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Odd Jobs

A Snowflake at The North Pole Experience


As Santa’s head elf, 338-year-old Alabaster Snowflake has seen his fair share of emotional moments at the North Pole. “There was an older lady who was in the assembly area in the corner of the room and she was crying,” says Snowflake, who greets visitors to The North Pole Experience near Flagstaff. “She had a [...] Keep Reading »

Odd Jobs

Flyin’ High

Photos by Sam Nalven

There’s no steering wheel, no brake, no seatbelt, and it’s standing room only. Flying more than 5,000 feet above the ground in a basket harnessed to a piece of material powered by flames, traveling up to 40 miles per hour, descending 1,000 feet per minute—there’s nothing like flying in a hot air balloon. Tommy Brown [...] Keep Reading »

Odd Jobs

A Real Trailblazer


Whenever someone learns that Matt Woodson builds trails for a living, they usually ask him if he’s heard of Camelback Mountain, one of the busiest hikes in the country. “I go, ‘Oh yeah, we built that,’” says Woodson, founder of Cave Creek-based Okanogan Trail Construction. Last year, Woodson renovated the Echo Canyon Trail on Camelback [...] Keep Reading »

Odd Jobs

Building a Career, Brick by Brick

Robbie McCarthy. Photo courtesy Legoland.

Robbie McCarthy’s father doesn’t think his son has worked a day in his life. As a master model builder at Legoland in California, the Arizona State University graduate can’t really argue. “Maybe that’s true, depending on what you consider ‘work,’” says McCarthy, a former music teacher at Bogle Junior High School in Chandler. For him, [...] Keep Reading »

Odd Jobs

Not Your Normal Cab Driver


For Sandra Perez, driving around all day is just part of the job. Driving cabs for almost a year, Perez began her career after using a cab during a period of unemployment. “I started talking to the cab drivers,” Perez says. “They seemed pretty nice, pretty genuine. They were like, ‘You should try it.’ I [...] Keep Reading »

Odd Jobs

Ghastly Art

Photo by Sam Nalven

Not too many people get the chance to make a career out of bruises, broken bones, gashes and gore. But Tim Richards is an exception. He’s a special effects makeup artist who creates ghastly injuries for movies and television projects. “I started off in high school,” Richards says. “A friend of mine and I did [...] Keep Reading »

Odd Jobs

Healing Animals with Energy

Photo by Sam Nalven

When pets are sick or hurting in some way, their owners will typically consult with veterinarians for help. If traditional treatments do not work, pet owners may feel frustrated and unsure of what they can do to assist their precious pets. This is where Lisa Osthelder comes in. As a Healing Touch for Animals practitioner [...] Keep Reading »

Odd Jobs

Lady Fontayne, the Mermaid


A buff and chiseled man carries a storybook mermaid in his arms. He slowly and lovingly sets the swimming siren afloat in the hotel pool while stunned guests stare, transfixed. Let the fun begin: Lady Fontayne the Mermaid has arrived. Mermaids may be the stuff of fairytales, but Scandalesque and Vega Arts offer Lady Fontayne, [...] Keep Reading »

Odd Jobs

Winning the Head Game


There aren’t too many people who go from a relatively unknown to Madison Square Garden in a nanosecond. Bryan Price, 28, was able to pull it off. Price is the man behind the giant cardboard cutouts of popular athletes and musicians. Celebrities like Miley Cyrus, One Direction and Wiz Khalifa have all been spotted sporting [...] Keep Reading »

Odd Jobs

Playing with Your Food

Photo by Nick Bartlett

A love of entertaining crowds, focused culinary skills and an exceptional ability to multitask is the recipe for success for Geoffrey Wu, a sushi and teppanyaki chef at Sapporo in Scottsdale. He started with Sapporo when it opened in 2001 and left briefly in 2003 to train other teppanyaki chefs at Benihana. He soon returned [...] Keep Reading »