I guess the time has arrived for a bit of an ‘about me’ section.
As I mentioned before I have just returned from living in Tokyo. I was there working for 8 months as a Tap dancer. This is essentially what I do. I’m a performer. I travel the world for 6/8month periods at a time performing to whomever will pay me. I have been travelling now for nearly 4 years. I have been around the South Pacific, New Zealand Australia, Toured Europe and obviously now just returned from Japan.
I really enjoy my job but my problem lies (as with most things in my life) within my own indecision. I have a real habit of not being able to decide which route to go down in any circumstance be it work, love, social, anything. When I do make decisions they are often the worst possible ones and I end up having to give myself the old ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ speech.
As you know I’m now living back in London and I’m back in audition mode. Now for anyone who isn’t aware of the life of a performer, It’s not ideal. You spend 90 percent of your time hanging around waiting for a call from your agency or sending out copious emails to hopefully get seen by a casting director. If you go out you spend money which for months on end you may not be earning. You can become increasingly insecure about your appearance and abilities. And when you eventually do get that call that you have a casting…the likelihood is you’ll probably be cut within the first round because your not ‘what they were looking for’.
But for many performers this is all completely acceptable as the rewards of performance far outweigh the mindless hours of nothingness and desperation. I have reached a point now that I want something more. I’ve become tired of snatched glimpses of my dreams and the things I have worked for. My interests are diverse/far and wide. I feel now may be the time to look at more options so that I can grow as a person. I hope this helps me re-ignite my love for my career by showing me its true appeal or helps my to find the vocation that I can call my true passion.
In an attempt to give myself a small income and also to shake out of my current routine of daytime napping I decided to get a ‘Normal Job’. To anyone other than a performer this is just a job; however as entertainers we seem to believe that what we do is something other than the norm. However looking at my most recent open audition in which approximately 1000 people turned up I think we may be grossly misinformed.
As I mentioned in my first post I performed a rather croaky hung over interview for a charity phone sales company. Incidentally they thought I sounded great which did nothing but give me the idea that I could clearly get away with being hung over on the job a lot once I started. Don’t worry I am starting to notice that this is becoming a common theme and I will try and keep it in check. Once this process was completed and I went for a simple face-to-face interview I was offered a position. To think I would have my own computer and headset in just a few days…
…Simple things like this from normal jobs actually excite me a lot.
The first day was training. We sat in a room while a lady with a bull style nose ring wearing a kimono sashayed in front of us declaring, “We don’t care what you look like or what you wear. As long as you do a good job”. I thought this was fantastic as this was to fit in perfectly with my newfound alcoholism and subsequent hangovers.
The day soon took a turn once the details of the job came to the surface. You can wrap phone sales up however you want but even for a charity it is still the same thing. I believe cold calling is inherently evil and should be illegal. I was lead to believe that we were simply following up people who had given information on the street and had actively shown an interest in a charity. I now see that the information is collected from databases or questionnaires that may have included a sneaky question regarding charitable donations E.G. Would you ever donate to starving children? Of course they are going to put yes! And at that point you become placed in the system. Now I’m not against charity fundraising at all, in fact it was a big selling point for the job itself. However this level of invasiveness and the pressure they require you to place on the potential payee was not something I desired to be a part of. However although I had made my decision to not continue after this first day very early on, I did actually stay for the entire day just so I could do the role-play section towards the end…
“Hello Mr Smith, I’m Calling On Behalf of…” Loved it!
What I learned was that I really enjoyed the script reading section. Maybe I should be a straight actor I thought…
…Again drifting off with another pipe dream.
…As I left the building never to return, I had to laugh at my inability to complete more than one day’s work in a 9 to 5 job. It was also a nice feeling to know that I would happily be poor but doing something I love, rather than miserable and financially secure. So maybe performing could still be for me…