We all know living in New York City is expensive. How does the average person make it work? Our Second Shift series features people working more than one job to make ends meet. This week, meet a radiation therapist who makes money off his favorite hobbies on the side.

Name: Brian Thomas:
Age: 36
Residency: Murray Hill
Lives: Alone
Number of jobs: 2

What do you do as a radiation therapist?

I work 40 hours a week using radiation to treat cancer patients. It’s different than chemotherapy, which uses drug treatments. I like it, but it’s not an easy job. It’s tiring, both physically and emotionally.

How do you deal with the emotional aspect of it?

You have to compartmentalize and not bring work home with you. It’s good to be friendly and compassionate with the patients, but you have to know where to draw the line. Once I leave work, I try to put work out of my mind and relax. And that’s actually where my second career comes in.

What’s your second job?

On Sundays and Tuesday nights I teach bachata and merengue, which are Dominican styles of dancing. It’s a beginner-level class, so I teach for the first half of the night and then it turns into a dance party, which I DJ.

How did you get into it?

I went to the Dominican Republic in 2009, which is where I first saw it. I wanted to keep doing it when I got back to New York, so I just Googled where to do it and that’s how I ended up in the dance scene.

It must help you distress from your other job.

It really does. It’s like my therapy, basically.

Do you DJ other places besides the dance classes?

Yeah. I DJ parties and about one or two weddings a year. It’s pretty much all Latin music.

Are you working this second job for fun or because you have to?

Both. I used to be living in Brooklyn with my parents, but now I live in a studio in Murray Hill. Things would be really tight if I didn’t have the money I made DJing and teaching. The good thing is, it’s something I really enjoy doing.

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