I Suck at My Job

I am not a blogger. I’ve decided that I don’t know how to write a successful blog. I mostly know how to rant and sound mildly clever. Like, I’m funny enough for you to make that little”heh” sound with a light exhale, but not enough to have you rolling on the floor questioning whether you should contact emergency services because you’ve accidentally ruptured your spleen with the sheer force of your vibrating midsection. If I had it my way, I’d send several thousand people to the hospital with the undiluted force of my wit. But we can’t always get what we want.

I guess I should start with some updates. Remember a few months ago when all I could do was complain about the fact that I didn’t have a job? That interview that was the first one to actually go moderately well? Yeah, that job hired me full time. So the past two months I’ve been studiously adjusting to the life of the everyday worker. Eight hour days and morning rush hour traffic. I am, in fact, working a desk job. It’s not so bad. My boss is great, my coworkers nice, and I can put Batman figurines on my desk. Sometimes there’s even a dog named Bruce. Overall, the only thing worth complaining about is traffic on the 405. Which, let me tell you, is a blog post in and of itself.

Well, there is one other thing.

I’m tired, like, all the time. How have people done this for decades??? I mean, that isn’t to say I’m tired in that “oh, you might have a medical condition” kind of way. It’s definitely more like “I just spent an hour in traffic and I no longer have the energy to do productive things, but I can totally watch Netflix until midnight.”

I claim to be a writer but I can’t manage to write much of anything during the week. I’m lucky to crank out a thousand words on the weekend. At that rate, I’ll finish my novel in 3 years, my narrative game in 5, and my sitcom bible in 8.

Real adults are a marvel to me!!! My mother teaches college mathematics four days a week, kids karate classes three days a week, attends karate classes four days a week, and still manages to clean the house, feed our dogs, AND write several thousand words a week on her own novel.


I find people like this absolutely fascinating. I’m trying to be more active in life, like many of my idols. Anna Akana, one of my favorite YouTubers has directed and written numerous short films, has her own clothing line, and performs in comedy shows regularly. AND SHE ONLY JUST TURNED TWENTY FIVE. I’m twenty three. The clock is ticking. I have a list of goals the length of the Great Wall of China and the only thing I’ve completed thus far on that list is graduating college with honors. Which, I know, is not necessarily nothing to snuff at, but hey, man, I’m have the ambition and fortitude of a class A Slytherin. Sitting around and waiting for my golden opportunities is tedious and frankly I’m wildly disappointed in how much I’ve been slacking.

I have a great job. I’m very good at my job. But my favorite job is the one I haven’t spent as much time doing. It’s the one that I don’t get paid to do (even though I would LOVE to get paid to do it). So basically, I suck at my favorite job. Mostly because I haven’t been doing it the way I should.

I’m working on that.

If you have any adult secrets to getting through long days at the office and out of the office, let me know. I’m looking for the drug from Limitless.

Seriously. Hook me up.

The Great Job Circus

I’m really tired of applying for jobs.

I mean REALLY tired.

I’m swiftly approaching 300 applications. I can feel it. In my bones. Three hundred applications and cover letters and emails and inquiries. Of course, this is over the course of a couple months, but nevertheless, the only job I’ve gotten was an application I filled out my first week in Los Angeles. I interviewed the next day and had the job within the month (with delay for background checks).

I’ve had a few interviews, none of which really amounted to much. A few of them I was a little glad didn’t pan out. But for the most part I’m genuinely irritated. I feel a bit like a failed sideshow act. A great job circus. I preen and smile and walk the tightrope between groveling and charisma, all while a dozen sharp knives look up at me from below.

I had an interview earlier this week–an interview that was for, by far, the best job I’ve had any luck with. My interviewer looked at my resume and told me that he was impressed with my college grade point average.  It was a 3.88, if you were wondering. It was the first time since graduating that my hard work had meant anything. Of course, my experienced film professors had said time and time again that GPAs mean nothing to anyone in the film business. Which, personally, I think is fucking ridiculous. Pardon my language, but I’m an incredibly hard worker. I’m a quick learner and I’m a delight to be around. Unless of course the art of sarcasm is lost upon you, in which case I’ll just dig my grave now.

