Friday, March 18, 2005

Stagnancy is Not My Friend

When I was in high school I dated a guy who constantly referred back to the past with a nostalgic smile, pondering the fact that things were much simpler then. When I finally had some peace in my post-college life I found myself often thinking with longer of my decision not to pursue a life on the stage, of how much I missed that rush of emotions and the happiness I could only find while acting. When I was first laid off I felt as though I had been given a paid vacation to seek out a job I would enjoy more.
Now, after five months unemployed and only 12 interviews I find I have trouble looking forward into the future. In the those early, fun days of unemployment I was excited - every interview was a possibility for a job I would enjoy and higher pay! Over the months my excitement slowly faded and was replaced by a solid and deep depression. Who was I kidding? I found myself wondering yet again if I would just be better off having gone into acting, except for one thing - I now had a husband to support. Yes, in some strange turn of events that I hadn't;t truly realized until that moment, I had become the head of the household (eep!)
The problem is, although I love acting I am not ready to go backwards, and no matter how many interviews I go to, no matter how positive I am, I still have no job. Without a job I find it difficult to see what our future holds at this point.
What I do know is that stagnancy is not my friend, it begets more stagnancy and that in some cosmic twist this will someday end up having been a good thing. I was stagnant and unhappy in that job, just as I was stagnant and unhappy in unemployment, the difference is that while I was employed I was receiving money for doing that which was making me unhappy, so I was unwilling to leave and find something better. Perhaps now when I do find something I'll be happier not simply because the position will be an improvement, but also because I know myself a little better and this time I believe I will be more likely to recognize the subtle creeping of that stagnancy.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Interview # 8

I had a job interview today, my second this week. Interviewing for jobs is a hellish, humiliating process, but this one was especially so for several reasons. When the recruiter called me I could not tell him what the position I was applying for was. You might find this strange, that I was applying for a position and didn't even know what the title of said position was. Well, I of course did not want the recruiter to find it strange, so I was forced to admit to him that my father had met a woman in his department at a dinner and passed on my resume. This made me feel approximately twelve years old. Later, in a conversation with my father I asked him where to park and he gave me excellent instructions on where to park and how to have my ticket validated. What he neglected to mention was that in my decrepit, embarrassing hand-me-down minivan the parking garage would be reminiscent of Alice In Wonderland. My van was just almost too large for the garage. As I slowly climbed the spiral (who ever thought spiraling parking garages were a good idea had something seriously wrong with them) I cursed my car and the situation and became more tense. terrific.

In the end there was no interview. The recruiter was home sick today and had neglected to let me know.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Cessation of Fear

I keep thinking what I really ought to do is to write a letter to one of my favorite authors, someone who happens to be a great travel writer and ask him for his advice on how I might begin to attempt a career in travel writing. However I have one very large problem. I am a wuss and I live in fear. Because of this I live in fear and convince myself not to take risks. For instance I have convinced myself that there is no point in writing to Bill Bryson because he would never read the letter himself and even if he did, he would never respond to it. A rational person would think, hey I've got nothing to lose, why not, but not me. So maybe today should be the day I step up and take that chance. Maybe I should decide to start failing instead of failing to live.

To Do:
Write a letter to Bill Bryson
Figure out where to send letter

When I was around ten my godmother gave me a book called Linnea in Monet's Garden which I completely fell in love with. That was the first time in my life that I can remember wanting terribly to visit a place. The very first place on my list of Places to See Before I Die.
The second time I remember having this feeling, I was in high school learning of the first actor to step out of a greek chorus on his own, the beginning of theatre in the way we know it today and as I listened in my state of personal rapture I envisioned myself one day in Athens visiting that sacred spot.
This year for St. Valentine's Day my husband gave me a book called 1,000 Places to See Before I Die. He gave this to me because every time we visited a bookstore (which is often) I would thumb through it, savoring places, delighting when I realized I had actually visited one of these locations... My husband knew that in my heart I am a traveller, that although I love to set my roots, that although I am a creature of habit I want nothing more than to experience new places and cultures.
So here is the beginning of my list. I say this is the beginning because I know that just as when I was that young girl opening the pages of Linnea's travels to visit the garden of her most beloved painter, my travels are just beginning ang there will always be yet another location to add to the list.

