Thursday, February 26, 2009
At the end of last week, I wrote about a few job opportunities that were in the works. I had applied to a production company as a writer, auditioned for a couple of roles, and submitted my application to a bar downtown. I felt good about each of these positions. I interviewed well and thought that I did pretty well in the audition. I said these exact words last weekend, "I'm sure I will get at least one of the four jobs."
I was so young and naive last week. I've received one 'no' and a trio of non-responses so far. I'm guessing that, at this point, I will not be receiving any of these jobs. I have to move onto the next phase of sending out emails, but the disappointment from this latest batch of rejection cuts deep. It's my own fault, really. Even after writing and talking about how I jump ahead of myself, I could nothing to prevent my mind from taking leaps and bounds ahead of reality.
The first half of each week brings my expectations back to reality. Sometime on Wednesday, I will start to gather the pieces of my ego, and put things back together for the upcoming weekend. I have a couple of auditions in the next two days and have some more freelance writing to get to. I've written a couple more commercials for Wiscondiego, which I think we will film this weekend.
So, all in all, things are setting up for a good end of this week, and I can look forward to getting a job next week. It's a sure thing this time. I'm getting one of these roles fo sho.
Crap. I can't help myself.
-More to come
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
One of the most frustrating parts of life in the unemployment line is sitting around and waiting. You wait for emails, phone calls, text messages, and any other form of communication that you can find. I'm starting to wear the mouse button out from the number of times I hit refresh on my email accounts.
Each day, I try and send out at least a couple of emails to inquire about different positions or to send out my resume. This means that at any point in time, I have anywhere from five to twenty-five outstanding inquiries. After a while of living in the Line, you start to get used to the disappointment of not hearing back from the majority of your emails, even after you've spent a considerable amount of time putting together a heartfelt message, basically begging for an opportunity. You have to understand that these potential employers are most likely receiving hundreds of these messages each day, and that there has to be a large degree of luck in play to make your email stand out above the rest.
Although I have gotten over this initial stage of disappointment, I can't move past the second stage quite yet. I would estimate that for every ten emails that I send out, I might receive one response. Usually these responses are asking for further information or additional examples of my work. I can't tell you the excitement that this generates for me. The most typical reaction is a brief spat of dancing in the middle of my room. There is, at minimum, a fist pump.
If the email correspondence gets to the point that I actually meet with the employer, whether it's an interview or audition, I will start picturing myself in the role or position. The problem is that most of these interviews take a period of time before they get back to you. Sometimes it's a couple of days, sometimes a week or two. That waiting period makes me want to jump off large buildings or play real life frogger on El Cajon.
Many of these employers won't get back to you at all if you don't get the position. It's completely understandable. If I were giving interviews, I wouldn't want to see the people that I didn't hire ever again. I would feel so bad if I ran into them that I would probably offer to buy them lunch and pay off a portion of their debt. But that doesn't make the waiting any easier. Especially if I'm really excited about the job.
In the meantime, while I'm waiting to hear back from about four different gigs right now, I try and consume myself with other activities. Blogging for instance. Or making videos. Here is the latest video from Wiscondiego. Please enjoy
-More the come
Thursday, February 19, 2009
So it was a big day in the unemployment line. There were three significant events that may eventually fill up my schedule:
1) I had an audition. Two auditions actually, but they were for the same production/director crew. They are making two movie shorts that they hope to enter into film festivals or add to their personal DVD collection. Both parts are unpaid, but at least they will give me some experience, provided that I'm cast for either of them.
I have found that I will often jump to unrealistic conculsions since I've been in the unemployment line. A job opportunity or a certain gig will catch my interest. If I receive an email back from the employer, I will automatically start picturing myself in that role. If I get an audition or an interview, these expectations grow immensely larger. I just had my audition this morning, and I've already pictured myself watching the movie at film festivals and answering questions about my role afterward. Then, when I don't get a part or a job, my hopes come crashing down in the form of a half day depression. I will sit in my room and sulk because I didn't get an unpaid acting part.
I know I do this, and yet, I can't help myself from thinking these thoughts over and over again. Which brings me to the next big thing in my day.
2) My girl Kegger got me a potential interview with an upscale restaurant/bar in the downtown area. I received an email last week from the manager, asking me to email him today to see if there may be any potential openings. I emailed him this afternoon, but I haven't heard back from him yet.
Along with the auditions, I've already pictured myself in a crisp white shirt and serving expensive drinks in this establishment. The haven't even interviewed me, but I'm already making plans to roll around in the tip money that I will earn. The third thing in my day is along these same lines.
