Help Wanted! How to use your J.O.B. to enhance your craft


In Los Angeles, there are actors, musician and artists, around every corner. We are your servers, your dog walkers, your barista’s and your fellow Lyft or Uber drivers. And while those are just a few of the jobs we all have done, or are still doing to pay dem’ billz, (no judgement), these jobs are VERY necessary if we want to have running water. Not to mention, especially for the ladies, you need more than you would EVER think, when it comes to maintaining your hair, skin, nails, wardrobe etc. Right? I feel like I separate job just to pay for upkeep… or I need a sugar daddy….HA! Ew, no, who am I kidding? I’d rather get another job. #MsIndependent. Anywho, as I was saying, having a job is a definite!

But, we all know, it is not as simple as that. Having a job in which you make enough money to survive and then some, plus, is flexible enough so that you can go on auditions or let you have the day off when you book something, takes some serious research; at least it did for me. And, then, of course, there are the situations that tend to arise, where something may come up last minute and just because you have a J.O.B., or 5, doesn’t mean you that gives you an excuse to skip auditions, class etc. (That’s one foolproof way to lose your agent and/or manager.) It’s exhausting and more often than not, really frustrating!! I learned, most bosses at the 9-5’s, restaurants/bars etc, don’t understand the industry and in my experience, could care less about the chance to be in the room with the CD of your favorite show. However, there are some great and invaluable skills and lessons to be learned, that will help you along your never ending journey, as a creative. Learning to find the enjoyment in an otherwise, crappy survival job, is a skill it itself!

I took a class where teacher encouraged us to really look at our jobs as simply that- a J.O.B and to not call it “work” for the length of the class. She said, “Only refer to your work, when you are doing what you are passionate about, like acting, dancing, directing, etc. A J.O.B. is necessary but, it’s also only what you have to do, to get by.” She also asked that we find the positive things we liked or enjoyed about our J.O.B.’s, even if we couldn’t think of anything right off the bat; except for the fact, that we were making money to pay our bills. And while there were a few other things she asked us to do, the majority of us experienced a major shift in how we perceived our jobs, just by putting those few things into action. I personally, felt more at ease when I was there and didn’t let things get to me or bother me quite as much as I did before. I felt happier and less stressed out and people even remarked that I had a “great energy” that I was omitting. It is amazing what a little thought shifting can do!

Being immersed in an environment, especially in Los Angeles, that is full of all sorts of characters, characters you might be asked to play, on television or in a film, where you get to people watch and observe their behavior, is AWESOME! I learned to focus on this particular skill, while in the class I was in, rather than focus on what a jerk my boss was being one day. Before I knew it, I found that I looked forward to going into my job and that I was actually enjoying all of the many types of personalities, that otherwise would have gotten on my last nerve. I found fun, in trying a new accent out that I had heard earlier, even if I was terrible at it at first, or that I was having a great time, getting to know the people I had met throughout my shifts. I began stepping further and further out of my comfort zone and as a result, I was very fortunate to have met a ton of industry folks, who are very successful and super nice, plus, their energy was contagious! I went home almost daily with a huge smile on my face and the desire to learn more and more. I found I only wanted to be around people that are driven, motivated and successful, because there was so much to learn from them. It was very inspiring to say the least!

If someone would have told me when I moved here, that I would learn so much at a part time job or, at a restaurant where I answered phones, I would have had laughed and probably looked at them as if they were cray- But, they would have been right! There are so many great things that can come out of our survival jobs. For me personally, it went from making great friends, to, exclusive event invitations, awesome class and teacher recommendations, relationship building skills, corporate business skills, free headshots, free clothing, booking jobs, building a great support system with my co-workers, on and off the clock, to, letting go of my fear of talking to people I didn’t know and even landing my first agent and manager. I learned that the possibilities are endless if you are willing and open to the idea and I mean, really….what do you have to lose? Your anxiety, stress and maybe even your fear? Fantastic!

So the next time you find yourself hating what you do, when you are not being creative, look for the silver lining and I would bet, you just might be pleasantly surprised.

Like my dad always says, “You are not what you think you are, but what you think, you are.”

What do you love about your J.O.B.?