Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Missing Opportunities

I know it’s going to be hard getting any sympathy today. While the rest of the world drags their Brie-inflated bodies back to work, most of us actors are still encased in our snugly pyjamas, still navigating the scant leftovers and wondering how much longer we can keep living off them. I realise that those of you with normal jobs probably hate us while we lounge on the sofas but, and I think I speak for most resting actors out there, most of us would do anything to know that we’ll be employed doing what we love doing in January. Or at least earning some money.

I’ve spoken about how tough December can be while you watch your employment opportunities grind to a sickening halt but in some ways, January is even worse. We’re all taught that the start of the new year is the prime time to gear yourself up for new prospects. After nearly two weeks of eating your own body weight in chocolate and stuffing balls, you have a fair bit of time to contemplate where you want your career to go next. While aimlessly watching another film from your childhood, you start planning in your head about what you want to bring about in the upcoming year. When you’re self-employed, you very quickly become accustomed to having to produce your own opportunities and you convince yourself that this is the year. This is the year that you’re going to write to everyone. You’re going to look after yourself. You’re going to be prepared. This year is going to be your year. 

So you wake up on the day that everyone else has gone back to work and you’re raring to go. You’re out of your pyjamas a full two hours earlier than normal, you have a breakfast that doesn’t contain cheese leftovers and you don’t trawl the TV guide to find which gloriously nostalgic film is on. You open up the casting websites, ready to cover letter the heck out of them. But there’s nothing. All that faces you are leftover castings from last year that look about as appetising as a turkey sandwich. So far today there has been one paid job that’s available to me. It’s for a sexy actress that looks good in a bikini. Sadly I think the only reason they’d pay me the £200 on offer is to put my clothes back on and go home. Of course, there’s the usual array of unpaid opportunities that sound about as appealing as a Christmas CD in January but I’m ignoring those in the hope that they go away because, right now, Sainsbury’s don’t accept a new credit on your CV as legal tender. And the problem is that the rest of the world hasn’t caught up yet. Of course, with the world of work really only really beginning on a Wednesday, it’s unlikely that much will be achieved this week. So we look to next week, the second week of January for things to start. While the rest of the world is back into their routine, us actors are still desperately waiting for our invite, an invite that has inevitably been lost in the post.

So today I’m achieving nothing. Again. Apart from boring you lot about how I’m achieving nothing. Again. But chin up because you never know what’s around the corner. That killer job could be hovering just outside your inbox, ready to make 2013 your best year yet. Or, even better, there could be another excuse to stay in pyjamas that little bit longer.

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