Last night, I had coffee with a friend that really put things into perspective for me. This friend is a working actor based in Los Angeles who was up visiting family for the Holidays. He’s appeared in many of those procedural shows you see on TV (the CSI‘s, the Cold Cases, ect.), as well as a regular guest sport on a popular HBO TV show. If anything, this guy is living the dream, right? But when he first started out, he was going to school full-time, working in a restaurant, and taking acting classes as much as possible. Laying the groundwork for what was to come because it was never a matter of if, but when. It wasn’t that long ago that he was finally able to let go of the serving job, but these days he’s wondered if he might have to go back.
This got me thinking about another friend who’s a Dora Award-winning actor. After winning his award, he told me about how he was living in his parent’s basement, working part-time as a janitor to make ends meat. Another friend has been a regular company member of the National Arts Centre and a staple in the Ottawa theatre community, and we’ve worked together on a number of little promotion jobs in order to get by. And another friend has been cleaning toilets for less than minimum wage and then stays up all night editing videos she’s created.
And the list goes on…
Let’s be perfectly honest here. I have been bitter about having to take on a day-job recently to get by. Even though it’s a really great job, I’m learning a lot of new skills (looking forward to my HTML workshop in January!), and getting behind-the-scenes access to the Ontario Arts Council, part of me still felt like a failure because I didn’t manage to “make it” work solely as an actor. But having this coffee-talk with my friend made me realize/reminded me that this is part and parcel of the whole deal. And if the job I’m doing is going to allow me to live comfortably while taking lots of acting classes, getting new headshots & checking out lots of great art where I can meet and network with some awesome people? Then so be it.
Which is why I’m feeling much better about being able to say now that I am going to have a second job to help me achieve my goals and lay the groundwork for my acting career. As of January 4th, you’ll be looking at the new Community Manager for Via Rail – fancy title that says I’ll be monitoring the company’s Twitter account on evenings and weekends.
Those of you who enjoyed my #hoboKenny phase are probably wondering what took me so long to get a job with this company since I definitely took the train enough to warrant working there. This job came about through Twitter. I happened to be following the current Community Manager when I caught sight of a Tweet: “Interested in Community Management? Drop me a line about an opportunity! It’s going to happen quickly, so act now and tell your friends!” I asked what it was about and the ball was quickly in motion after that.
It’s the perfect job for me because I can work from home or on the road, needing only to check in periodically and answer any customer questions or concerns that may arise. If everything works out, by the time my contract is done at the OAC, I may be in the best position to have an income coming in, along with access to a multitude of travel vouchers (drool), to support me in my primary career, without having to resort to getting a minimum wage job…
So, patience, grasshopper. It’s not a matter of if but when.
In the words of the immortal Krusty the Clown, “have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah, a Krazy Kwanzaa, a Tip-Top Tet, and a solemn and meaningful Ramadan. Now, over to my god, our sponsors.”
Meaning if you would like to sponsor me for future runs of Roller Derby Saved My Soul, please do so by clicking the Paypal link on the right or email me directly at nancyjkenny at yahoo dot com for additional sponsorship package details.
Good cheers & love!