Our Second Shift series features people working more than one job and finding creative ways to make money. This week, meet a dancer who has a second career as a real estate broker. Want to be featured? Email Emily.Laurence@metro.us.
Name: Jody Sperling
Residency: Upper West Side
Lives with: Husband and daughter
Number of jobs: 2
You founded your own non-profit dance company, Time Lapse Dance. That alone sounds like a full-time job.
It’s a lot of work. There’s a lot of administrative work, such as grant writing and filing documents. I also do all the marketing, so that includes social media and e-blasts. I have to book the studio space, which can take a long time. Then, I have to prepare for the rehearsals and meet with the costume designer.
Plus, you dance.
Yes, so I have to prepare my body by going to the gym or to the studio to practice.
Your other job is in real estate, as a broker at Fox Residential Group. Can you pick how many clients you want to take on and do everything on your own time?
Yes. The thing about both dance and real estate is that you get what you put into it. So if I’m really busy with dance and not putting out my real estate feelers, I’m not going to get new clients. But when I’m in more of the [real estate mode], I’m reaching out more, so my phone starts ringing. It’s very cosmic.
Besides working two jobs, you’re also a mom. How does that affect your work?
My daughter is three and a half and she’s in school from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Basically I try to squeeze in two full-time jobs in those six and a half hours. I’ll do some sort of solo practice for dance. Then, I’ll do a combination of administrative work [for both jobs]. Around 5 p.m., I’ll start cooking dinner and from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. is family time. But after my daughter goes to bed, I usually have some sort of conference call or Skype call at 8 p.m. I’ll work again from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Both jobs are so different, but they do seem to compliment each other.
Real estate taught me how to negotiate and ask for decent pay for myself and my dancers. I think there’s an expectation that dancers aren’t going to make a living as artists. People assume they don’t need to pay dancers because they have rich husbands, but that is not always the case. I feel like independence is so important and real estate helps me have that. Real estate has helped me be able to choreograph and keep dancing.