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“It would be nice to make substantial money in theatre”: A 24-year-old waits tables to subsidize her arts career

By Jennifer Cheng| Photography by Brittany Carmichael
"It would be nice to make substantial money in theatre": A 24-year-old waits tables to subsidize her arts career

Who: Jennifer Farr, 24

What she does: Jennifer is the co-artistic director of Gambler Productions, a theatre collective she founded with a friend from university. She also works at Beerbistro as a server.

What she makes: She nets between $25,000 to $35,000 a year from her restaurant gig, plus a few hundred dollars from acting. (“It would be nice to make substantial money in theatre. One can dream.”)

Some of how she spends it: Her half of the rent on a one-bedroom-plus-den condo she shares with her boyfriend in South Riverdale: $875 monthly. (“Our den is a decent size. Before this, we were living together in a very, very small one-bedroom apartment above a store in Chinatown.”) Her share of water and hydro: $40 monthly. Cellphone service: $50.85 monthly. Home Internet: $50.10 monthly. OSAP payments: $100 monthly. (“Every few months, I put down $1,000 if I had a really good month at work. I owed $17,000 when I graduated in 2014 and now I have $5,000 left.”) Transportation: $141.50 monthly. (“If I have lines to memorize, I walk to work and pretend I’m on the phone.”) Savings for travel: $2,000 to $3,000 annually. (“This year, we went to Vancouver for a week, which cost me only $1,000. Last year, it was France. My share was $3,000. But it was worth every penny.”)

Some of what she bought in one week: Groceries at Metro: $98.45. (“One of our cats, Marco, has a sensitive stomach, so we have to buy him super-expensive special cat food. It’s $35.”) Tim Hortons: $14.38. Dinner with a friend at Thai House: $59.42. External hard drive on Amazon: $91.24. (“My MacBook of seven years is dying. I’ve used it every single day since Grade 12.”) Friend’s birthday dinner at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen: $60.71.

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