I’m an Actor in Los Angeles Who Makes $7,000 a Month on TaskRabbit

  • Vanessa Garcia is an actor in Los Angeles who’s also been working on TaskRabbit since 2017.
  • She makes an average of $7,000 a month building furniture and dressing up as a princess for parties.
  • Here’s her story, as told to writer Perri Ormont Blumberg.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Vanessa Garcia, a 28-year-old actor and Tasker for TaskRabbit in Los Angeles, California, about her job. Insider has verified her income with documentation. The following has been edited for length and clarity.

I’m from Mexico, but I’ve been living in LA for about three years. Thanks to TaskRabbit, I’ve felt more at home in this huge city by knowing the ins and outs of what the city offers — and where.

I’m currently making around $7,000 a month with an average of about 90 hours per month on the platform — and this doesn’t include my other earnings from acting and clients outside TaskRabbit.

I graduated with a degree in biology but decided to put a medical career aside to pursue acting — risky, to say the least. But first I wanted to create a steady income. 

Starting in 2013, I worked as a nanny, tutor, and personal assistant to make ends meet, and it was discouraging trying to achieve a healthy and happy lifestyle. Throughout those years, I also worked as a princess at parties and planned events, all while pursuing an acting career. My plate was loaded, but it still felt as if I wasn’t getting anywhere being paid minimum wage.

At a gathering in 2017, a friend told me about how to get paid to build Ikea furniture, and I was sold 

Once I signed up for TaskRabbit, I found out you could do a lot more than just build Ikea furniture. There were requests for everything from personal-assistant work to event planning and staffing, and much more. I began doing event staffing and furniture assembly once a week in San Diego where I lived at the time, and then it became my weekend gig. 

But by 2018, money was tight. I was counting pennies to fill up my gas tank, and I was about to get evicted from where I lived, so TaskRabbit became a little more than just my weekend gig. It wasn’t until 2019 that I fully utilized everything the app had to offer, and I signed up for more jobs I knew I could do.

I learned the skills I now offer through trial and error

I never actually watched any YouTube videos, but I did learn a lot throughout the years working with other Taskers. I will say, I’ve always been very good at building furniture — it’s like a puzzle to me, and I love puzzles. I did, however, have to upgrade my toolkit, so I went to Home Depot and bought myself the tools needed for the job.

My boss at my personal-assistant job at the time told me that they would only need me half the time and would cut my pay in half, so I quit, moved from San Diego to LA, and became a Tasker full-time.

I work pretty much every day for around 10 hours a day

I’ve completed more than 1,000 tasks on TaskRabbit. Since you’re not forced to meet a quota, sometimes I’ll work seven days a week, or sometimes I’ll work three days a week. It’s all about flexibility and the ability to choose when and how much you get to work for and what you want to do.

When I start work, the first thing I do is open my app to go over my list of clients for the day and know where I’m going and at what time I have to be at a task. I’ve set a schedule for myself, though it does vary daily, that strives to work around the city’s busy commute — the less I’m on the road, the more I’ll be making and the better quality of life I’ll have. One day I could be starting at 6 or 7 a.m. because a client is having a surprise gathering for their family and wants everything finished by noon, and the other day I could be starting at 6 or 7 p.m. for an event that will go through the night.

I like to call myself the “Latina Marie Kondo.” When I’m hired for organizational tasks, others might see a


tornado

, but all I see is opportunity. These tasks can include organizing someone’s office, filing their cabinet folders, or organizing a closet, a garage, or even an entire house. I always tell my clients: If you can’t see it, you won’t use it.

After finishing a task, I take pictures, ask the client if everything is to their liking, and say goodbye and close out the task on the app. I always end my day going over any tasks for the following day. Then I still have my other work, like doing princess parties and acting.

Every week varies with which type of task contributes most to my earnings. The app has helped me keep a stern grasp on my pricing and knowing the value of my work. Many people will try to pay less for more, and I’ve built the confidence to put my foot down when it comes to the income I want to make. On TaskRabbit, Taskers take home 100% of their hourly rates and tips.

I offer 25 skills on the app

My offerings include personal-assistant work, project coordination and management, organization, furniture assembly, and event staffing. In my personal opinion, TaskRabbit is like a family, and there have been multiple occasions where I’ve met other Taskers at events and we end up working many other events together.

I started offering arts and crafts like gift-wrapping, entertainment services like dressing up as a princess for kids’ birthday parties, and event planning on TaskRabbit because I knew how to do them, and I was doing this work outside of TaskRabbit already. At the moment, I’m being hired for a lot of business events and graduations.

Not only have I learned new skills, but TaskRabbit has truly taught me how to run a successful business, have professional etiquette, and how to be a good listener. But above all else, it’s given me the confidence to say “yes” to opportunities and communicate well when it comes to business. For me, being educated helps build my confidence. If there’s something that I don’t know, I do my research and ask someone who’s knowledgeable in the subject area.

Another beautiful thing is the networking you can do while building relationships with clients. TaskRabbit has helped my working relationships evolve, as my clients often recommend me to their friends and family. I constantly get messages from new clients that were referred by clients of mine. I also continue to help all the other clients I’ve acquired through the years by word of mouth.

My best advice is don’t think about it too hard and jump into the pool of opportunities

Be confident in your work, communicate every detail possible, and don’t be afraid to ask any and every question in order to fulfill a task. Above all, be understanding of your clients’ needs.

I was once hired by a southeast Asian man, who specifically stated before my arrival that he chose me because I’m a woman, and he wanted to show his son that women can do this type of work and be independent. To my surprise, when I arrived, the son was not a child but actually a man in his thirties. 

Still, I didn’t mind being hired for this task at all — in fact, it felt really good to show off my work and set the standard that women can be independent and strong and work in the same fields as men. The most beautiful thing about this task was that the mother asked if she could take a picture with me so she could show her friends and family back in India that women can do it all.

Every time I get in an Uber or Lyft and chat with the driver, they share their story and how much they hustle, and I share my TaskRabbit story with them. I talk about it so much because it’s truly changed my life. I’ve been able to afford to take myself on solo trips to Greece, France, Morocco, Spain, and elsewhere, all while having the peace of mind that I’ll have work when I get back.

Are you a Tasker who wants to share your story? Email Lauryn Haas at lhaas@insider.com.

Leave a Comment