Fallon Schwurack moved to New York City from Salt Lake City, Utah to pursue her dream of being a musical theatre dancer. To make ends meet, she works full time as a server, while attending dance auditions. Fallon says she lives very comfortably in NYC on her server income. She makes less money dancing than serving, but Fallon says her happiness is more important than her salary. Here’s how she earns and spends her money.
Read more about Fallon’s budget breakdown here: https://cnb.cx/2UB6dDA
Introducing Millennial Money, our new interview series profiling millennials in different cities and at different income levels on how they make, spend and save their money.
Fallon Schwurack tried to quit dancing. She went to college and earned a degree in biology. She worked in a lab for a few years and had plans to go back to school to become a medical examiner. But then a friend asked her to dance in a show as a favor.
She accepted — and fell back in love with with dancing.
Schwurack first learned to dance when she was just three years old and, after graduating from high school in Salt Lake City, she spent a year dancing professionally for a local ballet company. After getting pulled back onstage, she started going to auditions and landing parts in local performances around Salt Lake. Realizing she wanted to pursue dance full-time, she abandoned her plan to go back to school.
So, in 2016, one day before her 30th birthday, Schwurack moved to New York City to try and dance professionally. She works as a restaurant server to make ends meet.
Now 32, she’s still building her career but, she says, she’s able to live “very, very comfortably” on what she makes, and “getting to be able to dance every day is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.”
Although dance is Schwurack’s passion, she acknowledges that “it’s really hard, actually being a dancer in New York City.”
For one thing, the competition is fierce: “When I go to an audition, open calls usually have around 300 girls there at least.”
And when Schwurack does land a job, it’s both short-term and means taking a pay cut. “You live the poor actor life unless you have certain side jobs that make the money because a lot of the contracts aren’t very lasting,” she says.
“Even if you get on Broadway they can last for a month or two, maybe up to six months. There’s a few shows that are running for years, but things change and you might leave a show even if it doesn’t close.”
Most of Schwurack’s contracts have lasted around two months and paid between $350 and $500 per week. Because she’s a non-equity dancer, her rates are lower. Equity dancers earn closer to $900 per week or more, she says.
When she’s not dancing, Schwurack works at the restaurant Tony’s Di Napoli, where she earns around $60,000 a year.
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Living On $60K A Year In NYC – Millennial Money
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