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Jobs to Thrill Your Inner Child: Life as a Human Hedge


Imagine a world in which your exposure to nature was not relegated to an occasional hike in your off-hours, but rather designated as the source of your bread and butter. Enter a career in roving shrubbery, an unbelievable but actual career for a number of (presumably fascinating) people around the world. Check out the latest installment in PayScale’s multi-job miniseries, Jobs to Thrill Your Inner Child, and learn about the people who pay their rent by pretending to be trees.

(Photo Credit: Richie Diesterheft/Flickr)

A little context: Human Hedges dress up as bushes, shrubs, and/or trees in order to provide a lighthearted, and clearly unique source of entertainment for everything from private weddings and corporate parties, to massive public trade shows and street festivals. 

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The “Living Topiary” entertainers at the the UK-based company Human Hedges, for example, “wander and explore and make people laugh.” They also enjoy “giving Tree-Hugs and posing for pictures. Sometimes they like to decorate people, kidnap people, marry people and help people eat.” 

VIDEO: Human Hedges from the UK-based Living Statue Company

A career path in human foliage requires a unique set of skills including charisma, physical agility and endurance, creativity, comedic timing, and an inherently playful spirit, among other things, and ambitious, go-getting hedges are compensated accordingly. 

What Does a Human Hedge’s Salary Look Like?

Rates at Human Hedges begin at approximately ?290 ($452) per Hedge, plus travel expenses, with a minimum of two hedges per booking. The hedges are available for full day-bookings, which include a maximum of four 40-minute performances, or shorter private events, which consist of a 40-minute “meet and greet” and a 30-minute “mix and mingle,” as well as an optional “Hedge-Waiter” service, in which the hedges hand out “nibbles and giggles.” 

Similarly, “Hedge Men” at Contraband International, another topiary sourcing agency, are available for full-day bookings with a maximum of four 40-minute sets, as well as longer single sessions (60 minutes max).

Like any job, there are occupational hazards inherent to a career as a hedge. Hedges “struggle to see in the dark,” according to Contraband, and sometimes require chaperones depending on lighting, as well as for kid’s events, as children are known to “pull their foliage off.”

Want to learn about more jobs capable of thrilling your inner child? Check out “Jobs to Thrill Your Inner Child: A Life of LEGOs.”

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Do you work a job that thrills your inner child? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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