August is officially here, and I feel just as up-in-the-air as ever. Background gigs continue to roll in, which give me a little bit of financial buffer and a lot of time to think. But before I get into the thinky stuff, here is a quick update of the next shows that I’ll be background-ing in.
Upcoming Extra Appearances
The Blacklist (FBI Agent)
Girls (Brooklyn partygoer at the bar, also in a suit at an Italian restaurant eating dinner)
Elementary (FBI Agent)
Good Girls Revolt (Pilot– Museum Gala attendee in 1969)
Orange is the New Black (Convention Attendee)
Madoff (Miniseries– FBI Agent)
These are due out in September at the earliest. Let me know if you happen to spot me!
Job Commitment Aversion
I’ve been thinking a lot about “next step” possibilities. One big plus of being freshly unemployed is that the whole world feels wide open. There are potential opportunities behind every door and hiding within every conversation. But on the flip side, you can also run into serious commitment issues. It’s so hard to pick just one thing! What if I pick the “wrong” one? What if I waste time that could have been better spent on the other thing? Of course there is no official rule that you have to pick just one thing, but my brain tends to work that way. I get really excited about one idea, and for a while I pour every ounce of my time and energy into it. Usually the infatuation cools off after a few days though, and a shiny new idea comes along to dominate my focus all over again. While this explains part of my job-related commitment phobia, I don’t think it’s quite the whole picture.
After moving to New York I became familiar with the term “FOMO”. It stands for the Fear Of Missing Out. This is a very real phenomenon. Everyone can relate to missing out on something, whether it be an awesome party, live tickets for their favorite band, or a kick-ass grilled cheese exhibit. The thing is, when you live in a city where there are hundreds, no thousands of events going at any given time, FOMO can turn into a seriously debilitating condition. You start to feel obligated to do everything. There are so many once-in-a-lifetime, can’t miss opportunities going on in the city all the time— and you’re just sitting at home watching Netflix again?? Guilt and shame be upon thee.
Some citydwellers deal with this by going out as much as humanly possible. I had coworkers that could finish a ten hour day only to go out for dinner, hit up a show, pop by an exhibit, attend an after party, and then wake up for a 6am run before repeating the whole process again. They don’t waste a second– if they take a even a moment to breathe, they’ll feel like they’re falling behind. It seems positively exhausting to me. But even so, I can feel the FOMO creeping into my mind sometimes. That little whisper that says any time at rest is time wasted. To get it under control again I think I have to master FOMO’s opposite: contentedness. Sure, I’m ambitious by nature, and I’ll always strive to learn, grow and push myself. But I want to do it from a place of personal satisfaction and genuine interest– not from a frantic fear of being left behind, or some weird sense of guilt.
Where Passions turn to Action
OK, so this philosophical stuff is all well and good, but I also have to do practical things like eating food and paying rent. So how do I find that sweet spot between the optimistic idealogy in my head and a method for making cold, hard, soulless lucre in the “real world”? I have been wrestling with this problem for as long as I can remember.
When I was getting ready to leave OrangeSoda in Utah, I had a serious soul-searching period where I interviewed every manager in the company and asked about their job, their dreams, and their passions. I was grasping at every straw, envisioning myself in all of their places. Maybe I hoped to find glimmers of my own future. While I did find some elements of their stories that I could identify with, none of them were quite the bolt of thunder that I was looking for. I needed to turn inward.
I learned about myself. I read old journals. I thought about what I liked to do as a kid. I thought about what I had the most fun doing as an adult. What was I best at? What did I default to when there was nothing else to do?
After a lot of thinking I was able to distill my long list of interests to a few major pillars that seemed to dominate the others. The moment when I finally nailed these down can’t really be described as an “Ah-ha!” moment. Anyone that knew me could have told you that I loved these things, it was obvious. So for me it was more like an “Oh… duh” moment. Here’s what I found:
I love food
I love traveling/exploring
I love writing
(Incidentally if you know of paid opportunities that involve any or all of the above, please do feel free to message me! I’m very good.)
Jumping Off (Last Time)
I knew that if my life involved these three things in some form, I could be happy. I had great fun combining the three into different job possibilities, which got better and better as I went. I knew I was on the right track, so I decided to quit my job and go to culinary school. I also started reviewing local restaurants for an online dining guide. It was a huge pivot point in my life.
Recently I’ve felt like I’m grasping at straws again. I need to re-center myself and remember my real priorities in life. I may have to do a few “just to pay the bills” type of part time gigs, but I don’t want to commit to anything full time unless it is seriously a dream job.
My gut tells me that I should be building something for myself. Something that’s true to my core. I feel like my shaved ice shack Yuki was a good first step in this direction. But in order to progress, I need to expand on the lessons that I learned there and find new ways to grow.
I know this is all still very much in brainstorm/speculation territory, but I will keep you updated as it (hopefully) starts to merge into reality. Stay tuned!