Tag Archive | work

the “c” word

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That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. College.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about whether or not I want to go. Obviously my parents want me to. The hard part is trying to factor in whether or not that really matters to me. You see, I want to be a dancer, there’s no mistake about that. The question is, how do I get there? I don’t want to be a ballerina. Contemporary and commercial dance are where my heart’s at. I don’t necessarily need to go to college to be able to do those, I just think my parents believe that all successful roads in life start with university.

The problem, part two: I don’t want to waste the first four years of my adulthood, when I could be joining a company/agency or getting better training and seeing the world (London, specifically), trapped taking jazz and working towards a useless bachelor’s degree. I wanna do exciting things and meet exciting people. I want to dance.

Some of my friends’ life goals look like this: graduate high school, go to college and get a meaningless degree, and maybe work a little bit before marrying a dude and raising his family. I’d rather not. I have ambitions. Every day college starts to seem less like an achievement to aspire towards and more like a roadblock on the path to what I really want to do. I’m in the eleventh grade and the reason for everything I do nowadays has been reduced to “It’ll look good on your transcript.”

I overheard a conversation between a friend and his mother when they were the car yesterday. He told her that he didn’t want to go to uni because voice acting was the career he was after, which made college somewhat unnecessary. His mother said to him, “Will you feel the same way when you can’t feed your own family?” and that swiftly ended the conversation. Tense silence in the car.

Our parents just want the best for us. But I’m not ready to dedicate more anxiety, time, and money thinking about something that will determine the course of my adulthood. It’s too big for sixteen. I just want to dance honestly.

— Bethany.

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I Know What I’m Doing, Really.

winterlondon.jpgWell, sort of.

Lo and behold, it’s Krysta again. It recently occurred to me that I haven’t explained what I want to do overseas. Now I know it’s been stated that I’m the theatre major of the group–if we haven’t stated that, now we have–but there are quite a few details missing from that statement.

For example, very few of all acting gigs pay well enough to support one’s self (and her companions). Aside from blockbuster movie/TV/Broadway stars, only big theatre companies make enough to consistently pay their actors. It’s no wonder so many actors get crazy–you have to fight a lot of dreamers to get a job. Not only that, but you have to look a certain way. That means talent alone can’t get you a great job.

Now I know you all must’ve heard this before–it isn’t new information to me, either–but it’s just that this is all dawning on me very suddenly. It’s one thing to hear this information over and over again, but it’s another to face the facts as an aspiring actress. What puts me two steps (because one is not enough) ahead of the game? What makes me stand out?

And that’s when I knew I had to study theatre. I’ve been in multiple plays and played almost every improv game in the book, but learning from the best of the best is what’s going to separate me from the competition. That’s going to launch my future career. That is what’s going to help me be the best (and trust me, you need to be the best in this business).

I’m sure some of you are wondering why I don’t sound like I’m relying on a “normal” job for the time being. It’s partially because I get bored easily of things I don’t enjoy, and I don’t enjoy “normal” forms of making money. And I know a job isn’t for fun, but I have trouble with sticking to things I can’t stand. There’s no way to say, “I didn’t do as I was told because it was too boring” to your employer without getting in trouble. Now I have my nannying job (and will soon have another one, I hope), but that can only last so long. I mean, once we head to England, I obviously have to get a new job. As if it wasn’t hard enough just getting my first one….

So to recap, I have to get more jobs, go to theatre school, learn a lot, kick butt at auditions, become the Doctor’s companion as soon as possible, make enough to support self and friends. Simple.

I’ve got this.

~Krysta

the unemployment blues

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I’ve been eligible to work for almost two months now, and I still haven’t been able to get a job. I’m working on it, though.

I think I’ve applied to like, thirteen places. No matter how hard I try or how many references I list, I can’t persuade anyone to hire me. And I know exactly why. It’s my schedule. When January comes, I’m going to be taking five ballet classes a week, which leaves me maybe three days open for work, depending on where the place is (no license yet). Apparently that’s not very appealing to many places of business?? Go figure.

All that aside, it’s Nutcracker season in the ballet world, and my studio is two weeks away from the production. That being said, my repertoire class is nowhere near being ready, but I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll be one of those times where things sort of fall together at the last minute like my life. Dance has been my outlet to take my mind off of my current unemployment… being in my pointe shoes running “Waltz of the Snowflakes” makes me feel amazing, even if there are people who still don’t know what they’re doing. We’re helping each other. Dance is helping me. Next session I’ll be making my debut in the Lakewood Ballet Company, after four long months of apprenticeship. Life is good.

But I still need a job.

–Bethany.

a short post about sacrifice

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Over the past few weeks, Fate has often been reminding me about the amount of sacrifice involved in the life of a dancer. Not that I’d had any doubts before; sometimes I just like to think of myself as being exempt from the rules. Regardless, I’ve had to make some decisions lately that were less than enjoyable.

A lot of people say that children who want to make careers out of ballet don’t have enough “fun” or they simply don’t have childhoods at all. I’ve had my fair share of sleepovers and trips to the movies (see this post and this one) not at the expense of my dance training, maybe even more than most. But as I grow closer and closer to my nearest goal, I’ve had to say goodbye to some things I would have been doing otherwise.

