The Crying Game

The completion of a major project is inevitably followed by a period of “now what”. The Fringe wasn’t exactly the big break I need but at least it’s a good résumé builder. The end of the Fringe was a big party. The whole thing is supposed to be actually – if you’re not developing a slight hunch from 30 pounds of flyers strapped to your back. At least I made some good contacts. But it’s too soon to touch base – everyone needs some time to come down off the Fringe high, even critics/producers.

I’m not ready to take on another big production, mainly because I need a day job to pay for luxury items such as rent. Acting is one of those professions in which the supply (of actors) far exceeds the demand. There’s always someone willing to do it for free, so if you want experience, you have to work for free, too. I realized that, barring immediate paid acting work, I needed to get a job. So I pondered ideas for a day job that would still allow me to audition as needed:
• Bartender – too smoky
• Waitress – too cliché
• Receptionist – too much talking, could damage vocal chords
• Retail – too tempting to blow meagre wages with in-store discount

I settled on temp work and signed with a reputable agency in Richmond last week. On the tube ride home, I decided to shake off the post-Fringe slump. What I needed was written goals:
1) Get an agent
2) Get paid acting work
3) Become Fabulously Successful

It’s good to have goals.

I walked home from the tube station feeling more optimistic when a desperate-looking girl approached me. “I lost my wallet and I need to get to Clapham.” In her frantic babbling, she had an explanation for everything: the pickpocket also got her mobile phone and she didn’t know anyone’s number by heart; she’d tried calling the bank from a payphone but couldn’t get through; etc., etc. I felt bad and gave her two quid. After all, I’ve lost my wallet before and it’s a nightmare. Helping her made me feel better about my situation. In five minutes I’d be on the couch watching E! News Live and heating up some pasta – how bad could things be? That poor girl had to take two buses across town and hope someone was home to let her into her flat. I glanced back to see if she caught the bus. Instead she had dashed across the street and I could see her gesticulating to a young couple – obviously telling the same sob story. She even cried real tears! At least someone is getting paid acting work.