Monday, May 20, 2013
Rachel Flehinger has always juggled multiple jobs and finds it energizing rather than exhausting.
Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer
"People have always called me a hustler -- I get bored easily," Flehinger said.
Flehinger works as a weekday morning radio host on WPOR 101.9 FM from 4 a.m. to noon, teaches acting and improvisation classes, and fills in from time to time as a bartender. She also works as a corporate coach, providing improv and acting lessons to businesses that need to learn how to react on their feet better and become more nimble in dealing with change.
Flehinger moved to Portland from New York City in 2003 to help take care of her mother. She's always had more than one job, even when she spent five years in corporate gigs. She was always running off to a play rehearsal or improv performances at night.
"I don't have to be famous, I just have to be doing what I love -- living my passion," Flehinger said.
The 36-year-old said juggling multiple jobs takes a lot of work just to find the assignments -- let alone doing the work itself.
"It's a combination of always worrying about 'What is the next thing' and the thought that I'm living my dream and my passion," Flehinger said. "It's a very feast-or-famine existence, though."
Working at the radio station has provided some stability. Although the early morning hours are tough to deal with, the radio station provides a crucial benefit of health insurance.
Flehinger said the key to cobbling together various jobs is learning how to say "No" when it gets to be too much.
"If you're already over-extended, you need to be able to take care of yourself. You need to know how and when to put the brakes on," she said. "If I have to turn someone down, I really try very hard to send them to someone else who can help them."
Flehinger said passion for her acting and improv work keeps her motivated and focused.
If she had to provide survival tips for people with multiple jobs, Flehinger said she would advise people to savor the parts about which they are the most passionate and keep the bad parts in perspective.
"You have to think 'I don't mind that I have to wash dishes because I get to jam with my band at night,' " Flehinger said. "You'll be able to put up with the parts you don't like because you have what you really love to keep you going."
-- Staff Writer Jessica Hall