In just one week, I had that old-fashion “rise and fall” with life in general. Well, alright… it was a bit more like a “rise, trip, and stumble,” really. And, I am refusing to fall.
I got a job on Monday. 64 hours a month at minimum wage, which translates out to less than $400 at the end of the month, in case you’re curious. Four hours a night, four nights a week, making phone calls to interview people for an alumni directory with one ten minute break an evening for using the restroom and such (which has to be logged on my computer there.)
Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds like shit to me. Sure, it’s money… enough to stay in debt and to come up empty when the bills come in. But, that wasn’t as big of an issue as finding out on Thursday that making those calls would give me something like stage fright that was so close to an anxiety attack, I could had licked it.
So, to compensate, I decided to speak with an accent. Seeing on how I was calling Amarillo, TX — sorry, “am-UH-rill-UH, (don’t mess with) Texas,” I used the same southern draw I use while in clown. And, just so I don’t forget to mention it, I was instructed to say the city names as if I had lived there myself. Therefore, if I was calling Rio Grande, Ohio, I would have to say “rye-oh grand” rather than pronouncing that city’s name correctly.
Anyway, like I said, I flipped into a Southern accent as it was much easier for me to actually make these damn calls. It worked. I was still a nervous wreck, but it worked. Unfortunately, my bosses had no sense of humor and I was excused for the rest of the night and went home an hour early.
On Friday, I performed four hours of street magic at an event on “Haunted” Honeymoon Island with my roommate. We had a great time doing it, too. (Of course, that was under the heading, “volunteer work through Hospice.” It’s a part of the community out-reach side of volunteering, obviously. But, the point here is that I (gladly) did it for free.)
On Saturday, we went back and did another four hours shadowing people on the “haunted trail” dressed as a brain-munching zombie. Well, I did three hours shadowing, one hour was spent “crawling out of the ground” and herding our guests straight towards the chainsaw-wielding maniac at the start of the trail itself. I’m sure you get the picture, right?
So, yeah… we volunteered as the living dead for an organization that helps people who are dying. (Oh, the irony!) Still, I did have a sudden realization while doing this that making people scream is just as addicting as making the laugh or seeing that look of amazement sprawled across their mugs like children opening presents. On the way home that night, I found myself lost in thought: if I could make a living playing dead, I would literally lunge at the chance!
When I got home, I had another thought, one which spelled everything out quite clearly. Outside of my volunteering as a clown magician, I also “rent myself out” for birthday parties, corporate events, and grand openings. For this, I make about $100/hr. In retrospect, if I could just get five one-hour gigs a month, I would make $100+ more than I would calling people for the alumni directory business with a 64 hours a month work schedule. Seems like a no-brainer, right?
This morning, my roommate and I signed a lease on a new apartment. This was a good thing for the fact that we lost the house we live in now, but not so good as I lost that position doing the phone interviews. Just as well, though. See, they paid by direct deposit only. I don’t have a bank account. So, I would had to end up paying them to give me my paycheck and pay someone else to cash it.
Tomorrow’s a new day. I’ll get up, look for a new job, try to find a bank that will take me with my crap-for-credit and without any money to open an account, and continue my quest for the new American dream.
I did mention this would be a wild ride, right? Just checking.