3) The Hard Rock Hotel's rooftop bar is hiring for all positions. I'm headed downtown in a couple of minutes to drop off my resume and hopefully get an interview. I learned about this opportunity through Craigslist, which means that thousands of other San Diegans have seen this opening also. I assume that there are quite a number of more qualified applicants that have already dropped their resumes and applications off at the bar.
Still, I have pictured myself serving drinks to bikini-clad women throughout the summer, while enjoying the rooftop views. I can't help myself.
So, there are three big events that are happening today. The chance of employment is slim with each of them, and they will most likely lead to me eating Big Macs in a darkened room next week, but I still have to hold out hope. I will keep you updated.
More to come---
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Not much going on today in the unemployment line. I have written a couple of articles for a ongoing freelance gig that I got a couple of weeks ago, sent a couple of emails for new jobs, and spent the majority of my time searching around the internets and checking my gmail account. I managed to stay alive this weekend, even with all of the hoodtastic activities that were surrounding my apartment. To recap the weekend in my neighborhood:
-Two men held up a coin shop on Friday morning. The owner of the shop shot and killed one of the men, while the other managed to get away. The runner stripped off his clothes, and is presumbably still at large, and probably naked.
-A man was stabbed three times about five blocks from my home on Sunday night.
-A gang member shot at an undercover police officer four times on Monday night. This incident took place about a five minute drive from me.
To add to this, I took out the garbage this morning and there was a homeless man digging through the dumpster of my apartment. I stood there for a moment staring directly at him, hoping that he would notice me and move on. He looked at me, then looked at the garbage bag that I was holding, and continued to dig. After a minute or so, I approached him and threw the garbage bag into the other side of the dumpster. I stood there for a moment and he turned to look at me. I wanted to say something like, "Can you at least pretend that you aren't sifting through my garbage," but I was intimidated by his stare and decided to move along. He turned away from me and proceeded to open the bag that I had just thrown in. I watched as he sorted through my garbage, trying to make some use of the chicken bones and doritos packages that were contained in it.
This is my neighborhood. There are shootings, stabbings, and bums, yet I've never felt particularly uncomfortable here. The thing is, the longer that I travel through the unemployment line, the closer I come to these unsavory elements. I might be the homeless man, digging for treasure in the dumpster sooner rather than later. Instead of trying to shoo him away, I should be asking him for advice. Which plastic bags work best? How do you clean yourself? What kind of glue can I huff? It will be like watching Survivorman for the streets of San Diego.
Anyway, the pursuit continues. More updates to come...
Friday, February 13, 2009
The saga of Fat Joe will continue at a later date. I was going to continue the blog today, but something extraordinary has happened in my neighborhood. I live in North Park, San Diego. It is a fairly eclectic area of the city. There are homeless people, young professionals, obvious crackheads, families, gang members, and everything other type of person that you can imagine. The major street that runs through North Park is El Cajon Boulevard. It seems that the shadiest activities in the neighborhood occur on El Cajon. You can find nicer homes, stores, and restaurants with each block that you move away from this street.
I live about 5 steps from El Cajon, so I'm in a constant melting pot of shadiness. If I walk down the street to the gas station, I can say hello to our neighbors (a very nice family), give change to a homeless man in the alley, or watch as a drug deal goes down. It makes things very interesting.
So today, I'm sitting in my room with my window open. I can hear the shopping carts of the homeless people pass by my window every couple of hours and the random car alarms going off down the street. Then, in the last hour or so, I've heard a vehicle pass by a couple of times, with someone on a public address system. I can't quite make out what the speaker is saying, but it sounds very official.
In the last couple of minutes, I've heard a helicopter flying overhead, and the PA vehicle drive past again. This is more shady activity than normal, and I started investigating what was happening in the hood. I received an update from my friend that lives a couple of blocks away.
So Greg and I are working from home right now and the cops are going nuts through the hood with the ghetto bird and loud speaker looking for "an armed man in a grey sweatshirt."
The cops are EVERYWHERE....it appears the perimeter includes our block in front of our house....a cop goes by every 30 seconds.
We immediately started firing emails back and forth. There was this report from a San Diego website.
February 13, 2009
Person shot in University Heights
San Diego police are responding to reports of a shooting where at least one person has been wounded in University Heights. The call came in at 9:16 a.m. that a person was shot on near Texas Street, San Diego police said.
