Saturday, April 10, 2010

Gotta make that cash...

So there has been a bit of silence over here in my little blog space as of late.  Admittedly I have not been doing my part in carving out blogging time, but I also embarked on a little journey out west and I have been catching up a bit since my return.  No I wasn't in search of gold, but rather fufilling my bridesmaidel duties in a Salt Lake City wedding.  2010 may be the year of the Tiger, but for me it just may have to be dubbed "The Year of Weddings."  I have seven which I will be called to attend, and I hope to make it to all, but that remains to be seen. 

Where was Jürgen you might ask? Well he was not with me, no sir he got to fly the skies to Argentina! Buenos Aires to be precise, where he got to stay in this swanky hotel, eat steak and dance upon the same soil from which my favorite grapes are grown! What's up with that?

Actually, his reasons for travel were purely professional (although he got to experience a fair amount of fun as well!), because Jürg booked himself a commercial! Can I get a what-what?? He auditioned in New York, for an Irish Celluar company commercial which filmed in South America.  If you wish to spend time making sense of that, be my guest.

It did get me thinking about how funny and wildly unpredictable life can be from time to time, espically if you choose a profession in the arts. One minute you can be serving burgers and fries at a tourist packed, time square restaurant, and the next minute you are a working actor in Buenos Aires. Well, in Jürgens case anyway.  It also reminded me of the array of various "jobs" I have had over the years in an attempt to cobble together a living.  So let's bring back the blogging with a little sharing, shall we?

-I had my first "real job" when I was 16, where I worked at a small flower shop in Louisville, KY.  I was too short to see over the counter, and was often left alone to my own devices.  The job was relativley harmless except for two incidents which are worth mentioning:

1) I had literally just received my drivers liscense and on my first day of work they sent me out to make a delivery that involved me taking the expressway-a system I was unfamilliar with at the time- and I ended up somewhere way outside of the city limits, at night with no idea where I was.  This also happened to be before the time when we really relied on cell phones (I feel old!), and "car phone" that I did have was totally dead.  Hours later I made my way home and dissolved into a puddle of tears in my kitchen, because I never was able to deliver the flowers and the arangement and been tossed all over the back of my car.  The next morning my mom and I went to a more established flower shop and had them re-do the entire thing and she drove me to the rightful recipients who were very understanding.
2) The owner of the shop was my friends mom, and while she was a lovely, fun, artsitic woman she really had no business being the owner of a business. Oftentimes there were no records of how much a given item cost, which meant during the times I was left to my own devices I was forced to make up the price of things.  Not being well versed in the expenses of horticulture I inevitably charged a very lucky lady a mere seven dollars for a beautiful hanging fern. For the record it should have been around twenty-five.

The little flower shop closed a few years later. I'm just sayin'

-During college I spent a summer working as an intern for the Lookingglass Theatre Company, which paid me nothing, but I did get to work as the assistant to David Schwimmer for a week, which involved videotaping a workshop he ran and getting him coffee. He was very nice and very humble.  However Lookingglass then proceeded to hire me off and on as a "door watcher" (I prefered the title "securty guard but what can you do) where I made a great hourly wage to sit at the front desk while performances were happing in their rehearsal space and make sure no riff-raff strolled in and made off with the office equipment. As if my tiny self could have done anything about it, but I took their money anyway. It was awesome.

- I have only onced worked in a restaurant, as a host, at a Tapas restauarant one summer in Chicago.  I ate a ton of queso de cabra and very quickly decided I never wanted to work in restaurants again, for the mere fact that I found it rather torturous to watch other people enjoying their food and I had to starve. 

-The job to have while attending Theatre School was to be hired as an usher when rental productions would use our space.  It was great pay for maybe 15 minutes of mindless work, after which you could enjoy the show, or engage in epic battles with your flashlight.  Juvenile, but fantastic.

-I have been babysitting since I was twelve, and still do every now and then. The first child I ever babysat is now an adult and on her way to being a huge star, however there is also one baby who I have sat for at least five times and still have yet to meet. Her name is Macy and she goes to sleep at 7pm, and never wakes. She is a gift from above. 

-Once I was hired through my agency to work at the NeoCon trade show at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.  It's a huge event focusing on office furniture, and my job was to pass out pins and candy to passerby's and encourage them to find their "style ID" on the 8th floor.  Why you need to know your style when it comes to cubicles I will never know.  It was so horrible that I hid in stairways and behind model kitchen units, in an attempt to keep my sanity. Never again.

-Being hired to perform at the Chicago Auto Show is much less annoying.  I sang "Let the Sunshine In" with a group of incredibly talented Chicago actors, for the launch of a new line of KIA cars.  We each wore a different solid colored crewneck sweater from Lands End, and threw our hands in the air with great abandon.  In a word: queer. In another word: amazing.

-For two years I worked as a receptionist at a commercial photography studio that threw incredible parties and didn't mind if I drank alcohol while working. A privledge I never took full advantage of. 

-One day while working at the aformentioned phtography studio, the producer asked to see my hands, which apparently are photograph worthy and whisked me upstairs to feature my digits in a cataloge.  This gave me the courage to call up the print department in my agency to see if I could be seen as a parts model.  My agent said "its a very quick decision and is usually a no, but I will see you."  Luckily, he said yes, and every now and then I literally make money from my hands.

-After I graduated college I spent a couple years working as the front desk manager of a spa, which once I left I swore I would never revisit customer service ever again. Well "never say never" apparently, because once I decided to move to NYC I contacted the New York branch, and five minutes later I was rehired. Lesson learned: its a good thing to keep the bridges you build intact. 

-Finally, this is without a doubt the best job I have ever had (aside from special theatre gigs) only involved twenty minutes of actual work, but was oh so very cool to be a part of.

Have you had any special/scary/random/interesting jobs you have had to do to make ends meet?


  1. love it. I once booked a gig with the red hat society. nuff said.

  2. that girl you babysat really is going to be famous.
    and...I once was a "kickboxing Instructor" for a Tampax event at my college. I wore a fitted t-shirt with TAMPAX emblazoned on it and helped women kick the crap out of some crash pads. Hilarious.

  3. I worked at Golden Corral for a summer. We had to clean toilets as part of our side work. I also worked at a mall kiosk selling t-shirts that changed color in the sun. My favorite (and 1st ever!) paying job was working at Rouster's Apple House in Milford, Ohio. If you are ever there, it's totally worth a stop!