Ten Money Questions for Jesse Archer
1. You’re an actor, a writer, and a regular columnist for Out. Can you tell me what drew you to the life you lead now?
They say every decision leads you to where you are! Which makes me think I should make new decisions.
2. In your book, You Can Run, you discuss your travels through South America. What did you do to afford the trip?
I only went down with $4000, and I managed to live in South America for two years. I worked in some countries, translating in the Bolivian jungle was my favorite job. I also taught English in Buenos Aires to a group of older gay men and taught them essentials like “pearl necklace” and “twinky boy”. When I wasn’t working, I was backpacking as economically as possible – staying in pay-by-the-hour whorehouses and some serious hovels with tics and fleas and dried phlegm on the walls.
3. You jokingly refer to yourself as a hobosexual. Do you have tips to offer gay men who don’t want to lead the DINK lifestyle?
I’d rather have experience than luxury. And I really can’t see myself working my life away so I can enjoy it when I’m old. A fat, regular income but trapped in an office with two weeks vacation a year is nothing but a gilded cage. I see the future as being more freelance, and contracts than that pathetic, pervasive 9 to 5 paradigm we’ve got set up now.
4. You’ve lived in quite a few different countries. What would you advise a queer in your boots on internationally picking up and moving?
It’s all about freedom from things that will keep you in place. That means don’t get a mortgage, don’t own a cat, don’t buy that big gorgeous sofa. To me, those are all balls and chains that will keep a butterfly from flapping his wings.
5. You split time between New York and LA a lot. What are the tricks to becoming a bicoastal hobosexual?
Friends! Friends are the best thing in the world.
6. New York City has infamously ridiculous rents. Which do you think is better: cheap rent or accessibility?
It does have ridiculous rents. But New York is great in that it forces you to make tough decisions about what you can keep. There’s no place for packrats or hoarders. It’s also such a transient city – everything getting torn down, built up; it constantly forces you to accept and deal with change – which is life. Did I answer the question? Accessibility. I’d just as soon move back home to Oregon than live out in Queens.
7. Do you have a retirement plan, or do you want to keep on until you drop?
Good question! I don’t have a retirement plan. I’ve never planned on living that long.
8. What would you tell a younger you to help save money while partying?
That’s easy. Buy the half-gallon jug of Kamchatka vodka for $12 and drink at home with your friends before going out. The key is to be sufficiently sauced by the time you get to the bar, so you don’t have to spend any money on overpriced cocktails.
9. You have a well-known affection for cowboy boots, which don’t come cheap. How do you make space to buy them?
I bought a great pair at Jackson, Wyoming last year. There was some big blowout sale, they only cost $90.
10. If someone asked you how he or she would most easily live a life like yours, what would you tell them?
Live now, try to avoid being so status driven, and don’t fear the future. Oh, and please make sure to go swimming with a whale shark off the coast of Mozambique.