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.
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.