Second Shift: Turning fun into money

In this week's Second Shift series, meet a New Yorker who has established two successful careers around having fun.
Published : September 14, 2014

Barbara Serbes, 38, is a fitness trainer during the day and the lead singer of a band at night. Credit: Provided/Brian Matus Photography Barbara Serbes, 38, is a fitness trainer during the day and the lead singer of a band at night.
Credit: Provided/Brian Matus Photography

 

Our Second Shift series features people working more than one job and finding creative ways to make money. This week, meet a New Yorker who has established two successful careers around her two passions, fitness and music. Want to be featured? Email Emily.Laurence@metro.us.

 

Name: Barbara Serbes
Age: 38
Residency: Astoria, Queens
Lives with: Her boyfriend
Number of jobs: 2

 

You're one of the founders of Female Fitness Force. Can you explain what it is?

 

Female Fitness Force is a team of personal trainers. We're all female. Some of us do yoga, some do Pilates and some are personal trainers. We go to our clients' homes to train them so they don't have to go to the gym. We're trying to help people who wouldn't go to the gym otherwise. Sometimes I'll train people at the park, sometimes in their apartment, or on their rooftop, in a gym in their building; it really depends on what people have to work with.

How many clients do you have?

I personally have six clients, so I see about two people a day. Every Sunday I'll touch base with them and set up my schedule for the week. It works perfectly because at night, I can [perform in] my band, Lavender Steel.

How long have you been in the band?

I've been performing for a long time. This band is a combination of people I've worked with in other bands - kind of the best of the best. It's a six-piece band and we do '80s and '90s rock covers and are also working on some original songs as well. I'm one of the lead singers.

How do you go about getting gigs?

For bars and restaurants, we book ourselves. We are also signed with an entertainment company that books us for private events.

Who do you live with?

I live with my boyfriend, who is an actor/comedian.

Is it hard for you guys to budget since you both have nontraditional careers?

It is. We have fun, but we don't go crazy spending money. We keep a tight budget because we don't know what it's going to be like month to month. If I get a big show or he gets a commercial, we'll sock away that money because it may be a while until there's another one. We're really good at making sure we have money saved up.

Overall, are you happy with your work life or is there anything you would like to change?

It's taken me a while to get here, so I feel like I've reached my goal, which is making sure music and fitness are what I do with my life. My entire reason for living is basically to facilitate fun, whether it's in my fitness sessions or my shows. Helping people have a blast is my talent. I just smother them with fun and then go to sleep.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence

 
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