Friday, 16 September 2011

Money Talks

The most frustrating thing about acting (apart from always auditioning with the same group of actresses who look annoyingly like you but happen to be a fraction taller, slimmer or more attractive than you) is that being paid to do the job you trained to do is bloody difficult. For most professions, the issue of being paid in return for you work isn't an issue. However, add in the fact that you fancy prancing around on stage pretending to be a horse/10 year old child/mouse/gay man (I have played all of these) and suddenly the purses are snapped shut and you're left wondering whether you could legitimately live off only products available in the 99p store.

So, the only option is to get a job that can somehow work alongside suddenly getting auditions, roles and also the need to spend the odd day moping around in your pyjamas. What to do then? Most places are fairly unsympathetic when you call up and tell them that you'd much rather spend the day creating 1950s/electro playlists so, unless you're willing to give up this part of your genetic make-up, the options become limited. OK, so I realise that if I want to spend my life pretending to be someone else then some sacrifices will be made and I have to come to terms with the fact that living like a student the rest of my life isn't going to get me far. But in all seriousness, it can be tough to get the balance right between paying the bills and making sure that your main focus is doing the job you love.

Out there somewhere is a magical job where your boss really believes that your acting career is far more important than the task they're paying you to do. When you're contacted regarding a job or audition, they rejoice in your excellent news, pay you for all the time you need off and welcome you back with open arms and a payrise when you come crawling back with empty pockets and a distraught bank balance. Of course, because the world isn't run by flying pigs, this job doesn't exist. Instead you're forced to take on the type of work that the career's advisor never mentioned. These jobs were kept well hidden in a dusty, locked box and was only ever brought out and used to whack someone round the head when they dared utter that they wanted to work in 'entertainment.'

Before my acting sabbatical, I worked in the evenings at an organic takeaway. I had the pleasure of taking food orders from the oddly placed people of south-west London; too rich to demean themelves with ordinary takeaways but too poor to hire a live-in chef/slave. The embittered masses of suburban London are not a fun pack to chat to over the phone and I spent a year receiving a lot of abuse direct into my ear. Menu deliverer who walked straight through someone's newly cemented driveway? My fault. Not being the taxi company that they thought we were. Sorry, my error. The fact that someone had been murdered on their street so we couldn't deliver to them? Yep, I'll take that one too. Oh and there was the glorious time when I accidentally called Holborn Police Station to tell them that we had run out of vine leaves. I'm fairly sure I'm the only person who has wasted police time due to a lack of starter. I apologise to anyone who was in the Holborn area that evening and was in genuine need of their services. Or vine leaves.

So the hunt continues. If anyone out there needs to pay someone to laze around in their pyjamas while creating Spotify playlists and drinking an alarming amout of tea then please let me know before I waste this talent for procrastination and get one of these 'proper jobs.'

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