The point is, every time I imagine anyone looking at my resume, they must think it a very paltry thing. I spent the last two years as a tutor. Hardly a professional career, I would suppose. And not a film internship in sight. I know it would be easier if I had friends in the business. And I do, but their job connections have been virtual dead ends for the moment. Something might arise with them eventually, but when you’ve got to make rent at the end of the month, eventually isn’t really an option.

It’s very hard to distinguish yourself without the resources to do so. If I could have, I certainly would have done a film internship in my undergrad. But most are not paid and the ones that do pay are incredibly competitive. And since I couldn’t afford not to be paid, I couldn’t get an internship. So now I wander in great arcing circles around a city that has already seen my circus act a hundred thousand times. I’m a bearded lady with just enough stubble to be androgynous but not enough to warrant a full big top tent.

The best I can do right now is to innovate the inner workings of myself. Try new things. Make things out of nothing. And perhaps stop trying so hard to please an unwilling crowd. I know I should have faith that success will come for all the reasons I listed above. That I work hard. That I learn quickly. And that I am a goddamn delight. It’s merely difficult in this great echoing silence. My performance has come to an end and no one is clapping. Or perhaps, no one was there to clap in the first place.

I guess if Los Angeles doesn’t work out, I could always join the circus.

Oxygen for Sale

Acting, for me, is about realizing I have no marketable skills.

I recently moved to Los Angeles and have since been desperately looking for jobs that are even remotely related to working in the entertainment industry. This means scrolling through craigslist looking for jobs as an extra or paid audience because, as I’ve said, I have no marketable skills and not enough experience in the industry to really accomplish anything aside from standing there and looking pretty.

Truth be told, I’m not an actress. Try as I might, being an extra is really all I’ll probably ever accomplish on the performance end of things. It takes a toll on me just to be passably pleasant to all the customers I serve at Starbucks every day. Which isn’t to say I’m a naturally unpleasant person–on the contrary, I’m generally the picture of southern hospitality–I’m simply not someone who easily functions in a public arena. That’s why I became a writer–to avoid as much public humiliation as possible.

Though, I must say, I don’t have much problem being humiliated. I once slipped, fell, and dumped an entire tub of nacho cheese on myself in front of no less that three dozen people. I got up laughing and walked away. Don’t believe me? I’m sure Regal Entertainment Group has footage of it somewhere.

Needless to say, I’m a mess of contradictions. I thirst for the limelight of the camera, but the moment I get in front of it I want to run screaming in terror. Which is why being an extra is so easy. The focus isn’t on me, I’m just a wallflower. But the fact that the camera looks in my direction is enough to satisfy a certain primal need for attention. And it makes me feel like I’m at least doing something more entertainment industry related other than writing Agent Carter fan fiction at 3AM in my bedroom.

But, you see, I’m a writer. I’m not an actor, so it’s really like trudging the desert in the opposite direction of a sparkling oasis. I recently went to an extra casting session where it asked me to list my acting experience and all I could write was I had passable skills as an improviser and I was in a college production of the Vagina Monologues. So no, I’m not a performer, try as I might. I might be able to lie quite beautifully and spectacularly on a resume on my extensive imaginary experience, but ask me to execute any such experience and I’ll laugh and pretend to fake a heart attack. Which, let me tell you, is no easy task at the ripe age of twenty three. And, since I’m not a performer, it’s not even a believable heart attack.

You see my problem here.

There really isn’t a point to all this, merely that I felt like there’s no easy way to get by in Hollywood. Which we all knew already. It’s hard to pay the bills when the only thing you’re good at is spinning stories out of thin air. Much like thin air, stories are very hard to package and sell without a lot of charm and lies.

But hey, I wouldn’t be a real con artist if I didn’t keep trying.

Friends is so Real and It’s Really Not Funny: Day Five

You’re Broke, You’re Alone, and Your Degree is Useless: Friends is so Real and It’s Really Not Funny

I’m living Friends. I’m not kidding. Friends is the realest depiction of post-graduate hell I’ve encountered. Let me break it down for you.

Rachel, the glorified ingenue of the bunch is a complete fuck-up from the very beginning. A broken engagement, jobless, and obsessed with shopping, she’s the epitome of instant gratification. And if my generation loves anything, it’s instant gratification. What would Rachel do with a smart phone? She would never get any work done. Can you imagine how much worse of a waitress she would make with a smart phone? With Candy Crush constantly at her fingertips?? Imagine the spilt coffee. The broken mugs. The bloodshed.

