Thursday, July 16, 2009

Feast or Famine

Having only a few short gigs spanned over 6 months and then finally landing a longer term job is like starving yourself all day for Yom Kippur and then pigging out to break the fast. You do a lot of soul searching and complaining while you are starving for something, and subsequently pig out as soon as you get to the feast. Then you kvetch about how stuffed you are.

Feast I did my friends - in more ways than one. Donuts, bagels, chips and cupcakes runneth free at the BBC. And as soon as my mission was established (finding ladies in debt) I devoured it. Constantly hungry for my next big lead, I've worked 10 hour days for more than two weeks straight.

Am I almost burned out? Not yet. But I need to watch myself. I've been down this road before. I believe my record is 6 weeks straight working at the casting career bootcamp which is Wife Swap. Meet or Delete and Engine Room weren't much better (time commitment wise). But my hard work resulted in talented kids getting some exposure while uniting them with other amazing peers from around the world. How can you regret that?

I can't get sick though, because I have a mission to complete. And in 5 weeks, it's back to my unemployment.

I think the show I'm working on now will do some good. I believe I will actually be helping these girls get out of debt while doing some family bonding on the side. Yes I drank the Kool Aide. I know what's in there, I spiked it myself. Tastes like victory and chopped gala apples.

On days that I am ready to quit early, I think of all the people who are unemployed and would kill to be in my position. Then I pick up the phone and call one more newspaper to get my press release turned into an actual story to attract new candidates.

Financial lessons learned from my unemployment have regrettably not stuck with me. This is ironic considering the subject of the show I'm casting. I've slipped back into the $15 lunch habit. I'm also shopping and actually keeping the goods, rather than shamefully returning them soon after. This needs to change. It's increasing my belly while decreasing my checking account.

Unfortunately, the frustrated place I was at in my life 3 weeks ago seems distant, and it's hard to draw from my past experience when it seems like what I went through was just a dream. Surely I can buy low-fat vegan banana brownies for $2.50 a day and it won't matter right?


What lies for me come September is uncertain (my turning 28 and watching lots of college football aside). I have no idea when my next gig will come around after this one ends. I could very easily be in the boat of the girls I am casting if an emergency occurs, or if I'm asked to be a bridesmaid in another wedding. All that I can count on right now is myself, doing the best I can do, to cast this show the best that I possibly can.

My new schedule of waking up at 7am to squeeze in a workout in a futile attempt to counter the free carbs stalking me in the office pantry has left me exhausted. But I still wanted to put my new thoughts out there. The times I work are just as important as the times I spend in the job hunt. And so, I write.

Thanks for the push Ben!