I work from home on both Monday’s and Friday’s. That is how my company is set up. On these days it is just me, the cat, and my company-provided macbook pro, sitting at my table or in the comfy chair that’s too close to the TV, typing away. Sometimes I take Zumba in the morning or head to an audition in the afternoon and answer emails before and after. I glance at my blackberry and respond as needed. When I am in the office, I have my own office. My boss and co-workers are extremely smart and friendly. The kitchen is stocked with healthy snacks and my commute for the 3 days a week in the office is under 30 minutes with no subway transfers. My hours are around 10am-6pm. I’m also pretty damn good at what I do.
A lot of performers in this city insist that you cannot have a dayjob and still pursue a performance career. Um, yes you can. I audition all the time and submit myself for projects daily. I was upfront about being an actress/voice over talent/musical comedian in my interview. I was also upfront about how much I kick ass as an Executive Assistant and had the resume’ and references to prove it. My company gave me 4 weeks of vacation time my first year in order to, in their words, “pursue my creative goals outside of the office.” Before this, I spent a few too many long and torturous years in jobs where I didn’t belong and wasn’t respected until seeking out this dream position. It didn’t fall into my lap. I searched for it, interviewed 5 hours for it, and negotiated it before accepting. I have to respect their needs and get my work done, but that’s a give-in. I don’t need to lie to or try and take advantage of a company that is actually supporting me. I just do what I’m good at, and I’m good at this job.
Is it going to be hard to leave here it if my acting career takes off and I can no longer do both? Of course! It’s awesome here! Did I mention the snacks? However, if my prime time comedy sitcom debut comes calling (hint hint: Modern Family), I’ll answer. But right now this job is going to allow me to pay off my NYC-in-my-20’s debt, hold up my half of the bills, afford fantastic classes to further my acting skills and produce my own work. Long story short: Do what you’re good at. If you think you’d be an amazing receptionist/waiter/bartender/yoga instructor/nanny/teacher/chef /whatever go do it and make some money already. We don’t all have to be starving just to be artists. Having money in your savings account is not going to turn you into a greedy monster with dollar signs for eyes. If you’re an actor, you already know new headshots and improv classes can be expensive, so get a move on and hit the pavement (craigslist/monster/mediabistro/recruitment firms/actual pavement.) Don’t spend too much time on the “what’s if’s” about the future and especially the “what others say” either and pave your own path, damn it. We’re not getting any younger.