some that are so L.A., they probably have their own agent.

Many people have the impression that Los Angeles is made up of 90 percent actors and 10 percent kale salads. In reality, L.A. residents find ways to support themselves that are diverse, fascinating and often highly unusual. One thing this city offers is the opportunity for odd jobs. From people that pretend to play dead to a woman who spanks other people’s bottoms, here are some of the L.A. most interesting and unusual jobs:

Water Sommelier



It’s not uncommon for restaurants to hire sommeliers to help their guests pair the best glasses of vino with their dinner selections. But these days wine isn’t the only special drink in town. At Los Angeles’s Ray’s and Stark Bar, there’s a 45-page water menu expertly crafted by the eatery’s water sommelier. And yes, you can get certified—internationally at the German Mineral Water Association, and in the U.S., Capjem Consulting, a culinary science research and development firm, offers a certification.

Professional TV corpse



Lights, camera, no action. Movement-averse actors can thank the continuing popularity of crime dramas for a high demand for corpse actors, who make around $140 for a hard day’s work (a little more if gross fake wounds are part of the gig). An ideal career change for any working stiff who hates moving and making small talk.

On Set Teacher



Ever wondered where your favorite child actors go to school? For children in the entertainment industry in L.A., school comes to them in the form of studio teachers. They’re hired and paid by production companies and work everywhere from theater productions to big budget Hollywood films. The state of California mandates that studio teachers be on any set where children are working, to monitor child labor laws.

They’re responsible for ensuring that the students do 15 hours of schoolwork a week, the state requirement for 1st through 12th graders. It can be very difficult to get their schoolwork done because of their hectic production schedule. Sometimes the school day is cut into chunks as small as 20 minutes between shooting. Being a set teacher can also entail traveling with child stars all over the world, sometimes flying in private jets and sleeping at luxe hotels.

Pet Masseuse



Wanna play with puppies all day and get paid for it? This is a job for you. Just like humans and other animals, dogs feel sore and develop stiff joints due to aging and inactivity. Massage can help alleviate these symptoms, and usually starts with petting the afflicted areas to warm the muscles. A pet therapist will gently and repeatedly compress the muscles to pump fluids through the tissues and to relieve pressure on tendons. Pet therapists make about $50 per hour. Not bad considering you get to spend most of it essentially petting a cute animal.

Body Painter



Body painters paint human models for magazine photo shoots, TV shows, music videos, conventions, concerts, art galleries, biker events, and zombie events. Often, it’s for a promotional or marketing event or campaign. They’ll often body-paint a model according to a specific theme, sometimes adding a logo on the model to promote a company or product. Sometimes they’ll even paint QR codes on models that you could actually scan with your smartphone and the company’s promotion would come up on their device. It’s a pretty rad job considering every project is always unique.

Professional Dominatrix



Training to become a professional dominatrix takes place at a BDSM studio (also known as the ‘dungeon’) in Los Angeles. Most professional dominatrixes start out as a professional submissive or a person in the passive role. After lots of serious training at the dungeon, attending BDSM workshops & events, and proving yourself to the headmistress, you can then earn the title of ‘dominatrix. In a nutshell: a client or couple hires a dominatrix to be in charge of a scene. The scene can be as simple as having an adult conversation, or it can get very elaborate with specialized costumes, props, music, and furniture. The most common scenes involve discipline where the dominatrix spanks someone’s bottom. Foot fetishists are super common while some people are into being humiliated by being called names or ordered to do degrading activities. Most importantly, a dominatrix offers a safe and consensual escape from civilian life, free of judgment.

Cover Picture Courtesy of Nik Gaffney (Flickr Creative Commons)

Eden Dranger is writer and native Los Angelino. When not screenwriting or freelance writing, Eden can be found eating nachos and playing with her hair. During pre and post nacho eating, Eden is probably vintage shopping at L.A. flea markets or watching old movies. If none of the above applies, you might find her at home deciding which romper reflects her mood today.