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Not everyone can make a living from art alone in Utah'or can they? City Weekly asked two local rockers, a comedian, a DJ and an actress what daytime gigs they’ve held down in the past (and currently) to pay the rent.


Keith Stubbs


(Wiseguys owner, stand-up comic, morning co-host on The Eagle 101.5)


“I’ve been doing stand-up comedy full-time since 1991, 200-plus shows a year'of course, almost all at night. Even if I didn’t have a comedy gig, I still stayed up late watching Letterman and Conan. I’ve always been interested in doing radio, so when the opportunity at The Eagle arrived I decided to give it a shot. I now get up at 4:30 a.m. weekdays. When I don’t have a comedy gig, I try to go to bed by 8 p.m.! Those are retirement-home hours! My awake-time is spent scouring the Internet for show prep, hanging out with the family and doing the comedy. I ‘medicate’ to go to sleep'thanks, Ambien! Good night. Then, each morning it’s a Diet Rock Star and a two-pack of Pop Tarts, toasted, drink and eat on the commute. I’m on the air 5:25 a.m. until 10 a.m. … then meetings … then comedy shows at night! It’s a brutal schedule, but I think it’s worth it … right?nn

Dave Payne


(Guitarist-singer for Red Bennies, The Breaks, Coyote Hoods and others, Paul Green School of Rock instructor)


“I had a career in the assisted-living field for five-and-a-half years, during which I accumulated a dramatic pay increase of about a dollar, and also a mysterious work increase. It was a constant stream of waking up at 6 a.m., helping the client pick up the emotional pieces after a guilty midnight Kool-Aid binge, and getting in trouble for eating the Parmesan cheese. The work wasn’t without its good moments'not too much physical violence, lots of laughs, lots of nakedness. Now I do the exact same thing, except there’s money and enthusiasm: I work at the School of Rock managing 10 AC/DC cover bands. A true social service, and these kids yell in the grocery store just like my last clients. Go figure.nn

Brenda Sue Cowley




“I worked as a hairstylist at the Ninth Avenue Salon'with a brief detour as a ‘shampoo girl’ at a New York salon that lasted exactly one day'before I decided to become a full-time actor and writer. Almost everything I’ve written since then has incorporated experiences from my time working there; they were just wonderful, wonderful people and great characters. Most of the ladies who came in to get their hair done every week were, well, advanced in years, and one day the owner, for some reason, told them that all men'not some, all men'shave their butts. After that, it was these cute little senior women yelling back and forth while they were sitting under hair dryers, things like, ‘My husbands’'yes, plural'’never shaved their butts!’ and ‘Well, I don’t know if he did or not'how would I?’ I’ve used that story in everything I’ve written!nn

Jesse Walker


(DJ, graphic designer)


“One of the first jobs I had when I first moved to Salt Lake at the ripe age of 18 was ‘Assistant Promotional Director’ at the original flavor Vortex [Exchange Place in the ’90s]. This mostly involved lowly street promotion and dreaming up themes, which we would then have to ‘realize’ by making new and special junk out of the old, less-special junk we had to work with in the super-spooky basement. From artfully draped fabrics (dumb!) to full-on craft fairs in the entry (?) to decorating Marilyn Manson’s green room (how did those cages find their way to the 13th floor?), I did it all! Of course, the job had a few perks as far as learning my craft goes; I heard some amazing DJs and even opened for a few. Oh, and I had the keys to the club at one point and decided on a summer night that a drunken five-person rager was in order. Fun, fun, fun'until we were busted by the club’s sound designer, who said he could hear us clear out on the street.nn

Dave “Rattler” Styer


(Guitarist-bassist for Horns and Blackhole, office drone)


“I live in the land of Zion, where we have to be responsible punk rockers and hold down these so-called ‘day jobs.’ I work for a company that reviews health-insurance claims. Basically, it’s crunching numbers for eight hours a day. It’s not so bad, in the immortal words of Kiss, to ‘Rock & roll all night and make Excel Macros every day!’ … Aw, c’mon! It sucks the life right outta me! Rocking past midnight and going to work at 7:30 a.m. every day could kill any 32-year-old man with a receding hairline and possible polyps on his anus. Work for me is like living with my family in jail: My mom, sisters, aunts and cousins are two feet away from me all day. Imagine! Mom says, ‘Dave, are you playing a concert tonight? I have some crackers.’ I roll my eyes and reply ‘Mom, it’s called a show! And no, I don’t want your crackers'gosh!’ All the while counting polyrhythms and playing air guitar.

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