There is Good News and there is Bad News, to the extreme on both ends.
Fortunately the Good News happened first. Other wise I might not have made it through the week.
Us new New Yorkers get asked “So why did you move to New York?” all the time. It is often a precursor to the discussed What’s the difference between the East Coast and West Coast? My answer is generally “Theatre.” Yes, I am an aspiring actor, in case you forgot, and it wouldn’t surprise me if you had. I’ve been doing much more aspiring than acting these days. And honestly not too much aspiring even. With ENT bills still haunting me and Mahattan rent, making money has been my #1 priority for many months. I’ve assistant directed a play and been on a handful of auditions but I have to admit it’s been on a hobby level. Which I’m okay with- putting off pursuing my dreams for a bit is fine, plus I’m pursuing my dream of living in NYC which is impossible without money. It’s all relative.
We artists are obsessed with “selling out”, “failure”, “giving up”. Right, these fears only plague artists.
On Monday, 7 minutes before the end of my desk-job work day, I received a call from the only audition I’d been on in April (maybe I’d been on 2, but I don’t think so) offering me a part. A paid part. An offer to pay me money to do what I love.
You want details? It’s an offer to be a part of “the oldest full-time professional acting troupe of any Renaissance Festival, and the inspiration behind many interactive entertainment groups in major theme parks across the country” to quote the website. The part is that of a female pirate, “piratess” (yes, there were pirates during the Renaissance just ask wikipedia, and yes, female pirates did exist, though rarely: it’s legit) in a band of 3 pirates out of 30 actors in the over all ensemble. The contract is from June 1-August 16 with the festival only on weekends, meaning the rest of the week is devoted to rehearsal annnnd basically summer vacation because it’s all in upstate NY, 6 hours away from NYC and they provide company housing (and board on the weekends). Spending a summer pretending I’m a pirate, swimming in Lake Ontario, star gazing, hiking, and other “middle of no where” (as we refer to it in NYC) activities; free rent, and a weekly pay check? Or sitting at a desk from 9-5 on beautiful sunny days, dreaming of evenings spent doing all the million awesome things there are to do in this city in the summer and weekends at the beach? Not too much of a contest. I will sorely miss Shakespeare in the Park, roof top bars, outdoor movies, my friends, etc. etc. But trading in the Administrative Assistant title for that or Professional Actor? That’s my dream right there. And June 1st, it looks like it will be coming true- I signed the contract (!!! contracts scare me) but have yet to receive my counter signed copy, so it’s not 100% official.
My reaction to success surprises me. I would imagine myself ecstatic at such an offer, shouting from the rooftops with glee. It’s much more mixed than that. There’s fear in such success, disbelief, worry that it’s too good to be true. In this particular example- worry about subletting my apartment for the summer, being unemployed on August 16, telling my office I’m leaving. I guess that makes me a grown up.
Now the bad news.
I decided not to tell work immediately that I was leaving. Wait for 3-4 weeks notice. My superior recently gave me a wink while talking about previous people in my position, how long they stayed on for, and how nice it would be to have someone stick around for a couple years. I could have told her right then and there I wasn’t planning on doing that, but instead pretended it might be an option, and now that I wasn’t even getting past my 6 month mark I felt a little bad. Not that I had signed a contract here or anything.
On Friday however, I learned that quitting my job was nothing I would have to worry about. Because on Friday I was, abruptly, never-saw-it-coming, no-kind-of-warning FIRED. I’ve never been fired before ever. It was shocking to say the least. Everyone who is in the office on a normal basis was about as shocked as I- or so I’ve been told. My firing was in the hands of the Big Boss Man (with the Prostate Problem) who is, as I’ve mentioned, almost never in the office. He had never reprimanded me previously, never mentioned I was doing an unsatisfactory job and needed to improve or face consequences. Maybe it’s because he found my blog, but I highly doubt it.
I’ve been told I was let go because my sales reports had too many detail errors. I can’t deny this, but will say the majority of these errors were because he demanded the reports prematurely, expected me to understand things with no explanation, or because the creator of the report told me it was “ready to go” when it wasn’t. I trust people and don’t read minds. It’s all an extremely aggravating reason to loose a job.
To add to it? They told me I could stay on until the end of the month (April) and needing the money, I accepted. So, as I type I am still behind my desk. Fuming as it is Administrative Professionals Day and no one gives a shit about me. It is awkward as hell working here knowing I’ve been fired. Talk about no motivation. I mean, what are they going to do? Fire me? And no one is talking about it. It’s this huge elephant in the room. I’ve named him Marvin. Marvin the Elephant is the only one in this office who understands me.
Whatever. I was going to quit any way.
So here I am, 8 more days stuck at a desk, 1 month of unemployment, a summer of professional acting, and then…who knows. I have a 4 month plan- that’s more than I can usually say.
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