Friday, May 29, 2009

JOBLESS


A couple people brought up that I may not seem focused, that I may lack focus. One friend asked me what was causing me grief and what was causing me joy. Well, my joy is writing, drawing, making music, performing, doing stand-up, acting; and-of course- the important matterss of life experience, my awesome girlfriend, pals, and family. See? I am focused!!! But my grief is allergies, admin, rejection, trying to find an agent, trying to find a job. That must make people perceive me as unfocused. And it’s true it can take away the focus from my joys. So I need to get rid of those griefs so that the world can perceive me as focused! But it’s not that easy. Getting rid of the allergies takes time (I’m on shots), I need an agent so I can act (a joy) and get money (survival), I also need a day-job for survival and yet it keeps giving me rejection (further grief). Perhaps I should get an intern for the admin? Then people will perceive me as focused!
Unfortunately, I do need a job to get some income coming in for the short-term. Yes, I obviously have long-term aims to deal with my many varied and focused talents. I’m focused!
I am considering a job in the auto industry. This will give me money so that I can FOCUS on my varied talents and creative outputs. The Government has been giving the auto industry a lot of money and the Government is not even expecting anything in return! Not even cars! I am confused by this. Can someone explain this to me? I thought that the auto industry was a private industry that operated within the strict perimeters of Free Enterprise where if someone can’t compete they no longer exist in the marketplace. Henry Ford, the main automobile guy, was such a free enterpriser that he even believed in Eugenics along with many nasty philosophies regarding racial superiority. Getting money from the Government goes against everything that the auto industry is about. How can I get some of that money? I’ll even work for it!
It seems that there is a recession. For the longest time I thought it was a load of baloney but now it is actualized due to fear. People are operating out of fear. Stocks and bonds are silly intangible trifles but once people start believing the news, fear happens. And fear can be tangible. For example, I can’t get an agent for my acting here in Toronto. I have a good demo reel and have been in a couple features. I go through a lot of grief from their rejections (which is a cause of lack of focus). I am told that agents are not taking on anyone new and may even let some actors go due to fear.
For day jobs I have sent out over 90 resumes. I have even been to 3 resume experts to make my resume read good... er, I mean, read well.
I called an art careers place because, since I am an artist and entertainer, I should get a job in the arts, something related. The lady told me that it’s baaaad out there! Her job contract ends in two months and she’s worried. The lady at the art careers place is worried about her job and can’t give art careers advice because of it!
Another arts careers place told me that I have a good, solid resume.
they both told me that it isn't me, it's fear, it's the marketplace. But, dammit, it's hard not to take it personally sometimes! It can become like an obsession and combined with rejection one can start turning inward and see trouble-spots and start to wonder what is wrong with themselves!
When I went to my accountant he told me that eleven of his friends lost their jobs.
Many of my friends are worried about finding work.
My life savings are depleting and if something doesn’t happen I may need to take action.
When I told my doctor my problems, he asked me if I had feelings that I’d want to hurt myself or others. Hmmmm. I had never thought of that before, he gave me an idea! Something to focus on! I'd never take it to that limit but obviously people in desperate scenarios have, otherwise, why would he ask? He is a medical doctor after all.
I’m slumped.
I’m humbled.
I will do almost anything as a day job except for telemarketing. I lasted three and a half shifts at that telemarketing job. I was raising funds for The Opera. I thought I’d be able to get free tickets for my girlfriend and I. No. Turns out it was for the Boston Opera. Many Boston residents had no idea that I was calling from Toronto. I’d often interrupt their dinner. I hate that because I was now the guy I hate. Between mouthfuls of food they’d tell me that it’s a recession and that they couldn’t donate. I was given a scripted response to read for that particular excuse. It was all so very desperate, horribly desperate. I left mid-shift when I felt like a liar of omission by not letting on that I am in Toronto, etcetera. An unfulfilled dishonest days' pay.
I also will not bartend or work in a kitchen with severe and untreated alcoholics.
But, apart from that, I will do almost anything! (suck cock for food?)
I am ready, willing, and able! I am even talented and focused! And hard working!

‘I recently got a case worker who has me on the Wage Subsidy program. That’s where the employer only has to pay half the wage and the government pays the rest. Even with that in my court, my case worker has called all the places that I have applied to- over ninety- to no response.
I found out through a friend on the inside that after I applied to one job posting the boss had to decide which of his friends to hire. I was not the boss’ friend. They posted the job due to legalities. This has probably happened to me a lot.
I have had a few job interviews, some at places that I would enjoy! One was for quite a good record store! I collect and write about records, I make records! I am great with customers! I even enjoy filing. Our interview was good, it lasted an hour. We had a rapport.In the end, he hired a guy with a video production company to film their live in-store band concerts. I don’t have a video production company and I wasn’t about to lie to say that I did. The really good video store didn’t call me back after my job interview there, either. When she asked me if I know about foreign films, I told her that my copy of SALO: 120 days of Sodom didn’t play. I realize now that I think she suspected that it was a burned copy. Well, it was a rare bootleg that a pal got rid of when he bought the Criterion edition. I should have explained so that she wouldn’t have been so turned off that she didn’t even want my reference letters. Or maybe it was the mere fact that I was simply watching SALO that didn’t land me the job.Or maybe I am obsessively speculating about it when they could have hired someone with a video production company. Who knows?
Wonderland is an amusement park. For the mascot positions, they said that I'd have to trim my moustache!!! For the actor positions, I noticed that I was the oldest person auditioning. One girl in tights did a monologue from Children's Theatre involving such classic tropes as large mushrooms and fairy folk. She did a lot of very provocative bending and stretching as she talked in a cutesy Children's Theatre voice. She probably got the part. I did not.

