Lethal Weapon Boss Explains Damon Wayans Claiming to Quit and Starting Over After Firing Clayne Crawford

Lethal Weapon, Damon WayansLethal Weapon was not an easy show to work on for the past year and a half.
First, star Clayne Crawford was fired after problematic behavior on set, and replaced with Sean William Scott…

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Why Christmas Can’t Quit Trans-Siberian Orchestra, 20 Years Later

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In 1993, a man named Paul O’Neill got a call from Atlantic Records. At the time, O’Neill was pretty well known among New York music labels. He worked at a major management firm and he was producing a minorly successful metal group called Savatage (a combo of the words “avatar” and “savage”). But Savatage’s last album hadn’t done well, and the Atlantic exec had a proposal: O’Neill should start his own group. “I said I’d love to do it,” O’Neill said later in an interview with Arte Concert. But he had a condition. “I said I want to do a progressive metal band that does mostly rock operas…I want four guitar players, two drummers, a full symphony in the studio, but not a symphony on the road…and 24 lead singers.” He had another ask. The rock operas would, for the most part, all be about Christmas.

Thursday night, about 15,000 people crowded into the Nassau County Veterans Memorial Coliseum, to hear the fruits of O’Neill’s phone call: the progressive metal holiday-rock-opera-machine, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, or TSO.

It’s been 25 years since O’Neill first pitched his project, and 20 since the group first started touring, but TSO has spent almost all of that time, bewilderingly, as one of the biggest breadwinners in the music industry. The Christmas melody maker has put out four holiday rock operas, three non-holiday rock operas, a Christmas EP, and a Christmas compilation, four of which have debuted in the top 10 of the Billboard 200, four of which have gone platinum (two of them more than once), and all of which, collectively, have sold over 12 million records, grossing some $ 700 million in revenue. Since 1999, the band has played to over 15 million people, and many of them come back for more—in 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that repeat customers comprise 50 percent of the audience.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Why Christmas Can’t Quit Trans-Siberian Orchestra, 20 Years Later

Daniel Knighton/Getty

In 1993, a man named Paul O’Neill got a call from Atlantic Records. At the time, O’Neill was pretty well known among New York music labels. He worked at a major management firm and he was producing a minorly successful metal group called Savatage (a combo of the words “avatar” and “savage”). But Savatage’s last album hadn’t done well, and the Atlantic exec had a proposal: O’Neill should start his own group. “I said I’d love to do it,” O’Neill said later in an interview with Arte Concert. But he had a condition. “I said I want to do a progressive metal band that does mostly rock operas…I want four guitar players, two drummers, a full symphony in the studio, but not a symphony on the road…and 24 lead singers.” He had another ask. The rock operas would, for the most part, all be about Christmas.

Thursday night, about 15,000 people crowded into the Nassau County Veterans Memorial Coliseum, to hear the fruits of O’Neill’s phone call: the progressive metal holiday-rock-opera-machine, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, or TSO.

It’s been 25 years since O’Neill first pitched his project, and 20 since the group first started touring, but TSO has spent almost all of that time, bewilderingly, as one of the biggest breadwinners in the music industry. The Christmas melody maker has put out four holiday rock operas, three non-holiday rock operas, a Christmas EP, and a Christmas compilation, four of which have debuted in the top 10 of the Billboard 200, four of which have gone platinum (two of them more than once), and all of which, collectively, have sold over 12 million records, grossing some $ 700 million in revenue. Since 1999, the band has played to over 15 million people, and many of them come back for more—in 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that repeat customers comprise 50 percent of the audience.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Want to Quit Your Job? Here’s What You’d Have to Do to Make $73,480/Year

Something’s bubbling up inside you. No, it’s not from your fifth cup of coffee. It’s anger, frustration or maybe just extreme boredom.

You’re dying to do something else, to escape the grips of management, to pursue your passion.

But you also need an income.

Deciding to quit your job is no willy-nilly decision, but it’s important to know you have options. There are ways out.