Then there’s Monica. Blessed Monica is the type who has always been very accustomed to being the level-headed one. Invaded by friends constantly, she battles the foibles of pursuing her dream while staying true to reality. She’s constantly looking for love and falling up short–and even when she doesn’t fall short, she’s struck by the immovability of her age and wishes. When she does find men she wants to spend her life with, she’s blocked by her desire for children, first with his lack of desire and next with pure inability to procreate. Monica is a woman who is constantly trying to build a life but has nothing to work with but sand.

Next is Joey who, like Monica, knows what he wants but has an even harder time pursuing it. This is partially because his drive is not equal to hers. Further, Joey is a free spirit who knows what he wants in his career but not in his relationships. He flits from woman to woman willingly and job to job unwillingly. He’s constantly using useless jobs to subsidize his career. He does not have the intellect to rise. But, he does have the perseverance, and eventually he gets what he’s looking for–but that’s not without an uphill battle through rejection and imperfection.

Phoebe is perhaps the most downtrodden of the bunch, though you wouldn’t know it. Poor Phoebe, previously homeless, estranged from her family, and wholly undereducated, she radiates sunshine and humor. She’s that morning person that I, personally, always want to punch in the face. Phoebe’s extended family is either dead, an enemy, or utterly unknown to her for much of the series. But she has friends in odd places and while she does not have a dream career or a one true love, she has risen above so many pitfalls throughout her short life.

Chandler is the man who settled. He settled for a job that got him by but that gave him no emotional satisfaction. He proceeds through this defeatist and protective attitude for much of the series–until, perhaps, his relationship with Monica. He fights fire with humor, a defense mechanism. Doomed through a cycle of paper pushing and relationships that are equally unremarkable and unhealthy, Chandler struggles against his own self-made purgatory where things are neither bad nor good. Chandler chose the “safe” route and ended up vegging instead of living.

And then there’s Ross.

Fuck Ross.

Ross is that guy who has everything figured out. Aside from his divorce, Ross has a pretty great life. He has a job that he loves, he’s financially stable, he had a wife (wives), and he had children. He found a woman he loved and despite the years and years of struggle they went through, ultimately Ross always had her. Ross had the American Dream from the get-go. In fact, Ross’s tumultuous love life was the biggest of his problems. But even so, for the most part he was always in a relationship–furthermore, in relationships with incredible women whom he was lucky to have.

Ross is that friend from high school or college that ended up being wildly more successful than you immediately out and now everything they do, no matter how innocent or small, is just rubbing it in your face. They could cure cancer, end world hunger, create world peace, and you would still hate them. Because how DARE they have more glory than you. They make you look like you’re wasting your life away merely by breathing. You were supposed to be the one that came back at the ten year reunion with a trophy wife and a three million dollar condo.

As my life is now, I could name a friend for every character on this list, perhaps more than one. I myself feel split somewhere between Monica and Joey in my career and financial pursuits. As far as romantic pursuits… Well, let’s not get into that. Needless to say, I feel like Friends very intimately depicts the life of the twenty-somethings in my life. We are all a little lost in one way or another. I’m constantly striving to be the Ross of the story–to get into my dream career early and flourish there for as long as we both shall live.

The only comfort I have is that all the characters of Friends got their happy endings–not to say that they were endings, but they were happy, for the most part. And they had each other, which is the crux of the whole show. It’s not called Friends for nothing. If I have nothing else, I have friends. Friends will get me through the Terrible Twenties, just like they did for Rachel and Monica and Joey and Phoebe and Chandler and even Ross.

So, no one told us life was going to be this way. Our job’s a joke, we’re broke, our lives are DOA. It’s like we’re always stuck in second gear. When it’s not been our day, our week, our month, or even our year, we’ll be there for each other

when the rain starts to pour. 

Free Time–End Capitalist Occupation of Fundamental Human Rights: Day Four

You’re Broke, You’re Alone, and Your Degree is Useless: Free Time–End Capitalist Occupation of Fundamental Human Rights

I considered creating a borderline racist graphic that satirized the Free Tibet flag, but I decided against it. People already demonize my generation enough. I already know that I am just another member of the great Satanic Army raised by Ronald Reagan. I don’t need to reinforce it further.