I had to give up modeling. For the entire season, maybe forever. It was causing schedule conflict with ballet and, much to my close friend and fellow model Jasmine’s disappointment, I had to resign. I was also unable to make it to two recent sixteenth birthday parties because of dance. Which I felt bad about.

But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My friends understand that for me going to dance class is just as important as going to school. Ballet is what I love, and I don’t believe it’s compromising my childhood; just the opposite, really. I can’t imagine a life without dance. I wish everyone had something so pure and steadfast to be a part of… I feel very lucky. Dance is my bridge to take me places, and eventually, London. I’m getting closer every day. The time and the effort and the sacrifice just continue to validate me.

It’s a really nice feeling.

— Bethany.

snapshots [week 1/52]

The first in a year-long series, where we’ll be posting weekly galleries of our various happenings.

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{krysta} the adorable girls she gets to nanny

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{maddie} preparing to take the SAT on Saturday morning

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{bethany} posing (far left) at her informal birthday gathering on Tuesday with Maddie (far right)

girls just wanna have funds

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It’s my birthday today. Turning sixteen has always been depicted in movies as a big deal for a girl, but for me it’s just another road sign on the path to finding a job. I have been looking for places to work for about two months now, but haven’t really seen anything I like yet (I know what you’re thinking: “Silly Bethany! You’re not supposed to like your first job!” but I’m not a fan of pointless experiences, so I want to like it at least a little). Truth is, on the inside I feel about thirty years old, but on the outside I look about thirteen; those two things simultaneously make it difficult for me to find places of employment that will both accept and suit me.

This weekend I’ll be having a proper birthday slumber party in true American fashion, with junk food, a Doctor Who marathon, and about twelve other sixteen-ish girls. Lots of my friends have jobs now (Anna works at Dairy Queen, Krysta is a part-time nanny, etc.), so late on Saturday night I’ll probably get to ask them some questions about the whole “working girl” thing. One thing I do know is that I do not want to babysit. Some girls adore children and like taking care of them for long periods of time on a regular basis (like my friend Ahna-Louise, who wants to be a teacher), but that’s not really my thing. My younger sister is only three years my junior and she’s pretty good at taking care of herself, so I don’t have much experience in this field.

In a perfect world, where ballet classes are free and Niall Horan from One Direction is my boyfriend, I’d be able to do the kind of short-term work I would prefer: waitressing or retail. I can fold clothes, I can smile and carry things; these jobs are ideal for me. But, being as young as I am, it’s a little difficult to secure a steady income anywhere. Krysta and Maddie, the other co-owners of this blog, are both older than me, and as far as I know they didn’t have a hard time getting their jobs. Le sigh.

Long-story-short, it’s my sixteenth birthday (and yes, I always have birthdays in the middle of the week. Leap years screw it up for me), and I need a job so I can write up a well-functioning budget plan. I’m the one who likes to make lists and charts and itineraries. Ask Maddie and Krysta.

I’m one step closer to England today. (:

— Bethany.

Maddie’s First Job (And Other Traumatic Things)

Hello, homo sapiens, and my fellow not-so-homo sapiens! How are y’all doin’? Well, it’s my turn to report. I was forced by my fellow cohorts in crime to get to thinking about what to write next. So I thought, “What have I got going on in my life? Nothing, self, nothing!” But that’s not true. I gots me a job!

I work for my Uncle John. Of course we’re not actually related; he was deemed my uncle by the ancient customs of the “Bro Code.” I work for him painting game pieces. The game pieces I paint are 10 millimeter-scaled war figurines, and they have to be historically accurate and extremely detailed. These game pieces are used to play “war games,” and although I would like to explain what, exactly “war games” are, all I really know is that there are rules, dice, a board (which is usually several tables large), and figurines. And I think that I do an okay job on them; it does take me forever to paint them though. This sucks because I get paid by the figurine; so some days I make $40 and others I make about $8.

The reason I had to get this job is because, for a seventeen-year-old girl, I have really bad legs. “Oh no! What’s wrong with your legs Maddie?” you ask. Well, it all started when I was thirteen, and I started having pain in my knees. The pain slowly got worse and worse, for about a year until I became a high school freshman. My mom ended up taking me to the doctor, and a couple misdiagnoses later it was decided that I had terrible maul alignment in my legs. That means that my femur twists one way and my shin bone twists the opposite direction (if ever there was a time for One Direction, that would be it); and it was scaring my cartilage away. Long-story-short, I had my first surgery at fifteen and a couple ones after that due to a relapse.

Two whole years later I’m still in physical therapy and my two friends have this plan to go live abroad in England. It sounded cool, and I didn’t have a single clue as to what to do with my future, so I hopped on board. Of course, this meant that I needed a job, and I was still pretty messed up from all the physical trauma, so my dad talked to my Uncle John, and that’s how I got my job.

So now that I have my job I’m of course saving all the money that I can. My plan is to save as much as I possibly can. And I’m trying to get my mom to come with me to the bank so that I can open a savings account, because I have a feeling that squirreling away hundreds of dollars in your books on your book shelf is a bad idea.

Till I write to you next, my dears,

–Maddie