I’m sorry I haven’t written in a minute, but as you can probably guess from the title, I’ve been occupied. In January, I was lucky enough to start a new job. My first permanent full-time job, and in the middle of a recession no less (although, it seems there’s a recession every year, so perhaps that isn’t as notable a fact as it looks). I’m not going to talk about the job in too much detail here, but I really like it and I feel very lucky and privileged to have it.
I started the new job only a month after moving into my own place. When I moved, the only job I had was the hotel banquet server job (which I still have, technically), but alas, the latest lockdown and the whole pandemic situation has definitely impacted my hours there. It is mid-February now and I think the last shift I had was in September? Maybe early October? It’s been a while.
So I was lucky when, the Friday after I moved in, I had a job interview, and not long after that, I had a job offer. I had a lot to celebrate over the holidays. It’s possible I celebrated too hard and spent more money on work-pants than necessary…although I’d make the argument that work-pants make me feel more professional and I am naturally more productive when I wear them, so they were worth it.
After a long and strange and shapeless year, everything changed drastically and came together pretty fast for me. I went from being an under-employed actor living in my parents’ houses to a full-time office worker with my own place in the span of a month. This is not where I expected to be six months ago, and I feel so much appreciation for everything I have after a year that resulted in the opposite for so many people. I’ve actually found myself down-playing these “adulting” changes in my life, trying not to go into detail about my home to people who are living with five roommates in a pandemic, or trying to skirt around the subject of work with someone who’s struggling to find any. And it kind of sucks, because these are huge milestones for me and I should be able to celebrate. I should be able to have a housewarming party with all my friends over and celebrate and talk and laugh and sing. But I’m not doing any of that.
Maybe that’s not entirely a bad thing, though. While I am used to working eight to fourteen hours on sets with schedules ranging from early morning start times to late nights, those have never been for more than two weeks at a time. But with work, I don’t know how long these eight-hour days will go for. I could easily picture myself doing this job for years (I wouldn’t have applied for it otherwise). When I first started, I had a pretty good handle on it, but week after week is taking its toll and I find myself struggling to keep up with all these new adult responsibilities sometimes. Keeping up a household was a lot easier before I had a job. I can see why keeping a house and a full-time job were responsibilities expected to be split between two people in the fifties. My place is definitely not in an ideal state for having people over.
Being a natural night owl has been an interesting change to make, too. As I write this, it’s 1:30am which is easily the latest I’ve stayed up since my first week on the job. I had to train myself to start waking up at 6:30am, and even more difficult, I had to make myself go to sleep by 10:30pm. The first couple of weeks saw me just lying in bed with my eyes closed, and occasionally peeking at the time to see the morning creeping closer. I eventually found a groove, but then kids went back to school and suddenly ten minutes were added to my commute time because of all the busy school drop-offs and bus stops I get stuck at on my way to work.
I’m also wearing contacts and makeup six days a week, which is vastly different from my pre-job COVID-life during which I did neither of those things, almost ever…for months. Really weird how easy it got, but the contacts are practically a necessity when working with a mask on and the makeup just makes me feel good.
Ah, yes, six days a week. That wasn’t a typo. The first thing I bought with my first paycheque were Saturday acting classes. I hadn’t had one since 2018 and now that I could afford it, plus the fact that I get to actually talk to people which, in the month between moving and starting my job, I hadn’t done at all on most days, made it practically a necessity for me. I also had to tell my agent to stop submitting me for roles for the foreseeable future, and the thought of not having any acting or auditions to do is awful. The class is nearly finished now and I’m very glad I did it (even taking into account the carbon monoxide leak that interrupted one class). I already miss auditioning and the idea of not auditioning or being on set for at least a year has been a small torture. Acting class helped to curb the withdrawal for sure.
Acting has been perhaps the most unexpected struggle when it comes to adult life. I can afford acting classes because of this job, but I also cannot afford to audition because of this job. And as I said, I can see myself content with doing this job for a long time, but the idea of going without acting for so long is unthinkable to me. Acting classes or not, it will be a struggle to be completely happy before I can get back to acting again. I find myself with major acting FOMO every single day, and as great as it is to be an independent adult, feeling like my dreams are now out of reach and possibly done and over with is the worst part of the way my life has changed. Am I going to quit my job to pursue acting? Absolutely not. If 2020 proved anything, it’s that a risk like that would be flat out stupid. But I will be restless until I can find a way back to it again. Until then, the idea that I’ll return later rather than sooner haunts me. I don’t want to become content with this job alone. A variety of passions is something I consider important to a well-rounded life.
But speaking of a variety of passions, my big bad book, SC, having been finished in November, has been pitched in a little Twitter pitch project. This wasn’t for agents or publishers, but rather for mentors who can choose projects they think they can help with. I got four likes on my three pitches (all for SC), so I’m pretty happy with how it went (there were only 30 mentors in total). I think I would definitely benefit from the mentorship. I’ve spent years and years writing and rewriting, but when it comes to revision and edits, I have very little experience or any idea what to do.
So that’s it. That’s a short summary of what my month’s been like. I’ll leave you with a video of a scene I did in my acting class and best wishes for the new year. (It was Lunar New Year yesterday so I can still say that.)