"I need to do comedy to keep me sane," Senor-Ocasio says. Credit: Kyle Senor-Ocasio
Our new column features people working more than one job to make ends meet, because the rent is too damn high. This week, meet Kyle, a personal trainer, comedian and mom of three. Want to be featured? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: Kyle Senor-Ocasio Location: Upper East Side, New York City Lives with: Husband and three kids, ages 11, 8 and 6 Number of jobs: 2
Tell me about your two jobs. My main job is managing a gym and I also do personal training as well, to make extra money. I usually work at the gym during the week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. I get my kids to school in the morning, go to work and then come home to be with the kids. My second job is performing comedy Thursday through Saturday, doing two shows each night.
What does your husband do? He's a personal trainer as well and works until about 9 p.m. When he comes home, that's when I leave to perform comedy. He has the better deal because I'm the one helping the kids with their homework, getting them bathed and all of that.
When did you start working as a trainer? I didn't work when my kids were younger, but after I had my second child my husband's salary just wasn't enough, so I went back to work. I wanted to stay home and be with my kids, but out of necessity, I had to work. When my third child was born, I had to start performing again, just for my own sanity. If I didn't do it, I would go nuts. ... Part of the reason I work so hard is necessity, but also so my family can take advantage of the city. I want my daughter to be able to take her hip-hop class. I want to take my son to a Broadway show. That's why we live in New York.
Are you exhausted? Um... yes. But I eat really well; I take vitamins and I think that helps.
How does your husband feel about you working two jobs? He's supportive because we'd be broke if I didn't, but I think sometimes he wishes we had more time together. I typically do comedy in the evenings when he might want to get a babysitter and go out to dinner, but he knows that I need to perform so he accepts it. I don't think he loves it, but he accepts it.
Even though you're the one working two jobs, you're still doing most of the caregiving. Yes. I think many women are put in that position. I'm super ambitious and I'm willing to do whatever it takes. I want to perform comedy, so I come home and make things as easy as possible for my husband so he has no reason to complain.
Do you and your husband ever talk about moving somewhere cheaper than the Upper East Side to save money? We definitely have thought about it, but we have a pretty good deal on rent. We have a three-bedroom apartment, so two of my kids share a room. It's tight, especially as we're getting 0lder I wonder how this is going to work out. I don't know if my boys will be 15 and in bunk beds. I'm raising my kids in a small space without a backyard, but we get to live in New York City. I love the fact that at my kids' school there are same-sex parents, it's diverse and that's a social education they wouldn't get if I had a big house in the suburbs.
Are you and your husband able to save at all? Not really. We just make ends meet, although we do go on vacations.
Overall, are you happy with the way things are, or are you looking to change your lifestyle? Overall I am happy, but I'm always looking to improve. I would eventually like to be doing only comedy when my kids get older. Traveling comedians make much more money, so I could travel a bit more and make a living that way. I like my job at the gym, but I would rather be performing more.