Friday, July 15, 2011

Oh, what's the matter with me? (Part 1)

What will this day be like? I wonder.

What will my future be? I wonder.
It could be so exciting to be out in the world, to be free
My heart should be wildly rejoicing
Oh, what's the matter with me?

I've always longed for adventure
To do the things I've never dared
And here I'm facing adventure
Then why am I so scared

From The Sound Of Music

This is the first of three posts about finding confidence in a time full of unknowns.  It is inspired by one of my favorite songs from The Sound of Music by Rodgers and Hammerstein called "I Have Confidence".  During my awkward years of High School, I was a band geek AND a theater nerd.  I had a lot going for me, obviously.  My sophomore year, we staged The Sound of Music for our big yearly musical.  Every show that I've ever been in will always hold a special place in my heart, and this one is no different.  I have often identified with the character of Maria, and this season of my life more than ever.

What IS the matter with me?  Well besides the obvious answers from my snarky friends, I would say that my frustration with finding work has gotten the best of me at times in the last few months.  

(Side Note: I work on costumes for theater.  Finding a full time, year round position with benefits and holidays and all that jazz is like finding the gold at the end of the rainbow.  Or the holy grail.  Or anything else that would make your friends jealous if you find it first.)  

In the last 12 months, I have worked at 2 major theaters, one opera, and a specialty fabric dying shop.  I also took on a music video, a short film, and a play.  The longest job was around 2 1/2 months.  As I get started at one gig, I will start looking to line up my next.  I am always on the lookout for my next move and I have been blessed that things have always work themselves out.  I have even been lucky enough to stay located around Southern California for all of my work over the past four years.  This is not always the case with many people in our industry and it is common to live in a few different states in 12 months.

I have come to an odd place in my string of jobs, though.  I have had some work off and on over the past month, but nothing steady right now.  I am diligent with checking job boards and keeping my ears open for overhire (where you are brought on short term) opportunities, but the end of the summer is sort of a dead time in most theaters.  Their summer productions are up and running by now and fall seasons have not started up quite yet.  

For the first time life, really, I don't know what my future will be.  
It is truly terrifying.
For me, after high school, there was college, then to graduate school, and then the work just kept falling into place.  The past 26 years had a direction, just the way I liked it.  Until now.  I'm obviously not the only one in this situation.  Chances are, you probably know at least a hand full of people who are unemployed, in a transition in their life or career.  Some of my friends have finished their bachelors and masters degrees and can't find entry level work.  Others have been working for 25 years and were laid off and now have compete with younger, cheaper competition.  For everyone, its a pretty crummy situation.

Tomorrow, I'll share some insight on the seriously scary part of being jobless.  Its not pretty, but I think its important to share to remind other in the same situation that they are not alone.  It should also help all of us be thankful for what we have.  We WILL get to happier times soon...but you'll have to wait for part 3 for that!!


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