The professional working world seems typical. At your desk by 9. Sneak out at 5. Sit in traffic. Do it all again tomorrow.
But it’s a big world out there, and people’s lives (and livelihoods) are far weirder than we could have imagined.
This podcast looks at all the jobs that leave us saying... “Wait, you make money doing that?"
 
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Episode 13: “I’m an LSD microdosing coach.”

When Paul Austin looks back on the first time he dropped LSD, he remembers the shame and fear associated with it. So when he created Third Wave, a company devoted to coaching the benefits of microdosing LSD, he knew the biggest hurdle was changing an entire culture through education.

You won’t die from taking LSD, nor will you later be labeled clinically insane. But some myths die hard. Paul puts these myths to rest and offers a glimpse into how psychedelics can best prepare humans for a future of AI and automation.

iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Stitcher |  Download

Episode 12: “I’m the head knight at Medieval Times.”

Chivalry. Strength. Romance. There’s quite a few things knights are world renowned for. Only, knights died out centuries ago, right? If you’ve ever heard of Medieval Times, then you know the knightly tradition is alive and well.

Today, we head down to New Jersey to talk with Andrew Thomas, the head knight at Medieval Times. He tells us how he made his way into knighting (turns out, it has everything to do with his hair) and shows Sam a few moves with a broadsword. Hope Sam signed that liability waiver...

iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Stitcher |  Download

Episode 11: “I’m a nude model.”

For some, the nude body is taboo. But for artists, it’s been a constant source of training and inspiration.

Ruby Magic has travelled around the world as a nude model. She tells Sam how she’s become more empowered in her own skin, and even gets Sam to give nude modeling one more shot.

iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Stitcher |  Download

Episode 10: “I’m Hollywood's resident bug wrangler.”

Let’s say you’re a director, and you need to film thousands of locusts descending upon a group of people. It’s a major production, but CGI just won’t cut it. What do you do? Well, there’s really only one person to call.

Steven Kutcher built his living as Hollywood’s resident bug wrangler. He’s worked on hundreds of movie scenes, from the spider that turned Peter Parker into Spider Man, to that swarm of locusts from Exorcist II. And he even pitches Sam a live-action film that’s Antz meets Thelma & Louise.

iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Stitcher |  Download

Episode 9: “I’m a professional mystery shopper.”

It’s likely that at some point in your life, while you were out shopping at your favorite store, you were standing next to a fake customer. An imposter.

These people are called mystery shoppers, and they act as quality control for many stores by pretending to be normal customers, and then reporting what they saw. In this episode, we talk to an original mystery shopper. Susan (not her real name) tells us all about the secret life of mystery shoppers, which includes disguises, deception, and even a chase scene.

iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Stitcher |  Download

Episode 8: “I’m the Bachelor in Paradise bartender.”

What’s life really like behind the bar of a reality dating show? Wells Adams made the jump from radio show host to The Bachelorette contestant a few years ago. But it’s his recent gig as the bartender on ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise that cemented him in the hearts of Bachelor fans everywhere.

Sam talks with Wells about the show, the scandal, and so much more. Plus, Sam and Wells even come up with their own spin off show.

iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Stitcher |  Download

Episode 7: “I'm a professional cuddler.”

In a previous life, Kassandra Brown was a parenting coach. Then one day, about six years ago, she was cuddling with a friend of hers when she had a personal breakthrough. So when she was searching for what to do next in her career, she landed on a combination of coaching and physical touch.

She signed up for a company called Cuddlist.

Kassandra believes that American culture has warped the idea of physical intimacy, and she’s on a one-woman mission to change that - one cuddle session at a time.

 

iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Stitcher |  Download

Episode 6: “I'm a mermaid.”

When you’re a kid, you can be anything. You can be a firefighter, a police officer, hell even a robot. The thing is, we rarely get to grow up and live that childhood dream. Unless you’re Maria Russo. Then you’re exactly who you always wanted to be.

Maria is a professional mermaid. She has an entire company devoted to the art of mermaiding. In this episode, she tells us about what really goes on at her mermaid retreats, how being a mermaid is a mix between dressing in drag and rock climbing, and how anyone can become a mermaid. Yes, even Tom Hanks.

iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Stitcher |  Download

Episode 5: “I've written 18,728 songs and counting.”

Go on Spotify right now. Type your name, or the name of someone you know. Chances are a strange band has a song about that name. And chances are the man who wrote that song is actually named Matt Farley. Matt’s written more than 18,700 songs, and that’s not even counting some of the custom work he does for people.

In this episode, the Weird Work team goes to visit the most productive songwriter in the world and hang out in his home studio basement.

 

iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Stitcher |  Download

Episode 4: “I press human ashes into vinyl records.”

Jason Leach founded Andvinyly as a way to face his own mortality. He heard Hunter S. Thompson had his own ashes set off in fireworks, and Jason wondered how he could be best remembered. Then it hit him: Vinyl records.

What Jason didn’t expect was that he’d accidentally created an entire business model by going through the process. And as much as he tried to ignore it, the people had spoken. They too wanted to live beyond the groove.

iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Stitcher |  Download 

Episode 3: “I’m a professional bridesmaid.”

If you’ve ever been to a wedding where the bride is considering grabbing an Uber and leaving, the ring bearer is missing, and the groomsmen are blackout drunk, you’ve seen what Jen Glantz calls a “normal weekend.

Jen is a professional bridesmaid, which means anything from helping the bride pee, to wrangling a gaggle of groomsmen.

 

iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Stitcher |  Download 

Episode 2: "I make ASMR videos."

Heather Feather was sitting in her classroom. Her teacher pulled down a world map on the wall, and struck it with a pointer stick. Now, you might jump. Maybe even shudder. But Heather felt something different: a slight tingling sensation down her spine. Years later, she realized the feeling was called ASMR.

Today, there’s an entire ASMR subculture of online videos that trigger these feelings, to help people relax or even fall asleep. And Heather’s channel is one of the best. She tells us how she makes ASMR videos, the dark side of being a woman on YouTube, and even improvises an ASMR collaboration with Sam.

 

iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Stitcher |  Download 

 

Episode 1: "I write dinosaur (and monster) erotica.”

Alara Branwen’s author page on Amazon says that she’s a “typical college student by day, but by night she is a crafter of sexy, hot, sensuous, ‘monster’ fantasy erotic fiction.” The reality is Alara, and frequent co-writer Christie Sims, are the same person. In fact, they’re the same guy.

Turns out, most of your favorite dinosaur and monster erotica is written by men. In this episode, we talk about how Alara got into the business and why he pretends to be a woman online. 

 

iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Download 

 

Trailer: "I host a podcast about people with weird jobs.”

Starting September 28, Weird Work fills your ear holes with stories from the creative and inspiring people who work some of the weirdest jobs out there. Hosted by Sam Balter.

 

iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Stitcher |  Download 

 

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