I hate it when I break down and cry in front of a complete stranger.
Actually, I hate it when I cry in front of anyone, as I’m not one of those women who can cry and look halfway decent. When I start crying, my face turns beet red, I get the hiccups, my nose runs and for some reason my hair frizzes out and makes me look like Rosanna Rosannadanna.
But today, in the office of the career counsellor at the Actor’s Fund, I did just that.
Broke down and cried instead of doing something productive with the nice lady’s time.
What started the waterworks was when I was given the well-meaning offer of help to build a resume and get a job.
I’m sure most of the folks who come through the Actor’s Fund have had it up to here with the film industry and can’t wait to get out.
I’m not one of those. I love my job. I really love it, and I adore the people I work with. I don’t want out.
That I even have to consider not being able to continue making a living at it hurts.
Really, really hurts.
Hence the tears.
After offering me a tissue, the counsellor said “You know, you don’t have to leave entirely. Maybe you just need to think about what I like to call a parallel career where you still work in the industry but have something else generating income.”
I peered through my fogged up lenses at the soothing blur and, except for the hiccups, stopped crying as I thought about this.
I must confess that this had simply not occurred to me.
“Think about what you’re passionate about and what you want and then, once you’ve figured that out, then you find something that will work for you”.
She then asked me if I’d thought about going back to school.
I had not, but in today’s America, that would require much more financial… ooomph than I currently possess.
“Well,” she replied, “think about it and the next time we meet make a list. Make two lists. One of the things you’re passionate about and the other of the things you want from life and we’ll go from there.”
Wow. She’s good.
So now I just have to make lists.
I’m guessing she won’t allow ‘rich husband with a weak heart’ or ‘professionally slapping sense into people who desperately need it’ as bullet points, though.
Although, when I think about it, that second one would require relocation to Washington DC, and I really don’t want to live there, either.