Things were getting crazy. I have been in southern California for almost five months, and I hadn't experienced any shootings. It was about time. Give me a drive-by at least. My friend informed me that there was a collection of 10 policemen with dogs that were searching through the backyard of the house across the street from them. She sent another email.
Well, the cops with canine just came to our house.
Here's the deal....
the coin shop down the street got robbed (armed robbery)...the owner of the shop shot one of the robbers and the other one ran. He jumped into the yard behind the apartment/house complex across the street and dumped his gun/clothes/everything. They are still searching for him...
Armed robbery? Yes! There's money in coin shops. Imagine all of the coins you could steal. they would be worth, like, 8 dollars. Holla! I have a visual of the robbers running away from the coin shop with large bags full of change. They are probably headed to one of those change cashing machines at the bank. That's where the cops should look for them.
Also, the cops apparently found the clothes and gun of the one guy that got away from the shop owner, so now we have a naked coin robber running through the neighborhood somewhere.
I have locked the door to my apartment, but I kind of want to see all of the action. If this is the last post ever, you will know what happened.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
This may be a multi-post story, depending on how long I feel like writing. Could I edit this sentence at the end of my blog, when I know whether it is going to be a multi-post or not? Yes, but I don't like to edit anything that I've already written. I'm lazy and that seems like a ridiculous amount of work.
So this entry again starts in the wonderful world of Craigslist. By the way, to add to my posting from yesterday, I found a hilarious response to an ad on Craigslist today. Response posts are typically made by very angry people that have been ripped off or placed into shady situations. This particular post was in response to an for natural figure models. Here is the post:
THIS GUYS A PERV AND A SICKO. HE SHOOTS IN HIS CONDO DOWNTOWN SD. ALL HE WANTS IS NUDITY. HIS PLACE HAD DIRTY DISHES PILED TO CEILING. HE IS NOT PROFESSIONAL AT ALL. HE TOLD ME THE ONLY WAY I COULD MAKE SOME REAL MONEY IS IF I TOOK A SHIT ON CAMERA!! WATCH OUT FOR THIS PERV!!!
I'm not usually a fan of the all cap writing, but the text yelling seems appropriate in this situation. Keep in mind that the posting that I see are coming from the jobs and gigs section of Craigslist. I'm not delving into the 'adult' or 'personal' areas, which I'm convinced would result in receiving a STD of some sort just from clicking on the links.
Back to the original story. A few months ago I responded to a posting that was looking for actors for a feature length film. There were a couple of misspellings in the ad and not a lot of details about the project, but I chose to respond anyway. My acting abilities are suspect, and I don't have a lot of desire to become a professional actor, but I wanted to gain more perspective into the entire movie making process. I was interested in the project, thinking that it could be a great learning experience for me.
After a couple of emails back and forth, I agreed to meet with the writer, director, and producer of the project for an audition. We'll call him George for the purposes of this post. We decided to meet in Balboa park, which is relatively close to my house, on a Saturday morning. I was under the impression that he was meeting with the other cast members and crew in the park, and that I was going to audition just before they met.
I arrived to the park about ten minutes early, expecting to see a few tables or at least folding chairs to designate where they were meeting. I stood in the agreed upon location for about half an hour before I started to wonder what was going on. Did George see me standing there and decide that I wasn't appropriate for the part on the spot? Did he forget about the meeting? Was this part of some sort elaborate prank?
I started looking around for hidden cameras and people that might be involved in the movie. The only people in the surrounding area of the park were a couple walking their dog, a group of guys playing football, and a large individual standing against his car. I glanced at this large individual a couple of times, wondering if he was the George that I was looking for. He looked exactly like Fat Joe, the infamous rapper and member of the Terror Squad.
After a few more glances at Fat Joe, I had convinced myself that it was the rapper, living in San Diego, making hit records, and developing new dance steps to add to "Lean Back." I was working up the courage to approach him and ask him about the demise of Big Pun, when he started looking back at me. I thought that he was going to shoot me for sure. I had taken one too many glances at him.
Much to my despair, Fat Joe started walking towards me. There were a couple of awkward minutes where I pretended to not notice him waddling in my direction while trying to maintain my ground, just in case director George decided to appear. It took every ounce of my will to avoid looking back in his direction. He was either going to punch or stab me. That was an unavoidable fact.
When he was about ten feet away, he called out to me. "Hey, are you Micah?"
Surprised, I turned to him, saw an exact replica of Fat Joe and said, "Yes, are you George?"
