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How to Pay for Drum Corps and WGI - Vol. 3: Work Part Time

The idea here is to find flexible jobs that allow for shifts to be missed or easily covered.  No long term commitment or other responsibilities. Finding a place of employment with a large number of workers is ideal.  Here are 3 ideas ranked from least to most lucrative:



Working in retail will allow you the flexibility to build your work schedule around your drumline schedule.  Typically there will be more employees than necessary which makes it easy to have a shift covered if you have a weekend show or rehearsal.  It’s important to be very clear with any future employer about your need for flexibility. If you sense any resistance or hesitancy to let you attend your drum functions, it’s probably best to move on.    The goal here is sustained employment over a longer period of time. Getting fired for missing 4 weekends in a row won't do you any good. Here are some examples:

  • Large electronic stores (Best Buy)

  • Large Department stores (Macy’s, Nordstroms, Forever 21)

  • Retail shops at the mall

Matt Shippy, current RCC winter Member works the night shift at Amazon to make sure he can cover the cost.  Percussion IQ Co-founder, Matt Regua, worked the night shift at Stater Brothers during his time marching. The funds are out there for those that want them bad enough.

Fast casual/fast food:

Our first jobs “Introduce us to the broom” as Andrew Carnegie famously put it.  There’s nothing shameful about sweeping. It’s actually an opportunity to learn.  These types of jobs build character as well as lasting memories. These type of jobs also offer the flexibility for someone that has a set rehearsal schedule.

  • Starbucks

  • Chipotle

  • Paradise Bakery

Serving at restaurants:  

This option will allow you to work the least and make the most.  However, your wages will be variable as they will be based mostly on tips.  The nicer the restaurant, the higher the potential income. If you’re just starting out you won't have the experience needed for the ultra high-end restaurants but there are still plenty of viable options at which you can easily make $100 per night, cash.  Here are some examples:

  • California Pizza Kitchen

  • PF Changs

  • RA Sushi


These are by no means your only option to generate income.  These are meant to give you an idea of some potential options and things to consider while on the job hunt.  The only thing worse than not being able to attend an audition because you can't get off of work, is not being able to pay your tour fee after making the line.

Author: John McClean

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