Having been out of a job for over two weeks now, I'd have to say unemployment is a lot less scary this time around. I've learned that the world is not going to end just because I don't have a steady income right now (though having my unemployment check be three times what it was last year helps with that fear, plus I'm not blowing my savings on a whirlwind trip to far-off continents). My skin is a lot thicker and my persistence is more persistent. I've learned to get over my fear of shamelessly asking what few contacts I have for hookups (job hookups, not the booty kind). That's the secret. As a woman, and a non-confrontational woman at that, I have a hard time asking for help. I don't want to be a burden and bother busy people. But it never hurts to ask. I've discovered that most people love being able to help. It makes them feel useful and validates that they've truly made it in their own careers. I only wish I'll be in that position someday to verify my theory.
Ideally me in ten years. The Mary of course. Or the Tina in my case.
"Do you have some sort of businesswoman's special?"
A former/current internship supervisor of mine called me today regarding an inquiry e-mail I had sent a few weeks back. I knew she was busy and didn't take it personally that she hadn't responded. In truth, I had forgotten about it. I'm a bit of an out-of-sight, out-of-mind type of person sometimes. But we talked for thirty minutes, which is hours in entertainment industry time. She didn't know of any positions in particular, but she was willing to pass my resume along to people who might. I appreciated that, like you wouldn't believe. Then she bestowed upon me all of her hard-earned pearls of wisdom about being unemployed in this business, never giving up even if you're forced to take a non-industry job just to keep a roof over your head, to network my ass off, and keep writing no matter what it costs.
A lot of which I sort of knew, and everyone tells me constantly. But to hear it from a mentor who knows exactly what you're going through and is willing to help, was just what I needed right now. Not to mention everyone needs a little encouragement and positive reinforcement from time to time. Right now I'm in a holding pattern regarding another opportunity. As my friend so eloquently stated, "My whole life is a holding pattern." We're thinking of making bumper stickers. But I refuse to count my un-hatched chickens or run around with my head cut off, putting all my eggs in one basket (so many chicken metaphors, why?) And even though it's not in the film industry, I feel better knowing that I'm not giving up by putting a roof over my head. I can always write no matter what I'm doing to pay the bills.
So with her support, I'm going to do my damnedest to not let her down. I'm going to make a writing schedule, go to every networking event I can scare up, maintain every contact I have, and think outside the box regarding jobs I should apply to. Even if this particular job doesn't come through (and it might not because I have a tendency to ramble, and I discovered after the interview that I had lipstick on my teeth), I'll be ok. I can just picture myself now standing in front of a green-screened American flag waving as a John Williams orchestra crescendos in the background.
Not me at all, but you get the picture.
And hopefully the pictures livened up this admittedly dull post.