CW: Trans murder rate, murders of POC, this damn election
I don’t even know where to start. It’s not hyperbolic when I tell you that I am deeply grieving for My America right now. The America that was just beginning to acknowledge people like me as worthy of rights like marriage, adoption, protection from being fired because of my identity, and other things that so many people take for granted.
I could fill this page with empassioned wailings about how concerned I am for the safety of myself as a queer woman and my other LGBQ friends, my trans friends, my friends who are people of color, Muslim, immigrants, disabled, lower income, single mothers, people with uteruses, women…
Yes, these concerns exist and are so visceral I feel it seething out of my body, feel myself getting hives, unable to eat, bawling all day at work, and feeling like a tightly coiled spring.
Since I have an MFA in an aspect of theatre, I’ve read a lot of plays, and I am no stranger to the work of Samuel Beckett.
I first saw a production of Waiting for Godot as a senior in high school while visiting what would become my undergrad theatre department in 2004. I knew nothing about the play, and, while I claimed to be an artsy and intelligent student, I was pretty perplexed by it all.
Waiting for Godot is an existential absurdist play in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, are stuck in an eternal loop of limbo in which they are constantly waiting for a character named “Godot” who never comes.
No, I did absolutely nothing of consequence today. I’m off work for at least another week, and I slept in till 1 and took a nap at 7:30.
I had made some plans with myself to go to a dark electro night in a neighboring town, but I spent the whole day dreading it.
I made pros and cons lists. I didn’t want to go by myself but that’s just how it would have to be. It’s 20 miles away, which means it’s a commitment and I can’t just bail. I could meet some cool people, but if I got cornered by some weirdies (and there are definitely those types at these sort of occasions) I wouldn’t have a friend as an exit strategy.
And, even though the only human contact I have had in the last week was the cashier at Aldi, I really really don’t want to be around people.
I talked with friends, they tried to convince me it would be a good idea and I would end up having fun.
But in the end, I think I’m bowing out of my plans with myself.
I guess if you were to give my profession, my vocation, my passion, a title, it would be “Costume Technician.” There are many different titles that fall under that umbrella and I have had most of them: Stitcher, First Hand, Draper, Costume Craftsperson, even running wardrobe backstage.
Quite honestly, I’m wholly unqualified to do anything else. In high school, I babysat but never had a job in retail or serving. The summer after I graduated high school, I tried to get a job. I applied to anywhere in the mall that was hiring, as well as some restaurants. I was discouraged by the fact that they wanted to hire someone with prior experience, and yet I was just starting out. How was I supposed to get experience if I needed experience to get the job?
I ended up getting a job at Bath and Body Works, and, despite being shy, I found that I really had a talent for selling those gift baskets. I was just starting to learn how to operate the cash register when, about 20 hours into my new “career,” I was told that, unfortunately, they weren’t hitting their summer numbers and had to let go of their seasonal employees.
So I have 20 hours of experience working retail.
And still none serving, being a barista, or anything else remotely “marketable” in a mainstream sense. And I would rather live in a dumpster than be a nanny nowadays.
Looks like I’m going to have to keep staying gainfully employed in theatre. Otherwise I’m screwed.
Exactly one year ago, I was packing up for my summer job, preparing to leave my new wife for my fourth summer away from her, once again sad that I hadn’t ever celebrated my birthday with her. I was living in Chicago, and miserable with my 3-5 hour a day commute. I had wrapped up the season for a theatre I was realizing wasn’t going to advance my career goals. I was considered “obsese” by the BMI’s standards. I was a prickly, negative person, gripped tightly in the talons of depression, and it was a struggle to want to go out and do anything fun with my wife before I left town. Every day was a challenge, and I was beginning to wonder if this was what it was going to be like to live the rest of my life.