In 2020, it is estimated that 43 percent of U.S. workers will be freelancers.

Not only is this a reflection of corporate downsizing, cost-cutting and replacing humans with machines but also the desire to be one’s own boss, embrace freedom and pursue a work/lifeKnight 400 balance that best suits his/her personality. The labor market defines this as a “gig economy” in which there’s a prevalence of short-term assignments (gigs) as opposed to a long-term employment commitment.

Landing a gig during summer break is often a way for students to test the waters on different career choices, earn some extra spending money and/or even map out a plan to pursue that gig on a higher plane —be it writing, performing, web design, game development—and transform it into a dream job. While the competition itself can be fierce—and the income sometimes iffy—an entrepreneurial spirit can shape that freelance gig into something unique and, hopefully, in-demand.

This month’s lesson plan serves up the premise that some of the most popular characters from childhood fairy tales have decided they need to push past the boundaries of fiction and go find some summertime gigs. Armed with modern technology such as the Internet, Smart phones and social media, what’s to stop them?

• Can you imagine Rapunzel as a mystery shopper? Sure, she can don dark glasses but isn’t all that long hair trailing behind going to give away her identity?
• How about the shoemaker’s elves becoming personal chefs that not only specialize in midnight snacks but can repair shoes as well?
• Could Pinocchio find a calling as an Uber driver? Maybe. Except that every time he lies, his nose keeps cracking the windshield.
• And seriously, is Rumpelstiltskin someone who knows anything about image management? What name can he put on his business card if he doesn’t want anyone to know what it is?

Listed below are prospective gigs that your characters can pursue:

Career Counselor
Customer Service
Dog Walking
Employee Recruitment
Event Planning
Home Cleaning
Image Management
Mystery Shopper
Personal Chef
Uber Driver

And here’s the list of characters from which to choose for your script idea:

Sleeping Beauty
Hansel and Gretel
Red Riding Hood
Jack (from Jack & The Beanstalk)
Peter Pan
The Elves (from The Elves & The Shoemaker)
The Three Little Pigs

Things to Consider:

Will you start your story at the point they first decide to freelance or at the point where they decide the whole gig has been way too much work? Do they get advice from a friend? How does the meeting go with their first customer? What personality traits do they have which will benefit them the most? What are their worst stumbling blocks? Could any of these characters go into a freelance business together? How will their freelance gigs affect their relationships with others? And, most importantly, what will they learn about themselves in the process?

ChristinaHamlettAs part of my ongoing commitment to supply great lesson plans for today’s classrooms, I always enjoy getting feedback on how the material is used and what kind of new content you’d like to see in future columns. I’m also happy to answer any questions related to specific problems your students may be struggling with. Just drop me a note at [email protected] or through my website at

Former actress/director Christina Hamlett is an award winning author, professional script consultant, and ghostwriter. Her credits to date include 31 books, 157 plays for young actors, and 5 optioned feature films.


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