By Matthew Brown & Sam Balter
Weird WorkAug 09, 2022
"I'm a pet psychic."
Martha talks to animals. Martha Malone – pet psychic, pet communicator - surfs the astral plane to telepathically connect with animals living or deceased. She communicates between animal and human to help vocalize everything from behavior issues to closure after passing on.
Martha talks about how she communicates with animals, animal spirit personalities, and what happens when you have two spirits in the same body.
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"I'm a financial dominatrix."
Whether your kink is karma or carnage, there’s always something out there for you. And our guest sure found her sweet spot - financial domination.
We're talking with the manipulatrix, the vocal priestess, the hypno crypto queen herself – Theodora.
Theodora dabbles in “traditional” dominatrix work, but her clients – or, pay pigs as they’re affectionately known – are most interested in her controlling their finances. That can mean controlling their bank accounts. It can also mean setting up her submissives to mine crypto currency for her. Clients can pay her bills, or even get her a new pair of her favorite Louboutin shoes.
"I'm a location scout."
Lori Balton has been a location scout with over IMDB credits to her name. She’s scouted locations for every type of film.
From big budget action movies like Heat, Armageddon, The Dark Rises, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
To Nic Cage classics – Face Off and City of Angels.
Not to mention, recent gold man award noms, like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, There Will be Blood, Top Gun Maverick (prediction), and the upcoming, star-studded contender Babylon. For her contributions to the profession Lori was the first location scout to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Lori takes Sam through how she got started in scouting, how the profession has hanged over time, and why
“I’m The Points Guy.”
Brian Kelly has been known to the world as The Points Guy since launching his blog in 2011, but he started slinging credit card reward points long before then. And today, the man with 25 credit cards is the guru of all things travel. Brian talks about the credit card he can’t leave home without, dispels the worst myth about credit cards, and helps you find your way to first-class air travel in no time.
“I preserve vintage TV art.”
Inevitably, those break. And finding the right replacement parts is almost as difficult as finding someone who knows how to actually fix these things. But the only other alternative is letting those works of art be lost forever. And that can’t happen.
“I teach kids to be YouTube stars.”
Alexander Rossi is the creator of YouTube STAR Camp, a summer program that helps kids learn the skills they need to become the next great YouTube stars. And while it might not sound like it at first, this camp has something every kid will want… and need.
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“I’m a pet influencer agent.”
Colleen Wilson was a top private mortgage banker in New York City. She was also the youngest. No small feat. But after rescuing a deaf pooch named Charlie, it completely changed the way she saw the banking industry. So she left it all behind. Not long after, Colleen founded Pets on Q, an animal influencer agency. She talks about what makes an animal a true influencer and what it’s really like to manage famous pets.
"I'm a dream analyst."
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“I’m a conlanger.”
David talks about what it takes to create a language, how he landed the coveted Game of Thrones conlang gig, and he spills the secret to speaking Dothraki like Jason Momoa.
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“I’m a podcast librarian.”
In her three years at the company, Ma’ayan’s role has evolved from recommending individual podcasts to solving the larger discoverability issues with podcasting.
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“I’m a surf therapy dog.”
Judy Fridono, Ricochet’s owner and certified dog trainer, tells Sam how this surf-ice dog helps those with PTSD and those on the Autism spectrum.
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Additional research: National Autism Association
“I’m an Elvis impersonator and wedding official.”
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“I’m an international pizza consultant.”
Anthony Falco is the reigning pizza czar of New York. And he’s taken his expertise around the world to help others realize their own dreams of opening up a pizza shop. We crawl the streets of New York in search of the best pizza and find out why pizza is so internationally beloved.
“I’m bringing Weird Work back for Season Two.”
“I make ramen that helps people find their dreams.”
Well, there’s a ramen shop in Boston called Yume Wo Katare, and it’s got just the bowl for you. We talk with owner Tsuyoshi Nishioka about the concept behind his restaurant, and how he made helping others find their dreams his personal mission.
“I’m a comic book inker.”
Mark takes Sam through the comic book production process, and explains how even outside the traditional 9 to 5, the almighty deadline still wields its own kind of superpower.
“I created The Museum of Selfies.”
This week, Sam talks with Tommy about designing immersive and experiential spaces like The Museum of Selfies and an unconventional escape room. Plus, he offers some advice for how to break out of the 9 to 5.
“I perform with cats and rats for Cirque Du Sewer.”
Sam talks with this acrobat about working with acro-rats… and one confused cat. And he finds out that nature’s mortal enemies can not only get along, but put on a damn good show.
“I’m a professional hand model.”
In today’s episode, Sam and Ashly talk about the dedication it takes to cut it as a hand model, how Ashly broke into the business, and why the industry term for hand model work is perhaps the most unprofessional name out there.
“I’m a dungeon master for Dungeons & Dragons.”
“I’m a professional mom.”
But how do other moms feel when a stranger gives their child advice? Sam calls his own mom to get a second opinion.
“I write obituaries for The Economist.”
Sam gets Ann’s take on how she deals with death, and Ann shares her unique approach to writing about those who live on in the pages of the magazine.