Here’s What You Could Do to Make $ 75,988/Year

We’ve talked to dozens of people who’ve quit their jobs to pursue their passions, set their own schedules and carve out a lifestyle they’ve always dreamed of.

No, it’s not always easy (usually it’s not), but there are ways to replace your salary.

To show you it’s possible, here are five ways real people have earned substantial money through side gigs.

If you were to do them all, you could potentially bank an extra $ 75,988 a year.

1. Watch Videos Online for an Extra $ 2,700/Year

It might sound too good to be true, but InboxDollars will actually pay you to watch videos. We’re talkin’ movie previews, celebrity gossip, cooking tutorials and brief news segments.

We interviewed Sarah Houston, a college student who easily made an extra $ 600 through the site in about three years — averaging $ 200 a year. If you really dedicate yourself, though, InboxDollars says you can make up to $ 225 a month, or $ 2,700 a year, watching these segments.

I mean, no, they’re not as enthralling as the latest Netflix hit, but earning money through InboxDollars is simple and mindless enough!

2. List Your Backyard Tent for an Extra $ 8,280/Year

tent in the backyard

Have a spare room? Or even a backyard tent? Try to earn some money by listing it on Airbnb.

Yep! We found a guy who earned $ 46 a night listing a backyard tent on Airbnb. Renting it out for half the month for a full year could earn him $ 8,280.

Get started with some of these basic tips:

  • Make your space available during high-demand times in your area. Think: concerts, conventions and sporting events.
  • Be a good host, and stock your place with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels.
  • Be personable. A lot of travelers turn to Airbnb for the personal touch they won’t find at commercial properties.

Use the Airbnb calculator to find out how much you could potentially make by listing your spare room, couch or that backyard tent.

(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)

3. Take the Dogs out for a Walk for an Extra $ 12,000/Year

man walking dog in the city

If you love hanging out with dogs, Rover might be your perfect gig.

The online network connects dog walkers and sitters to local dog owners through its 4.9-star-rated app, so you don’t have to staple flyers on every utility pole across town.

Rover says sitters can earn as much as $ 1,000 a month. One stay-at-home mom wrote about how she makes $ 6,000 just working when she wants and is available.

Rover dog-sitter requirements vary by location. In general, you must:

  • Be 18 years or older.
  • Pass a background check.
  • Have access to the Rover app (iOS or Android).

Here’s how it works: You’ll create an online sitter profile where you’ll answer questions about your experience with puppers and your schedule availability.

You can choose to offer a variety of services, including dog walking, overnight boarding at your home or theirs, and daycare. Boarding is the app’s most popular service, so offering it can get you more gigs. You set your own rates. (Rover keeps a small percentage as a service fee.)

Dog owners will reach out to you. Accept which gigs you want, then start snugglin’ pups. As soon as you complete a service, you’ll be paid within two days.

4. Create Your Own Online Business for an Extra $ 50,000/Year

Do you have a passion? Whether it’s crunching numbers, lines of code, writing or designing, you can strike up an online business and work for yourself — when you want and from where you want.

Meet Daniel Honan, a former military officer who decided to start his own bookkeeping business. He took an online course, Bookkeeper Business Launch, which walked him through the entire start-up process.

When we interviewed Honan, he was on track to make $ 50,000 in his first year of business.

This isn’t unheard of in other industries either. Jamie Cattanach is another great example. She quit her full-time job as a writer and started freelancing full time. In her first year of business, she raked in $ 50,000 — that was more than her full-time salary.

5. Get Cash Back on Your Purchases for an Extra $ 500/Year

Kathleen Garvin, outreach strategist and editor at TPH, checks out Paribus on her phone. By using Paribus, she's received about in refunds.

All right, so there’s no guarantee you’re going to make money with this free tool, but it’s worth a try, especially if you stock up on items online.

That’s what single mom Aimee B. does. In the past two years, she’s recouped $ 1,000 while shopping online.

Her secret weapon is called Paribus — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund when there’s a price drop.

Plus, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late, Paribus will help you get compensated.

“My time is worth a lot,” Aimee says. “An hour of my time saved is absolutely worth its weight in gold.”

