The Faces In-Between

Since graduating high school I have worked a bare minimum of 30 hours per week (even during my four years at college), and it never really complemented my raging sense of entitlement. I was meant to be an actress; my cost of living claimed otherwise. Last December I left my day-job after five years of indentured servitude masquerading as an assistant position in the non-profit arts world. My liberation from desk-work was prompted by a full-time, yet temporary, role performing on stage at a prestigious local theater.

That gig ended nineteen days ago.

Aside from a voice-over session here; a staged reading there; and an over-arching theme of panic relating to the next source of income; I have been blissfully unemployed since then. I now know what my mailman looks like. I have discovered the artists and freelancers and stay-at-home parents at the local dog park, even though I don’t have a dog. My internal clock wakes me at 9:24 am every morning. When taking my time, I make a killer sandwich.

Yes, I have tasted retirement. And it tastes good.

Alas, I am 28 years old and my unemployment checks won’t cover rent, groceries, AND my internet connection – therefore, back to the grind I go. I’m taking some contract work starting Monday to keep my standard of living and my sense of self-worth adequately afloat. The good thing is that it’s flexible enough to allow leave for auditions and one- and two-day shoots here and there when needed. The bad thing is that I’m already longing for my San Diego vacation next month.

I still have all my corporate clothing, and I still clean up well enough to look respectable behind a desk. I just consider it another acting gig – act normal, act responsible, act like I’m interested in business. I have several upcoming auditions this week and next – hopefully something lucrative will come of it. After all, it’s far more entertaining to play roles “outside the box.”