“I turn accidental fur into high fashion.”
That’s when Pamela began to notice inefficiencies in the fur industry. And after seeing the amount of fur going to waste on the side of the road, she grabbed a knife and got to work. She now creates high fashion from accidental fur for her company Peace Fur.
“I’m a professional gamer.”
Sam talks with Peter about his journey from being on top of the gaming world with Evil Geniuses, to becoming the team’s CEO, only to return once more to the lights, camera, controller with his new team, OpTic Gaming.
“I uncover conspiracy theories.”
Katelyn Hempstead is a comedian and the host of Lizard People: Comedy & Conspiracy Theories, a podcast where her brilliant friends try to convince her to believe different conspiracy theories. You can even find Sam on there talking about the rogue artificial intelligence that created Bitcoin. Today, Sam and Katelyn peel back the podcast curtain to reveal how anyone (even the Illuminati) can get into the podcast game and grow an audience.
“I’m a professional wingman.”
Thomas’ journey starts with Gary Vaynerchuck, hits a potential detour courtesy of Mark Cuban, and ends with the founding of a global wingman empire.
“I’m a professional garbage picker.”
Sam talks with Martin about teacups, the growing trend of minimalism, and just how much money you can make from selling garbage online. Because what’s one person’s trash is this man’s treasure.
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“I’m a professional cosplayer.”
Cosplay is a world of transformation, where art meets performance. And no one knows that better than Riki LeCotey. You might’ve seen her on SyFy’s reality tv show Heroes of Cosplay, or maybe you’ve seen her judging costumes at your local convention. Riki has turned her passion project into a full-time business. And she tells Sam how cosplay helped her land her latest dream gig: working on costumes for all the latest Marvel movies.
“I make props for Hollywood.”
Em Schulz is the co-host of And That’s Why We Drink podcast. But Em’s resume runs the gamut: Clown school graduate, professional Segway tour guide, and the list goes on. These days, Em makes props for Hollywood, famously making Eggo waffle boxes on a little show called Stranger Things. Em tells Sam what it’s like working at the top prop shop in Hollywood, and why not knowing what you want to do for a living isn’t always a bad thing.
“I repair vintage arcade games.”
On today’s episode, Sam learns that arcade game repair can be a dangerous job. And that there’s an entire world of history to be learned, right below his fingertips.
“I’m a weed nun.”
Sam talks with Sister Kate about working in the marijuana industry, how she grew the company into a million dollar global business, and how she’s helping empower women through her work.
“I’m the listeners’ favorite episode.”
We asked you to tell us your favorite Weird Work episode of 2017 and man did you guys deliver. You mentioned Jen Glantz, the professional bridesmaid, Steven Kutcher, the Hollywood bug wrangler, and Kassandra Brown, the professional cuddler. But one episode stood a full broadsword above the rest. That’s right. Today, we bring to you, the Weird Work "Listener Favorite Episode."
“I’m The New York Times crossword puzzle editor.”
Will Shortz is the crossword puzzle editor at The New York Times. But he’s also the only person in history to receive a degree in Enigmatology -- the study of puzzles. And he’s been creating and publishing his own puzzles since he was 14 years old. Today, Will talks with Sam about the origin of the paper’s famous crossword, and Will explains how the puzzle’s history is not so different from today. Oh, and there’s a puzzle. Did you really think we’d have Will on and not give you a brain stumper?
“I’m a Vodou priestess.”
“I’m a professional scent maker.”
Today, Sam talks with Kevin about what it takes to be a scent maker, the science behind smell, and together, they figure out the unofficial scent of 2018.
“I’m a space psychologist.”
So she pursued her other passion of studying human behaviors and decision making skills under intense pressure and became a space psychologist. She explains what it takes to become an astronaut and settles an argument about whether taking a one-way ticket to Mars is really worth it.
“I’m the Saturday Night Live bandleader.”
Lenny talks with Sam about his responsibilities as bandleader, how he overcame his initial fears of performing on live television, and why he thinks music today is completely undervalued.
“I’m an intimacy choreographer.”
Tonia Sina is an intimacy choreographer, and her work has helped provide protocols and safety nets that prevent the types of sexual harassment she’s witnessed first hand.
“I’m an LSD microdosing coach.”
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.
“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.
“I’m a nude model.”
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.
“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.
“I’m a professional mystery shopper.”
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 tells us all about the secret life of mystery shoppers, which includes disguises, deception, and even a chase scene.
“I’m the Bachelor in Paradise bartender.”
“I’m a professional cuddler.”
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.
“I’m a mermaid.”
Maria is a professional mermaid. She has an entire company devoted to the art of mermaiding. In this episode, she tells us 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.
“I’ve written 18,728 songs and counting.”
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.
“I press human ashes into 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.
“I’m a professional bridesmaid.”
Jen is a professional bridesmaid, which means anything from being helping the bride pee, to wrangling a gaggle of groomsmen.
"I make ASMR videos."
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 and even improvises an ASMR collaboration with Sam.