In December, I left a stable 9-5 at a small arts PR firm to pursue acting and writing full time. The plan was to find a job somewhere with flexible hours, while freelancing, working on personal writing projects, and acting in my free time. It was so millennial of me, and an uncharacteristic leap-of-faith for this type A gal.
Since the New Year, I’ve gone on auditions and dates, applied to jobs, taken up Bikram yoga, and made several put-off appointments. (My dentist says I still have great teeth, if you were wondering). The theme of 2016 has been getting my life right.
I travelled to Costa Rica with my cousin, to New Orleans with my college bffs, and to Mexico, New York, and LA with my family. I learned that sometimes people call you Rasta merely because you have brown skin and twists, that I have a better handle on Spanish than I thought, and that I’m a little too old for Bourbon Street (but never too old for midday daiquiris).
In February, I worked as a research associate at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center and had a lot of fun feeling important in San Francisco with my badge and heeled boots and gourmet snacks. I loved working with a team again.
I also started training to be an actor with the Murder Mystery Company, which just founded a new troupe in San Jose. I’ll act in shows for both public audiences and private parties, starting next week. I’ll get to flex my character-building muscles, test my improv abilities, and indulge my long-time love of Clue. It’s not a job I ever expected to do, but a quirky and campy challenge I’m excited to take on. Maybe I’ll even get to die dramatically.
Looking at it on paper, it all sounds pretty awesome. Still, all the inconsistency has me feeling a tad disjointed. Neither finding the kind of job I want nor remaining self-motivated in my creative endeavors has been particularly simple. Netflix obstructs my focus, self-doubt injures my will to send off another resume. I wonder if I’m really cut out for the so-called gig economy. Gratefully, I live at home with my very supportive and wonderful family, but the whole “technically unemployed” thing is grinding my gears.
So I’m reframing. I’m not unemployed. I’m an actor, a playwright, a blogger, an essayist. I care about theatre, TV, travel, food, intersectionality, and black femininity. Multi-hyphenate artists don’t really get to have steady work. Thinking that makes me dizzy with worry, but I’m learning to sit in discomfort. I don’t have to be in control of everything to take ownership of my life. #affirmations
In short, I’m figuring out who I want to be, while remembering that I have the prerogative to change my mind. And I’m happy to have you lovely readers with me as I move on to my next short-term, long-term, and indefinite gigs.
Love and theatre,