Or, at least, $ 1,000 back in her bank account.

Disclosure: Paribus compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.

Bonus: Hit the $ 10,000 Jackpot

It’s everyone’s dream to hit the lottery, right? Never work a day in your life again.

We’re not going to suggest you go out and invest in lottery tickets. Instead, play free scratch-off tickets through an app called Lucktastic.

Each day, it releases a new assortment of digital scratch-off tickets. Lucktastic says instant wins range from $ 1 to $ 10,000. You can also earn tokens that you can exchange for free gift cards to retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Kohl’s, Sephora and more.

And, yes, you can actually win money. We interviewed Oniel Campbell, a single dad who won $ 5,000 through Lucktastic, which he planned to use toward a down payment on a home.

The app is supported by advertising, which allows it to keep the payouts high and the games free. For more info, check out our full review.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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This Couple Made Enough Dough Baking Biscuits to Quit Their Teaching Jobs

Sometimes when an opportunity arises, you just gotta roll with it.

Jesse Thompson and Lee Valenti were school teachers who dreamed of opening a learning center they’d call Hey Giant Robot, but they needed a way to fund it.

They decided to raise money by baking biscuits to sell at a pop-up market within the learning center.

“We were thinking we could sell them and make a couple hundred bucks on the weekend,” says Thompson, 39, who recalls they’d bake 500 biscuits and sell them for $ 3 to $ 4 a pair. “But then every weekend, we were selling out, and people were lining up.”

Within three months, the couple realized they didn’t have a side hustle baking biscuits to support their learning center.

They had a biscuit-baking business.

“We decided to flip our model,” Thompson says.

Instead of selling biscuits out of the learning center, they housed the learning center inside a bakery.

The couple found a location in Tampa, Florida, that could handle both the baking and the learning. They retained a bit of their original idea for the establishment’s name: Hey Giant! Little Biscuits.

A year and a half later, the biscuit shop employs six to seven part-time workers and costs an average of $ 15,000 per month to operate — “right now our profits range somewhere in $ 3,000 to $ 5,000 a month,” Thompson adds.

Valenti, 41, quit her teaching job last year when the couple realized that she could match her $ 45,000 annual salary by running the shop.

“Starting out, it was the goal to make almost the same or, if not, just a little bit less than what I was making teaching,” says Valenti, who attributes much of the business’s growth to catering events. “We did that fairly quickly.”

This year, Thompson quit his job so they could open a second location.

The pair aren’t alone in trying their hands at baking — here’s another baker who turned her passion into a sweet gig. There are 7,757 retail bakeries in the U.S. as of the first quarter in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a 14.6% increase since 2008.

But that doesn’t mean the baking business was everything Thompson and Valenti dreamed of.

Our vision of what we thought running a biscuit shop would be like was completely different than what it actually is,” Thompson says. “You think, oh, this is going to be cool — make a couple biscuits, hang out all day and when it’s slow, just sit and read some books.

“No, there’s none of that — we’re constantly making food.”

And although the path was unexpected, Thompson and Valenti say that starting over with new careers isn’t as much of a pie-in-the-sky idea as you might think.

Recognizing an Opportunity

Details of a person preparing biscuits and baked biscuits

From the beginning, the couple set themselves up for the possibility of expansion — just in case.

“When we tested the waters with our pop-up, we said, ‘Let’s rent a space and get the licensing,’” Thompson says. “‘Because if this works out, we can keep going forward. And if it doesn’t, then we’re not out too much — it’s going to be a meager Christmas, but that’s it.’”

Investing time and money turned out to be the incentive the couple needed to make some big decisions early on.

It was too much work to be half in,” Valenti says, and Thompson adds, “If you don’t find some level of commitment, you’re less motivated to keep driving forward.”

Transferable Skills

A man greets a customers at a biscuit shop

Although neither had previous experience in the food-service industry, Thompson and Valenti did bring translatable skills from their previous careers.

