Friday, January 3, 2014

April Fools!

In the spirit of April Fools Day, one of these is true:

I've found a 9 to 5 I love, and I'm ready to settle down and be that forever.
I won the $640 Million Dollars.
The F train ran on time this morning.
I quit my job at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.
I'm engaged. He's from Arkansas.

And the winner is...
I am no longer your Bubba Gump Table Shrimp Captain.

This was a somewhat rash, relatively emotional decision, but I think it was the right one.

A few weeks ago, I worked one of my first shifts out of training. 
I ran over from my internship at 5:50 and clocked in at 6 (What a break!). I served shrimp until we closed at 2 am. Then, I spent two hours with my upper body squeezed underneath a soda machine, scrubbing Sprite and crud off the stainless steel until a manager could check its pristine finish with a flashlight. After filling out my paperwork, cashing out with management, tipping out the bartenders and the drink-runners and making sure I had all my office clothes from that morning shoved into my backpack, I left the restaurant at 4 am. I had made $60.00 for 10 hours of work. I cried on the subway. Not out of frustration at how my hard work had gone completely unrewarded. Not out of worry for how I was to build myself a stable life in the arts. Not even because the subway at 4:45 in the morning can be unnervingly empty, save for the unsavory characters and/or the mentally ill. I cried because I was so tired. I was so tired.

My managers couldn't have been nicer when I quit. I told them that I was doing too much. Too many jobs. Too many brand new places, with too many working hours. They even sent me an email on our scheduling system assuring me that I would succeed in whatever I chose to do.

At least, it seems, I can make friends wherever I am. This will help. I'm sure.


Silk Day Spa is my new part-time place of employment.
My roommate Inanna works there. She got me the job.
I check people in and out, schedule appointments, 
and make sure everyone is happy.
It's the anti-restaurant.
It's so calm. There's new age music on. 
People are quiet and contented.
I get a discount on the massages!
So maybe in 10 years when I have extra cash, 
I can take advantage of that. 
Except, if I'm still working at Silk in 10 years, I might die. 

Apparently, I'm the first person in the HISTORY of Silk Day Spa to take my exam and pass it on my first try. Add to that that I took it on my first day, and you've got someone feeling kind of overqualified.

It's hard, at times, feeling like I excelled in school for so many years, and graduated from a fantastic University with honors, to work service jobs. 

I know why I'm there. I know what I'm trying to do  with my life. Booking acting work requires flexible part-time jobs. This job can be rescheduled easily. It's not the kind of all-consuming work that comes home with you. It will allow me to focus on my classes and auditions. And my work. It's just hard. Knowing that I could be doing so much more. I struggle everyday with doubts about what I'm doing. 

But my love of this city. My love of my life here. and my determination to act professionally here. They keep me going.

I'm taking class with a phenomenal voice coach named Lisa. She's transforming my voice into what she knows New York casting directors are looking for, and she's doing it while explaining to me why and how my technique is healthy.

I'm getting coaching on my audition pieces with a fantastic actor and teacher named Jodie. I'm sitting here with a long list of pieces to look at, in order to put together a perfectly rounded audition monologue arsenal.

I'm taking 3 kinds of dance classes at Steps on Broadway. The guy in front of me in my ballet class is in Wicked right now. 

All of these things cost so much money. But if I don't do everything I can, to give myself every chance I can, even if that means scrubbing soda machines, then WHAT'S THE POINT?

Besides, this internship is impressive, corporate, communications based and heavily rooted in the New York theatre scene. I'm building myself a solid back-up plan in the offstage sector.

Working as an actor and making my money as a part-time theatre administrator, managing a company or supporting a prodution team? That would be pretty sweet. 

I guess it's about putting in the time, building the resume, and then putting myself out there over and over and over again. And, in the mean time, answering phones at Silk Day Spa.

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