(Afternoon) - Fri 4.11.2008
Tonite is my big "Give us your new availability or else" meeting at ArcLight.
I don't know how I'm going to play it - bitch about it some more, or roll over and play dead - except that, ultimately, the most palatable of my unpalatable options is to bend over and take it.
For now, anyway.
And what am I "taking" exactly?
They're now demanding that you be available to be scheduled from Fridays after 5:00 p.m. through Sunday night, and for four shifts during the remaining weekdays.
What that means is that, in order to keep my days free for auditions, I now have to make myself available to ArcLight seven nights a week (And day and night on Saturday and Sunday).
(The official minimum availability requirement when I started was all-day weekends, and at least one additional shift during the week. But you were able to write down your schedule "preferences", and since there were so many people with different schedule needs, you could have the schedule you wanted/needed pretty much all the time, except perhaps for a busy holiday or whatnot, when pretty much everyone had to be "on deck".)
While I'll have to be available seven nights a week, they won't work me seven nights a week, mind you (They won't even give full-time hours; we're all "part-time" at ArcLight. Which is part of the issue people have with this - How do you justify making people have full-time availability for what is, by ArcLight's own definition, a part-time job? And a low-paying part time job at that?). But it means I could be scheduled any time, for any part of that time, on any given week.
How will I plan workshops under those conditions? How do I plan anything under those conditions?
I was already struggling to have any kind of life beyond work and auditions, so how much harder will that be when anything I plan in advance any night or weekend will be subject to a potential work conflict?
GRRRR...I'm getting myself "revved up" here, when what I really need to do is try to cool myself down.
The answer, actually, to "conflict" between work and...every other thing in my life is basically going to be "If I want/need to do that 'other thing', I'm going to do it, and fuck ArcLight".
I haven't been "That Guy" up till now, but that's the corner they're pushing me (And many, many other people) into.
Stacey talked to me again yesterday (He's the manager I had that first conversation with), and I told him that, in at least one way, having them take this hard line about the schedule is a relief--Now there's no confusion about just what they think of me, or any ArcLight employee; we're just meat to them (On one level, I've always known that was the case. But there's a difference between having a "sense" of that, and being smacked in the face with it).
I know, on some level, I'm making a lot out of this, and I shouldn't. But it's hard not to get upset and emotional about stuff like this--ArcLight, for a time, looked like it was going to help me along my way; now it's just another obstacle I'm going to have to get around.
But ultimately, I will get around it.
It's just a movie theater, after all, and I was never meant to be there forever.
In more positive news, I had two commercial auditions yesterday, for a total of four commercial auditions and a callback in the first 10 days of April.
This would be a fantastic time to book another "Propel"-type spot (Except this time, I want to be a noticeable part of the spot, and have it run for the next couple years).
The first thing yesterday was a print ad for Traveler's Insurance, for a shot of a guy sitting in a waiting room, staring at a car has just crashed through the wall.
Since I have never booked a print job in the seven-plus years I've been out here, it's tough to go into those auditions feeling terribly hopeful (Also, they aren't big-money scores, comparatively speaking; better than a poke in the eye, mind you, and certainly better than a day at ArcLight, but nothing like booking a good commercial).
The other one was for Chick-Fil-A; I'd be a "Janitor", reacting by not reacting when I see a cow walking through the building.
(Cute spot--the cow is walking through the building. Then we see it come out and meet another cow on the sidewalk, as they survey the first cow's handiwork - The lighted sign that now says "Eat Mor Chikni". The first cow then starts back into the building to correct its mistake.)
I'd like to book that, cause I think it's fun (Even though my playing the "Janitor" gives me pause; shades of Mr Pupo making me the comic-relief janitor in those stories he used to tell, with his own children playing the heroes).
With things seeming like they may be "in flux", I've been thinking about what I might need to do to "cut back"/prepare for life after ArcLight.
So far, I don't have that much; I could drop my land line, since I don't use it that much, and my gym membership, since my attendance has been flagging of late anyway, and perform some nips and tucks in my grocery bill.
And eventually, I'll be a lifetime WW member, so I won't be paying that monthly fee.
That's all I want to think about right now, in terms of "cuts"; I really don't want to have to give up my cable/high-speed internet (Though cable would go before internet, I think).
The other thing I'm going to do is transfer my CD - which matures on the 24th - into my online savings account; it makes almost the same interest rate, and in an emergency (Say, getting fired from ArcLight because I can't meet their availability requirements), I'll have ready access to it.
I don't want that to happen, but I'm feeling like it might be smart to prepare...just in case.
But for now, I'm going to "prepare" to take a nap.
(Please, if you would, think a kind thought or two for me. This stuff might not really sound like a big deal, but it's been tying me up in knots.)
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