We’ve relied on and applied our teaching methods and our classroom management,” Thompson says. “You have to deal with different types of learners, and that flexibility on the management side has helped.”

Serving up biscuits behind the counter during a mid-morning rush, the pair calls out to customers by name — looking a lot like teachers at the head of a classroom.

After spending most of their professional careers in teaching, Thompson admits the couple misses certain elements of their old life — particularly when they attended an open house at their children’s school and realized they wouldn’t be setting up their own classrooms.

“If you do a career for 15 to 20 years, like we have with teaching and education, you’re going to miss it,” Thompson says. “There are certain routines and certain ways of life that you’re just used to.”

But the biscuit business has also offered the creative control that was sometimes missing from teaching, Valenti points out.

“Teaching is creative, but for us, we needed another outlet of something we ran,” Valenti says. “The biscuit shop is cooking, but it’s also a creative outlet for us — where we design the place, we make the menu, we make the recipes.

“It really feeds something that both of us are always looking for.”

Not Losing Sight of the Goal

The couple may have discovered a great way to make some dough, but what about their original idea, the learning center?

Thompson describes their vision for the first location as a junky robot repair shop that kids could explore before entering the learning center hidden in the back.

“None of that was realistic,” he says with a laugh.

The learning center is instead housed in a room off the main bakery, hidden behind a sliding chalkboard door that announces Biscuit Specials like Mississippi Maple and Nutter Butter Fluffer Nutter.

Staffed by volunteers, the center offers free tutoring, writing workshops and art classes after the bakery closes for the evening and on weekends.

Thompson notes that, although they enjoy baking, he and Valenti still consider the shop a way to fund their learning center.

“Being part of the learning community and sparking creativity is kind of our ultimate goal,” Thompson says. “We love making biscuits, but if we could [operate the center] full time, we would.”

Taking a Chance on New Careers

A couple pose for a portrait

The couple agrees that, despite the risks of leaving steady teaching jobs for the uncertainty of the culinary world, they have no regrets.

“You have those conversations of, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if one day,’” Thompson says. “We decided this has to be that ‘one day,’ because if we don’t, three years from now, we’ll get back to ‘what if.’”

Valenti notes that by challenging themselves to learn something new and by being flexible about their options, they’ve had an opportunity they thought they could only dream of.

Thompson’s advice to others fantasizing about a new career? You’ll never know if you don’t try.

“You have to take that plunge,” Thompson says. “Just be open to where it takes you.”

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer with The Penny Hoarder. Data journalist Alex Mahadevan contributed to this article.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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I quit Instagram and Facebook and it made me happier — and that’s a big problem for social media

Christina Farr used to spend 5 hours a week posting and interacting with friends on Instagram. She quit cold this summer, and her life changed dramatically for the better.
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She Quit Her Victoria’s Secret Job Over Exec’s Trans Insult

Timothy A. Clary/Getty

Jocelyn Ratzer had just finished her second day at Victoria’s Secret when she got the news that would make her quit.

Leaving her morning shift at an Orlando shopping center on Saturday, the 24-year-old salesperson spotted an interview with Ed Razek—the chief marketing officer of Victoria’s Secret’s parent company—that made her feel sick. In an interview with Vogue, the executive dismissed the idea of casting trans or plus-size models in the company’s annual fashion show, saying the controversial procession of scantily clad models was meant to be “a fantasy.”

“It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is,” Razek said. “It is the only one of its kind in the world, and any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast — Fashion

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Adults use Juul e-cigarettes for their intended purpose — to quit smoking — even as teen use surges

Juul's e-cigarettes have gotten a bad rap as federal officials question whether their popular candy flavors are responsible for a spike in teen use. Anecdotal evidence suggests some adults use the nicotine pods as they were intended: to quit smoking.
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This is why it’s so hard for us to quit Twitter

Twitter is a hellscape. Most people who use it agree on that. Hang out there long enough, and people will send you truly horrible messages. A 2015 study by Kick It Out found that, out of 134,000 abusive social-media mentions, 88 percent of them occur on Twitter. When people aren’t being called names, they’re finding…
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