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July 28, 2009

Moonlighting Makes a Comeback

Nearly 2 million American women hold down two jobs, a figure experts say will rise if the economy doesn't rebound soon. While most of these industrious gals do it to make ends meet, some juggle that second gig to indulge a secret love. Here, five moonlighters who made their passions pay off:

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Photo Credit: Pixland/Jupiter Images

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SUSI WEGENER
31, PORTLAND, OR
Day job: Yoga instructor
Moonlighting gig: Horse caretaker
Extra cash per month: $500 to $600
Why I love it: "I exercise my body in totally different ways than I do with yoga. I put in a really physical 12-hour day feeding the horses, taking them for a ride, and cleaning out their stalls—it's a great full-body workout."

REBECCA BRISCOE
31, HOUSTON, TX
Day job: Administrator for a state agency
Moonlighting gig: Event planner
Extra cash per month: $1600
Why I love it: "I don't have much creative control at my day job, which involves a lot of paperwork. So I started my own side business a few years ago organizing fundraisers. I control everything from planning to staffing—all on my own terms. I've since expanded to all kinds of events. I've even thrown parties for Diddy!"

NADIA KASHPER
28, NY, NY
Day job: Book editor
Moonlighting gig: Sells goat cheese at farmers' markets
Extra cash per month: $600 to $800
Why I love it: "All week long, I'm cooped up in an office--it's very solitary. On weekends at the farmers' market, I get to be outside all day, meeting tons of new people. And I always have the best stuff to bring to friends' dinner parties."

CAMERON GOODMAN
24, LOS ANGELES, CA
Day job: Actress
Moonlighting gig: Restaurant reviewer
Extra cash per month: Approximately $500, plus $800 in free meals
Why I love it: "Part of my work involves testing how much the waiter knows about the menu—I can't be obvious or I'd blow my cover. I pretend I have an allergy to see if he knows what ingredients are used in the dishes. And while I'm improving my acting skills, I get to eat amazing gourmet food with my girlfriends."

KERRI COTTER
40, STONY POINT, NY
Day job: Personal trainer
Moonlighting gig: Stand-up comic
Extra cash per month: $1100
Why I love it: "There's no bigger rush than getting on stage, talking about my experiences, and hearing people laugh. Sometimes after a set, a woman will come up to me and say, 'I just got divorced, my girlfriends made me come out, and I really needed that laugh. Thank you.' Those are the best compliments—they make my hair stand up."


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