Today’s topic in my endless marathon to justify the Terrible Twenties is free time–and how I do not have it. Nor, I think do most people working two to three jobs at minimum wage. Which, if you’re curious, is 7.25 in the state of Kentucky.

For some, this is not a huge problem. Especially those who do not consider themselves to have a secondary secret job that others would probably term a hobby. Because, obviously, since I’m not currently making money in writing for film, it’s a hobby. A thirty-thousand dollar debt hobby, but a hobby nevertheless.

And the thing is, I do consider writing to be my job–no, my career. Because no matter how bad I feel or how little writing I do, I know that no matter where the road leads me in the next year, writing for television is where I’ll end up. I might have to murder a few people to get there, but I’ll get there (don’t quote me on that).

But working towards that goal, committing to a job that has no immediate payoff, is very hard. I’m currently working two jobs with very poor hours. Just yesterday I worked a 20 hour day between the two of them on very little sleep and probably close to a gallon of caffeine. And would you like to know how much money I made in that twenty hour span?


Before taxes.

And that’s a good day. Other days I work significantly less. I make about $800 a month which isn’t even enough to cover rent at most apartments in my city. I’m very lucky in that I live with my mother, so rent doesn’t exist. If I thought I could schedule another job around the hours I already have (a difficult feat since I don’t know my schedule until a week before), I would. Because only then would I be close to making a living wage.

But in addition to my two part time jobs, my elders expect that I should “always be looking for something better.” Something higher paid (but usually something significantly more soul-sucking). Or, alternatively, something more in my field–which is difficult considering that film and television is a pretty niche market for a mid-sized city in the heart of the Bluegrass. Which, by the way, people seem to think takes no time at all. But, in fact, job searching takes hours of combing through wanted ads on every job board imaginable. Then it means submitting resumes and cover letters and filling out the same godforsaken information over and over again. I’m tired of filling out my work history. It’s unrelated to the current position anyway, but if I don’t put anything there, you’ll think I know absolutely nothing and that I’ve been sleeping under a rock for the last ten years.

So, if I calculate the amount of time I’m at work or thinking about finding more work or trying to prepare myself to get to work, free time is a mythical land that doesn’t exist. And when I do get that mythical creature FREE TIME, I usually spend it vegging on my bed watching Netflix because I’m so tired.

On very special days, when I have free time as far as the eye can see, I clean my room, I read a book, and I write. I’ve been blocked for a very long time, but it’s been getting better, slowly. Like the brick wall my mind had built is slowly eroding as I beat it with a blunt pickaxe. Those are my favorite days because I feel more like myself. That’s the real problem working a number of jobs that don’t bring you any emotional satisfaction–it strips you of identity. When I’m working, I feel like another cog in the machine. Which would be fine, if being a cog was who I was. If I was put on this earth to shovel popcorn and tell students that they’ve conjugated their verb wrong, I think I would be much happier right now. My purpose would be fulfilled.

But I wasn’t put on Earth to do those things. I believe, to my bright burning core, that I was put on this earth to tell stories. I have never been certain of anything else in my life. Except perhaps that PBR is the worst beer in existence.

The point to my ridiculous and slightly off topic title is that money is holding me back. It’s been holding me back for a long time. The need for it has crippled my ability–and the ability of so many other Post-Graduate Syndrome sufferers–to explore to their fullest potential. To be harder, better, faster, stronger, as Kanye West might say. We of the PGS ilk cannot afford free time. Health care. Healthy food. Car Insurance. Gasoline. We cannot afford disposable income, so therefore we latch onto the rise in the economy like a terrible anchor. And if we are anchored long enough, eventually that ship will sink.

I’m not trying to politicize. But I do consider the idea that in their heyday, on average, hunters and gatherers spent four to six hours of their day being breadwinners. Of course, this was eons before cell phone bills, but you get my point. We cannot continue to struggle to stay afloat if you keep treating us like an anchor. Because no matter how many jobs we get or how much free time we sacrifice to continue being contributing members of society, we will still be anchors.

Life would just be a lot easier if we started treating people like people and not cogs in the machine.