  • Giverny
  • Paris
  • Patmos
  • Morocco
  • Egypt
  • Venice
  • New York City
  • Turkey
  • Thailand
  • Fiji
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Scotland
  • Ireland
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Key West

As a post mortem: As I was standing this past summer overlooking the Odeon of Herod Atticus at the Parthenon in Greece, the visit became more than the overwhelming joy of being in one of the most amazing and oldest structures in the world - it became a spiritual experience. This was where the first actors has stood, this was where they had rehearsed and worshipped and this was not just the birthplace of all theatre, but the home of all who find their home in the persuit of this art form. It was magnificent.


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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Script of Hollow Phrases

I've noticed that as we move through our lives we encounter so many occasions where our so-called friends and loved ones (as well as complete strangers) feel the need to barrage us with passages which I can only assume are taken directly from some script of hollow and yet socially acceptable phrases which allow us to comment or support our fellow homosapiens without actually utilizing any form of creative or empathetic thought. Every time we find ourselves in the situation to be on the receiving end of these comments we hope this will be the last time, but sadly I have reached a conclusion that opportunities to pull from this book abound throughout life and these occasions will never pass entirely. Even sadder perhaps is the fact that as we are listening to our acquaintances spew this dreck towards us in the guise of compassion or interest we are thinking "I will never say that to someone." and we all know from experience that unfortunately that is just untrue. We all eventually find ourselves in the place where we can take the easy road and blurt out one of these phrases as though we have thought deeply on the matter, or we can sputter something which might sound something like a child forming his first words and failing miserably at the attempt.

Examples:
Graduating from high school
  • Where are you going to school?
  • What are you majoring in?
  • That's pretty far from/close to home, how do you feel about that?
  • Are you ready?
Graduating from college/Seeking our first job
  • What's your degree in again?
  • What are you looking for?
  • This is a big change for you, are you ready?
Being laid off and seeking a new job
  • Did you have any idea this was coming?
  • What sort of job are you looking for?
  • Well don't worry the job market is hard/improving right now.
  • I'm sure you'll find something.
Death or Illness in the family
  • I'm so sorry for your loss *silence coupled with pained look of not knowing what to say*
Planning a wedding
  • When is the wedding?
  • Where is it?
  • Are you excited? That's getting close.
  • Where are you going on your honeymoon? Are you excited?
  • Don't worry everything will turn out perfectly.
Having a baby
  • I can't speak to this one from experience, but I have been told that mainly people feel the need to relate any painful or unpleasant experience anyone they know may have had dealing with childbirth or pregnancy.
Going through a serious breakup
  • I'm sure you will find someone perfect for you.
  • You were too good for him/her anyway.

Monday, March 07, 2005

memory of perfect day

When I awoke and saw the scatterings of white-washed buildings one expects to see in Greece my heart fluttered a bit, this was the Greece I had come for!
I had more fun in this joyful, casual little town than anywhere I've ever visited. The buildings were whiter than you could imagine, the sky and water are bluer than I could begin to describe. The flowers were sprawling hanging and bright - reds, yellows and more often hot pink. The trim and church domes were painted in turqoise and brick red. These are the colors that when seen in a painting one fancies the artist took liberties and perfected them by enhancing everything to be bright and stunning.
The sun was strong, hot and dry and the streets narrow and winding with the inhabitants zipping by on their mopeds.
Even the coffee and wine was intense, it seemed the only thing that wasn't so potent was the attitude of the people. They walked slowly, draped themselves casually in doorjams conversing with shopkeepers and seemed entirely nonplussed about life.

I could spend my life strolling the lazy perfection of this ouzo laced town.

Big dreams, Small life

Things I'd love to be/do:
Broadway Actor
Playwright
Professional Wedding Planner
Travel Writer

What I'm currently doing...

Unemployed, which makes me feel mediocre.

It makes me really wonder what it might take to get into travel writing.