Sunday, May 29, 2011
Introduction - Part One
Well, here I am, just starting to record the beginning of my adventures. I have a feeling it'll take a while to get through all this background, so I'll be breaking this introductory posting up into two separate entries.
I’ve never really known what I wanted to be when I grow up. Heading into college, I thought I might want to be either a psychologist or a lawyer – so I took Intro to Psychology and Criminal Justice 101. For reasons which still elude me, I decided to go with Psychology and declared my major after that first semester.
It didn’t take long to figure out that I didn’t want to by a psychologist, but I found my studies interesting and didn’t know what else to consider, so I kept my major. Midway through my junior year, a turning point in my life occurred – I saw an ad in the school paper for auditions for singers for an upcoming theatre show, and I thought, what the hell. So I auditioned and landed a part, and worked on every theatre show after that until I graduated.
The summer before my senior year, I decided to do a business concentration – which basically just meant taking a bunch of business classes that were too few to be considered a minor – to cover my ass when I got out of school. I was thinking of going into management consulting, so just before my final semester, I went to my favorite business teacher and asked his advice for what I should do – go into theatre, or go into consulting. His answer was immediate – go do theatre while you can! Before you have a family, settle down, and get weighed down with other obligations, follow your heart and do theatre.
So I did – I got a theatre apprenticeship, moved to Philadelphia, and worked in professional theatre for six years. At first, I concentrated on what I considered to be the fun stuff – production work such as backstage run crew, stage management, running sound boards, etc. But ultimately, the extremely low pay and the freelance nature of the work had me broke and stressed out, so I moved into theatre administration.
Fast forward those six years – after bouncing around a few different jobs with varying degrees of unhappiness and dissatisfaction – but always with that same pitiful salary – I got laid off ten days before Christmas 2005, with an 8-month-old at home and a husband who was also in theatre (read: broke). It was the final straw – I decided I was done with this starving artist crap. I reworked my résumé, put it up on Monster.com, and miraculously got a call from a recruiter at a large global software company headquartered nearby. I landed the temp job, scored a permanent one a couple of months later, and have been working there ever since.
This job has been a huge blessing in our lives, make no mistake about that. It provided me with steady work and excellent pay – from the start, I was making twice as much as I had made in my previous arts administration position. And since then I’ve been promoted and gotten raises. This job helped us get back on our feet financially, get out of arrears with our student loans, improve our credit, save up for and purchase our own home, and have a second child. But after accomplishing all that, I felt that it had played its role in my life, and I started feeling more than ready to move on.
The question was, move on to what?