One day I applied to nine Starbucks. I don’t really like Starbucks but it could be worse. I could apply at American Apparel but I do not want to have to show my tits to get a job. The Starbucks location for my first interview went rather well. They work on a two interview system. She called me the next day to tell me that they needed me for the Queen and John location. That I’d be “...a good fit.” This is a very bad location. It’s busy and filled with horrible people. It is also across the street from Much Music. They probably needed me because they have high staff turn over. I showed up there for my second interview and waited for 45 minutes. The place was cramped and messy and lousy with people. The manager was too busy to speak with me so the assistant manager conducted the interview. She was a nice, very young lady in her early 20s from the suburbs. She apologized profusely for making me wait so long. She also apologized for asking the same exact questions as the first interview. As an antidote, she decided to mix things up a bit and threw in one of her own questions.
“So...um....what are your two favourite movies.”
“Night Of the Hunter and Eyes Without A Face.”
When I told Don McKellar and the fellas at Suspect Video this story, they all thought it was a great answer because these are great films. Don makes movies and the people at Suspect really know their movies. It’s all about context. This gal is a young gal in the suburbs who is an assistant manager at Starbucks. I proceeded to tell her all about these movies because I love them so much. I went into the Eyes Without a Face Criterion DVD bonus feature which is a doc that was filmed at a French abbatoire where cows' throats get slit and steam rises.I have a problem with honesty: I’m an honest person. Open even. The editing device between my brain and my mouth does not work.
The biggest problem with the Starbucks interview is that I asked her if it had to be for that location. It was. I tried to explain to her that I play in bands and that I sometimes get interviewed on Much Music and not for a job but for air on the station! “They’re really nice. They come in all the time,” she said. “And we’re really nice!”
“I’m sure you all are but it’s not you, it’s me,” I replied.
She still could not grasp why this was so hard for me. That it wasn’t that it was destructive to my ego (not a bad thing) but that it might rip my self-respect to shreds giving extra foam on their lattes to people who have interviewed me as well as some visiting rock star friends. That working at this location would represent the crumbling of my rock ‘n’ roll dreams. When I first dropped off my resume, I saw Neko Case’s CD on sale at the front counter and I silently mused, “I wonder if Neko will let me use her name as a reference?” Starbucks does not want me to tell them that I would be embarrassed to work there. I wound up telling the assistant manager, “I’m not fussy! I’d work at any location but this one!” After my interview I bumped into Jay, the fella who filmed an interview with me that aired on Much Music a few months ago. Seeing him was a sign that working there would spiral me into a deep depression- as opposed to the mild depression that I am currently in. None of the other Starbucks locations ever called. I am mildly depressed over not finding a crummy, go-nowhere day job that has little/nothing to do with my highly focussed career goals!
I moved to Toronto from Vancouver late last year for a few reasons including building my career, rescuing it from bitterness and stagnation. Things were going great until a few months ago. I can’t go back to Vancouver because I know the recession is even worse there. People can’t find anything there! Last year I was out of work there and it was total hell! I really want to build my career. The rejection keeps hitting.
I do have my health, some great friends, an awesome girlfriend, my family, and a roof over my head. But absolutely everything in my life feels completely unfixed and uncertain.
A friend told me to keep whining with my blogs as he relates to it. A sustained barrage of whine. See, people, you are not alone!
It’s my birthday tomorrow. I will be 37. Today I am 36 years old. No wife, no kids, Peter friggin’ Pan. I am a responsible adult. No dependants. Thank God.
I look good.

Thoughts? Comments on this? Anything at all? Post it.

4 comments:

the iron chic said...

This rant is very unfocused!
Kidding. Happy Birthday.
I used to think focus was overrated until I put myself in a tight box(dirty) Seriously though, limiting myself to one idea was the best decision I ever made. That worked for me, jack-of-all-trades didn't. But you are you and you want to share ALL of your talents with the world so you struggle. You are a good writer for sure...I say don't ever give yourself a Plan B.

Robert Dayton, Junior said...

Just waiting for something to stick and really putting myself out there! In my art and music writing certainly is used extensively. Writing is a creative force. For music, writing is used in lyrics, press releases, etcetera...And my art even gets used for posters! Writing is used for the stand-up routines, as ideas for the art, art proposals....it's all fairly related and often combined in my book.

Anonymous said...

Hi Robert,

I check this site sometimes:

http://canada-arts-connect.blogspot.com/

I didn't read all of that entry but I just thought I'd mention it in case you haven't checked it out yet.

- Jackie

Robert Dayton, Junior said...

Thanks for the tip, Jackie!
I understand not reading all of the entry: brevity!