By Ab Velasco
$imple and plain – everybody needs money. How you come about it is your own business, But Isaac likes to make it everybody’s. He has only a few stipulations.
“I didn’t want anything penetrating me, and no penetrating him. No facial cum shots,” he says, laughing.
Twenty-year-old Issac, who preferred not to have his last name printed, is a former model and current video and Web editor for Bedfellow, a prominent gay adult site on the Net.
Issac was introduced to the site’s owner through a friend when he was 18. “He said it paid well and that it was fun.” So Issac went in for an audition and proceeded to do a live show that was broadcast over the Internet.
When he went back to ask for another gig, the owner was generous. For over eight months, Isaac has been the site’s video editor after a swift promotion.
All he would divulge about the pay is that “I live on my own and I am able to study at (the Academy of Design), which costs $18,000 a year, with no OSAP.”
Issac emphasized that porn can be very respectful and ethical. “We’re strict about how old you are.”
Along the same line, 23-year-old Ryerson student “Mike” has put a new spin on the term “hand job.” While many students his age work in retail or flip burgers at McDonald’s to put themselves through school, Mike gies a little of himself back to society. He donates his sperm.
The student, quoted in the Globe and Mail in May, says he loves children. “I thought I would like to help someone who is incapable of having children.”
A sweet gesture considering the hefty load – of money he receives in return. Mike netted $65 per acceptable sample (the average donor gives two to three times per week), which he puts towards his tuition.
Third-year journalism student Doug Paton is hoping to make money in a different style of storytelling. As one half of the independent comic publisher Gratuitous Fish Comics, Paton is learning the harsh realities of starting from the bottom.
“It’s not a winning venture. If you want to make any money in comics, you have to have a lot of money in fist,” he says.
Paton attends conventions to mingle with the top creators and independents in the industry, as well as to promote his own work. He says that cost of renting a table is $100, plus the travelling and hotel expenses. The payback, however, is not so extravagant. At a convention this spring in New York, PAton sold three books for $1 a piece.
It’s not hard to do the math, but Paton, who prints his comics at copy shops and staples them together himself, swears that it was the best time of his life.
“If you want to do this, you have to love it. Comics are something that is fun. The reason I’m in it is because I love the medium.”
Video, text and pictures are not the only artistic mediums that pay, most of the time. Hip hop artists Jason V., a.k.a. J-Crown Sun, produces his own CDs and sells them on the streets.
He says he sells 10 to 20 a day for around $5-$10 a piece. On a good day, when “I don’t get discouraged,” Fifty is not impossible.
- has performed at Nathan Phillips square and spun at the Calypso Hut and G-Spot. Many of his gigs are voluntary, but sometimes he gets $20. He doesn’t have any other source of income, but he says, “I haven’t missed my rent yet.”
Stefanie Polsenelli has discovered a creative way of making moula as well. “I decided to donate my body to science,” she says.
In the summer of 2001, the third-year journalism student, who has a rare blood disorder, was in between jobs and desperate for cash.
Her doctor introduced her to the study of a new drug being tested to treat her disorder. She says she couldn’t pass up a chance to possibly help herself and others, and make $4,500 US at the same time.
Polsenelli stayed at a Boston hospital for three weeks where she was confined to an experiment ward during the testing.
“The worst part was the hospital food. Some stuff nearly made me gag and we had to eat it all. Also, I was not used to the confinement.”
Polsenelli has some advice for students considering doing the same. “Make sure you are willing to go through some pain. Although every experiment is different, be prepared to endure some not-so-nice things.
“Also, make sure that you are not only doing it for the money. Try to have a bigger purpose than that.
If you’d sell your body for money, what won’t you do?”