Fat Joe: Yes
Me: Oh okay
Fat Joe: You here to audition?
Me: Yes, but I didn't know exactly where to go.
Fat Joe: You're in the right spot. Lets go to my car. I have some sides for you to read through.
We headed off to his car, which looked like it had taken a fall of a cliff directly into the ocean, sat there for a couple of days, and then towed back into dry ground. The back seat had every variety of fast food wrapper that I could think of and a motorcycle helmet. Trying to make small talk I said, "Do you have a bike?"
He looked at me kind of strangely and said no, and didn't say another word about it. He pulled a collection of loose papers from the back seat and tried to smooth out the crinkled edges.
Fat Joe: Alright, you are going to read for the part of Kevin.
Me: Okay. Can I ask what the story is about.
Fat Joe: It's about three guys that go to a cabin in the woods. There is a psycho killer in the woods also, and he kills them off one by one.
Me: And Kevin is one of the guys?
Fat Joe: That's right.
So I read a couple of the sides. The dialogue was not written that well, including more than a few misspelled words. I got hung up on one line that said, "You never gointa catch me asshole," because I wasn't fully clear on what "gointa" was referring to, but I managed to get the part in the end. Fat Joe said he would email me the script and the shooting schedule in the next week.
I walked away from the meeting a little concerned, but mainly excited for getting the part. Since starting life in the unemployment line, I get excited about all of the victories, no matter how small or insignificant they might be.
More on the saga to come...
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
There isn't much happening on the job front today. I currently have a full blown head cold, which results in little to no motivation to search for employment. The cold was a result of too much drinking this weekend and a curious case of conjunctivitis. For those not in the know, conjuncto is the proper name for pink eye. What 28 year old gets pink eye? I don't hang around young children or dig through garbage. At least not yet. Regardless of how it happened, I now wake up in the morning with a bucket of goo dumped on my eyelid. Gross right?
Okay, since I didn't search around today, I'm going to reach into the large storage bin of experiences that I've had in the past few months to write about something. I started searching for jobs using Craigslist. For those that have ever used the website, you will know that it is a melting pot of genuine, well-meaning individuals and some of the lowest elements of the earth. The other day, I saw a posting that was searching for a "Hot midget that is willing to pose nude and looking to party."
Awful. So these are the people that I'm picking and choosing from when I send out my resume. I never know if I'm emailing a real person, a automated porn service, or some wacko that wants me to write erotic literature for him/her.
People will post naked pictures of themselves. They create 'looking for sex' posts in the job section. There are hundreds of scams at any moment in Craigslist.
After several months of searching through the list every day, I think that I have a way of sifting through the garbage to find genuine opportunities. Not one of those opportunities have contacted me about employment, but at least I can find them now.
The search continues...
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I am embarking on a new venture. Blogging about not having a job. Now, I understand that this may seem a little counter intuitive. Why waste time writing a blog when I should be applying for jobs, right? It may make more sense if I include a little background information.
About 10 months ago, I left my job as an accountant. For four years I had been a slave to the spreadsheet and annual reports. I didn't enjoy the work, and I felt like I was wasting my life away. Without a real clear plan in place, I put in my notice and headed off into the unknown.
I spent the majority of last summer hanging out in the basement of my apartment, playing video games and watching movies. I trained for a marathon, wrote about Minnesota sports teams (sotalove.blogspot.com), and burned through my life savings. It was amazing.
In October, I decided to move from Chicago to southern California. I still had no idea what I wanted to do, but I was starting to formulate a plan in my mind grapes. I came up with the idea that I wanted to be a writer. Mainly because it sounded cool when it came out of my mouth.
Random person: What do you do?
Random: Well, what do you want to do?
Me: I want to write.
I always felt a little cheesy when I said these words, but it also felt good to know what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a writer. It was just a matter of finding someone to pay me for having this lofty aspiration.
This may seem surprising, but there aren't a lot of people out there that will pay you just by telling them that you want to be a writer. I know, I've tried. I've sent out hundreds of emails to people saying, "I don't have a lot of experience, but I really want to write for you."
This tactic does not work. Especially for someone that has no prior writing experience or formal education in writing. Accounting and Finance majors don't usually convey that "Master in Prose" sentiment.
Over the past several months, while conducting my fruitless job search, I have found myself in some interesting situations. That is where this blog comes into play. I will try and chronicle some of these experiences, while forcing myself to continue developing my writing style.
I have no impressions that this blog will gain a wide range of readership, but for those of you that do come across this site; please enjoy.