I’m doing some classic Thinking Out Loud today to catch ya’ll up on a couple things.
Do you remember last summer my fiasco with the business I was working for, and how they went under and didn’t pay me? Yeah, well to catch you up on that….. I still haven’t been paid. I’ve been partnered with a claims officer for the entire year and after a lot of waiting, I did end up winning my case. My past employer was found guilty and lawfully obliged to pay me what I was owed. Not only was I not being paid, but my employer actually told the claims officers that I was paid far less per hour than I was and worked half the amount of hours per week than I actually did. Why you would lie to a government officer when there will be proof against you, I don’t know. Once I saw that I “won,” things were looking very positive as there would be extra repercussions if he did not abide. But somehow, he chose to appeal the claim anyways. So now its been sent to the Canadian Revenue Agency, who can have a bit more force but still cannot guarantee that I will get my money. So I’m still out $2600. And still waiting.
Remember that job at the breakfast restaurant I started a month ago? The one I knew I was keeping just for the interim? Turns out they worked completely under the table. After a month of working there I still hadn’t been paid, nor had I been asked to give in any banking information or told how pay works. After trying to get the low down from a fellow employee, I learned that I was just to “bring in my hours” and I’d be handed cash. Fine. Get the cash and get out. But then I had to go in three different times before they actually had my payment ready for me. My flat rate non-taxed pay. Weird thing is this place was actually really nice and not shady on the outside at all. Geez louise.
Its been hard not to feel down some days. For weeks I’ve been submitting for audition after audition after audition and not hearing back much of anything – not even getting into the audition room. Getting cast is one thing, but just being given the AUDITION is proving to be the hardest and most disappointing part. I was feeling particularly sad one day when I found out I didn’t get a part and still hadn’t heard back from a specific theatre company I really wanted to audition for.
I was talking to my mom who was trying to book my flight home for my brothers’ wedding, when I apathetically just told her, “Book whenever. Not like I have anything else going on right now…”
Then literally… LITERALLY… 5 minutes later, I get an email saying I got cast in a touring fringe show. This show was to tour to the Regina, Windsor, Victoria and possibly the Vancouver fringe festivals.
And then LITERALLY a few minutes after THAT, I get an email asking me to come in for an audition for that very theatre company I just mentioned.
Geez Louise, Life! For weeks there’s notttthhhing and then BAM. Why are you so adamant on all this trickery!?
Now. Before you get excited. You are going to think I’m completely crazy when I tell you…
I turned the fringe show down.
…I know… gasp away.
Why!? You say.
And believe me, there is a little voice in my head asking me the same thing. Its saying, “if you were a REAL dedicated actor, you would have taken it! You would have put everything else aside. You need to take any job that comes!”
It was a hard decision. To spare you all the details, you just have to know that after a lot of thought I decided taking this gig would actually not be the smartest choice for my career right now – as sparkly as it may sound at the onset. Travel would have been paid for, but food would have been on me and the resulting pay would have been a profit share only. So basically, a potential for not making much at all. Then there’s the fact that I would be traveling/away basically the entire summer so I would have had to a) quit my job which I JUST got three days before (when I FINALLY got a job that I actually love! #typical) and b) I would have missed the potential for Toronto auditions for both the summer and fall. Toronto is where I need to establish myself as an actor. Not Regina or Victoria. If this job had been fully paid, it would have been different. If I hadn’t had just gotten a good job, it would have been different. But my gut just knew that taking this gig would not have been the right choice. It would have been me jumping at the first opportunity just because I felt like I should.
I did that a number of years ago, and I was miserable.
I need to put in the time to make my connections here in Toronto, take the classes that I have planned that are directed toward my goals, and take the risk of hopefully getting auditions for Toronto companies that I actually desire to work for.
Taking this gig would have potentially put me on the road leading away from those things. Literally.
But I mean, I have to put out a little, “Come onnnnnnnn life!! For weeks there’s nothing and then you tease me by finally giving me something that causes me to make this hard of a decision!? And turn it down!?”
Sure it would have been cool to tour the country. And maybe this show makes a million bucks.
But that’s the risk you take. All you can do is make a decision in the moment, knowing that you weighed all the pros and cons and made the decision based on your gut and what is best for you at that time.
A mentor/director recently reminded me that it is okay to wait. It’s okay to wait for a job you actually want and feels right for you. You don’t need to be “doing something all the time,” as society makes us sooooo strongly believe.
I believe that not taking this job was the right decision and that something else is waiting for me. I believe something else is out there this summer or fall that will prove that this was meant to be.
I wrote this post Wednesday afternoon. Come Wednesday evening, I was cast in a play opening at the Toronto Fringe Festival this summer.
Have you ever had to make a difficult or risky decision in terms of taking or not taking a job?
Do you have any horror job/work stories!?