Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Employment and a dearth of creativity

That's right, I said dearth.  I may be gainfully employed and neglectful of my blog, my I remember one or two words from the SATs.

My SAT scores came up again recently.  Now that I've settled into New York life -- that's right, she's the mistress that skillfully seduced me away from you, my reader(s) -- I'm going to uproot myself once again and head down what will *hopefully* be a path to a career, a steady income, and stability.  In the U.K.

Why couldn't I just stay here in New York, you might ask, keep the rather fun job I already have, and actually wake from my creativity coma?  It's New York.  I could be out at open mics, writing for blogs, and generally promoting myself at least as much as I do Broadway Shows for a living.  I could stop making excuses about this being a temporary situation -- which it is.

And that's where the SAT scores come in.  I submitted them -- along with three generations of birth certificates, three months of bank statements, my resume, repeated pleas for mercy and assurances of my employability -- to the British Consulate General of New York.  The SAT scores were a bit over the top, but they did ask for "Evidence of any English language ability or qualifications," and although I taught English is France for a year, I never had to take the TOEFL exam, so my Verbal scores in the 91st percentile from 8 years ago will just have to do.

The only thing to do now is wait.  It is excruciating.  The direction of the next 2 to 5 five years of my life is in the hands of one person or several people, none of whom know anything about me, other than what I look like on paper.  According to estimated processing times (5 to 10 business days), I should hear a decision about the visa by Thursday, and according to the plane ticket I have already purchased, I should be flying to London on Saturday.  Cutting it a bit fine, am I?

In this last week of mild panic, as my work hours wind down to nothing and I am left with one final paycheck and as many superstitious rituals as I can possibly prescribe to, I turn to you, blog.  I miss writing.  I liked writing before I moved to New York (for the summer) and became obsessed with work and hours and saving enough to support my next move.  This summer has been fun and fruitful.  I did save enough to show those visa folks I'll be okay until I get a job, I have generous friends who have put me up at little to no cost, and most importantly, I've had the opportunity to spend time with good friends that I hadn't seen in years.  In the chaos of it all, I allowed myself to stop writing, to stop auditioning, and to allow my creativity to be swallowed up in my job and my admiration for the accomplishments of others.

So: this post is an exercise and a challenge to myself.  Get back on the horse.  Blog when you have time, don't just watch T.V. (I knew there was a reason I hadn't had one of those things in years).  Go to open mics.  Get back onstage.  Get an agent.  Work hard.  Have something to show for it.  Don't spend every waking moment panicking over whether or not The Powers That Be will grant you a visa.  Worrying will not affect the outcome.  Write new mantras.

The longer I am away from my blog, the harder it is to return.  Should I tell them about how I went to Melbourne for my boyfriend's brother's wedding and then to his home country of New Zealand and that his family is awesome and that I'm in love and even though we had to be apart for 7 weeks, together for 6, and then apart for 5 more I think it's all going to be okay?  Or should I just start off here, forget what I neglected, and dive in?

Dive in.