Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Jobs And New Adventures
Today is a down day for me. Not sure why. Sometimes I get like this when I am unemployed. I've been looking for a "normal" job in between acting gigs, and in my efforts, I have been reminded that I have few "real world" skills or little "real world" experience. Actually, that's not really true. I certainly have other things I know how to do and can do. My non-acting resume just makes me look like I don't.
Acting can be such a tricky profession. I actually have been quite fortunate in that I work quite often and fairly consistently. Acting has always been my dream job, and I actually get to do it. Not everyone can say that. But acting jobs, by their very nature, aren't consistent. You can work steadily one year and have nothing the next. And it depends on the shows and roles that are available from year to year.
But I am lucky and infinitely blessed to have the job opportunities I've had and continue to have. I love acting so much, and I feel very grateful to be able to do it.
That being said, I do get weary of constantly auditioning in order to procure a job. It's like applying for the same job over and over, often for the same people. But that's just the nature of the beast. And sometimes you do a terrific audition, but don't get the job because you just don't fit right in the puzzle that's being created. Other times, your audition doesn't go so well (at least, you don't feel it does), and you still get cast. So it can be a crap shoot.
I do a lot of musicals, too, and while I think I am a good actor and singer, dancing doesn't come easy to me, and learning choreography is not enjoyable to me. And yet, I do it all the time, but I wish I could do more straight plays.
When I'm not acting, I try to seek employment to help supplement my income. My resume makes me look like I change jobs at the drop of a hat because, well, I do. Most acting gigs last six weeks to a couple of months for me, so I'm continually "changing jobs", so to speak. Not staying with a job very long is not very appealing to "non-acting" employers.
And because acting has been my main job for many years, my experience with "real-world" jobs such as retail, office work, and food service, for example are both limited and rusty. I know it wouldn't take long to train me and for me to get the hang of things, but employers aren't willing to take that chance, especially if they sense that acting is my main goal, and that I will likely quit the job to pursue an acting opportunity.
Plus, I dislike routine, which is part of what appeals to me as an actor. Yeah, I'm doing the same "job," but each role and show is different whereas some 9-5 job in an office or store or restaurant would likely burn me out eventually. And because I do like acting so much, it is also hard to find a "real-world" job that appeals to me and my sense of creativity.
"Real-world" jobs, too, mean I'm starting out at entry-level. I've seen gradual increases in my salary and more prominent roles in my acting jobs, but taking a "real-world" job means I'm starting out at the bottom.
And yet, there are days when I long for the security and stability of a "real-world" job. There are times when I wish I could find a job that enabled me to stay home with my husband more. I guess today is one of those days.
My next acting gig is in April. In the meantime, I'm just trying to find something to make ends meet. I still have some money in savings and I'm collecting unemployment, but it would be nice to be working - doing something.
There is a possible summer gig I auditioned for that I would love to do, but I won't hear about that until March, at the earliest. There is also a possible summer gig that I'm not as excited about doing, but which would give me health benefits and a modest salary. That's another hard thing about acting jobs: just waiting to hear whether you'll be working or not. In the meantime, I still must audition if an opportunity comes along, and right now there aren't a lot of auditions happening for which my particular skills are appropriate.
Last night, Jonah received official word that the show he works for will be closing in September. This was not a surprise. The show has had a very successful run, and Jonah has made a good living working there, but there have been rumors for months that the show would be closing soon, and indeed, it will.
Jonah actually is tired of the job and has been for a while, so this is a blessing, in a way. But we don't know what's next for him. Jonah is a very talented guy and will probably find employment pretty quickly. At least, we hope so. But it is the unknown that is the challenge.
Likewise, the theater I work at often is getting a new artistic director in September, one with whom I've never worked, so I don't know how that will affect my career as well. September is bound to be an interesting time.
I'm not worried. But there will be new adventures ahead for both Jonah and I career-wise, and I hope we can both find fulfillment and stability in whatever comes our way.