I Accepted the Job

I accepted the job figuring that I would just be passing through and before long, I’d be back working as a Production Stage Manager. I guess it’s a safe assertion that I considered being out of work far more of an insult than the meager 200 dollars a week that the corrupt asshole was willing to pay. (To this day, I can’t believe I was willing to work for such a paltry sum.)
For those fortunate enough to never have come in contact with anything within the creative world I live with, you’ll never understand how a man with reasonably good intelligence would ever choose to do so.
I’ve been with grown men as they pitifully sobbed giving into their uncontrolled emotions. I’ve heard people scream aloud in desperation over their chosen plight – people who dream and pray for success as the only bend in life that they could possibly accept or find tolerable.
While the world we live in continually picks up speed, the destiny-driven actors remain mired in centuries old sameness. Everything we live with continues to change; everything with the exception of those who pursue the world of the creative art form.
“Do you have any advice for me to give to my young son (or daughter)?”
I’m asked this regularly. Of course I do. Do all you can to discourage them from a vocation involving a subjective art form all the time knowing your efforts will be all to no avail. Once hooked, the condition is life-long and often life threatening. The trouble is the good ones make it look so damn easy.
Once upon a time, as a far younger man on a particularly sunny day, I found myself whistling as I entered the headquarters of ABC Television. I was on my way to meet the Head of whatever they called the guy who did the hiring of stage managers for the network. Forgive me for not recalling the exact circumstances, but it was so long ago and much of the unpleasantness escapes me. In any event, a key network executive whose child had been directed in a play by yours truly, was introducing me in the best way possible.
(No names will follow – not the kid’s, the executive’s, not the head hiring guy’s – just mine.)
It was a heavy-duty interview set up. The first thing the hiring guy tells me is how well qualified I was for the job. I only had to wait a moment or two for the “but” to come and, as expected, it did. I knew then that I wouldn’t be whistling on my way home. (Not whistling on one’s way home had unfortunately become a commonplace event.)
I had had my share of turned downs, but this one was unique. The guy says he’s going to talk to me off the record and if I repeat it to anyone, he will deny having the conversation with me. He proceeds to tell me I am far more qualified than most of the people he has working, but a hiring quota guides him.
Long story short time – I was the wrong gender and had the wrong ethnicity or lack there of. I was told in most certain terms, the next ABC Stage Manager he would be hiring would be a woman. I don’t know if that was the actual scenario taking place, but it didn’t matter much to me.
This whole case history popped into my mind the other day when an actor told me I couldn’t possibly get what it feels like to be discriminated against. I guess if a person stays with this game long enough, they’ll experience just about anything. At the time, the word “discrimination” never occurred to me. It was more like one of the bad breaks that comes with the illogical territory encompassing my chosen life’s predicament.
Three Famous Statements Derived From The Ancient Documents Of The World Renowned Bullshit Brigade:

1.         “It wasn’t in the cards.”
2.         “What will be will be.” 
3.         “It all happens for a reason.”
1.         Depends on who’s dealing.
2.         (Should read: Or not will it be, maybe?)
3.         Stupidity! (Overdose)
A little known fact of life that was nothing but self-evident…
In the earliest days of acting, known as the Pre-Equity Waiver Era, actors were permitted to work without being paid for their performances. They were usually given enough food to sustain them through the final curtain call, at which time most of them were carted off to a special Demented Actors Storage Facility. It was at this facility where they were free to breed and pass on the doctrines of being in the right place at the right time.
Today, because of the benefits derived from the newly formed “Actors Equity,” those same actors are only permitted to work for free if the theater (house) has less than 99 seats. Of course, now the production company usually requires the actors to supply their own sustainment –eating – usually no drinking allowed.
In general, I am glad to report how many of those who don’t have the talent to become working actors are able to secure worthwhile employment – dependent on their formal education – as waiters, waitresses, and certainly the most dominant selection for most of them, the practice of law.
In today’s world, we find a similarity between actors and attorneys; both professions have well exceeded through faulty breeding, the availability of work to be garnered. In other words… there aren’t enough jobs to go around.
In the U.S.A., there is one lawyer for every 265 Americans. (Is it any wonder so many of them are looking for work in other fields?)
Note: It’s just about impossible to figure out how many actors there are, so my conclusion has to be that the statistics (at least) rival those of the legal profession.
1.         “It wasn’t in the cards.”
2.         “What will be will be.” 
3.         “It all happens for a reason.”
Odds are it “isn’t in the cards,” because there are too many players in the game; besides, there aren’t enough cards in the deck to begin with.
Yet, (thankfully) the breeding continues.

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