Tuesday, November 13, 2007

That's The Sound of My Soul Being Crushed

So as I have written about before, I used to work for Bath and Body Works. You can read about it here. When I last worked there (nearly a year ago), I had decided I wouldn't go back. However, somehow I got roped into coming back. I went into my old work place to buy some soap because I needed some, and it happens to be very close to my house. An old co-worker begged me to come back, and I was soon to be unemployed, so in an effort to help my friend out and make sure I had some income, I agreed to come back for the holiday season. I am realizing I made a mistake. All the reasons I had for not wishing to come back still exist. I do have a better stock crew than I did last year, but the job is crushing my soul. I dread going to work, I find the job completely unfulfilling and joyless, it's more frustrating than not, and as before, I'm just not earning enough to make it worth my while. My first day I could feel my spirit dying. I'm exaggerating, of course, but that's how it felt.

For the last four or five years (maybe even longer) I have been steadily employed as an actor. From June until just recently I had the pleasure of rehearsing and performing in two shows I absolutely love. One of the women in my graduating class was just informed that she will be replacing Fantasia Barrino in The Color Purple on Broadway in January. I just shot a local TV commercial that paid me more an hour than I earn at Bath and Body in a month. If I want to be an actor, I feel like I have to take a risk and not continue to allow myself to be sucked into the Bath and Body vortex every time I feel I'm in need of money. And, frankly, if I'm so desperate for cash, there are certainly better ways of earning it than doing stock work at Bath and Body Works.

I've thought about substitute teaching. It would be a flexible job, giving me opportunity to go out on auditions, and I think I would find it more fulfilling (or at least a welcome change) from what I am currently doing, and it pays better.

I do feel bad about leaving my co-workers high and dry (although, to be fair, I plan on giving them two weeks notice), especially since I gave my word to help them out, and because quitting is not in my nature. But I hate how I feel when I'm working there now. It's just mind-numbingly obnoxious now. I don't blame my co-workers. I actually like them a lot. I blame the company. I just hate how they run things, and I am weary of it.

Anyway, I hope to be out of there soon. I'm taking my application for substitute teaching to the district office tomorrow, and I will have to attend an orientation on November 27. Until then, I'll muddle on at Bath and Body. But I hope I'm out of there soon.

As for me and Jonah, we're doing well. I miss him a lot, but he was able to come here for a few days to see my show and hang out with me and my family. We even had a family dinner. My sister-in-law, who's pretty conservative, said she could understand why I loved him so much. I thought that was cool. It was a good dinner.

We still haven't found a house. Pray for us. It's taking longer than I had expected. Hopefully, there are some prospects on the horizon.

Anyway, that's all for today. Sorry I've been so absent from the blogging world. Know that I still read many of your blogs even if I don't always comment.


Chedner said...

I am familiar with this dread and soul-crushing; I've felt it in almost every job I've held... all except the one and only acting gig for which I auditioned (and got).

I've actually considered pursuing a career in acting further, but I'm uncertain -- do you have any advice?

Alex Garcia said...

I once had to work at Best Buy when I was in between jobs. I absolutely hated it.

Good luck with the job hunt :)

Beck said...

This post reminds me of that weird movie "Joe verses the Volcano" where the Tom Hanks character is in a dead-end job and his life is literally being sucked out by the buzzing fluorescent light fixture over his miserable desk. He has to think he's dying before he realizes how much life is out there to live!

Don't let it get to you... as long as you don't have your soul crushed by BBandB, you've got so much to look forward to!

Thanks for posting.

Gay LDS Actor said...

Thanks for the comments, guys. Good to know that people still read my blog even if I haven't written in it for ages.

Chedner: If you're serious about acting, just know that to really succeed at it, I think it is crucial to have an absolute passion for it. It can be a shaky career at times, but if you really love it, you can't imagine being happy doing anything else. At least that's how it is for me.
When you see audition notices, go for it. You may not be able to make a living at it at first, but the more experience you get, the more networking and opportunities there will be available to you.
I mostly do stage work, but if you're interested in film, TV, or radio, it's useful to get an agent. Do you have any specific questions? Maybe if I know exactly what advice you need, I could be more helpful.

Alex: Thanks.

Beck: I had forgotten about that, but that is exactly what it feels like. Thanks for the words of encouragement.