No News is Good News

No News is good News… Well I can tell you that it isn’t. What it is my friends is bloody annoying. No news often means a prolonged agonising wait to find out that you have failed or that maybe theres yet another sift to go through.

I’m sorry! Pardon! You’re lost? Oh… Right, I see… Maybe I should start from the beginning. Twenty Five days from today I would have been back on these shores for a year, a whole year since I came back from New Zealand – I should point out I was forced to return as my visa had expired and I didn’t want to risk deportation and ruin any chances of returning to that magical place I called home for a while. Never the less I landed in England with two objectives. The first was to get back to New Zealand and the way to do this was through a Bunac Visa, the second was to find a new career and get the god damn hell out of theatre.

Well the Bunac ship sailed and I wasn’t on it, the getting out of theatre is still very much work in progress but I think I may be there. I started applying for signalman roles with Network Rail and anyone in the railway will tell you recruitment like the trains take a long time, and the responses again like the trains are heavy delayed. After a year I have final landed a role (fingers crossed) This process for the role began 5 months ago (Along with other tests and assessments I’ve been invited to over 7 months)  and I still have not yet got the confirmation letter  although I was told by the line manager I was successful and he was sending relevant paper work to HR.

So as the saying goes, No News etc well, I can tell you handing in an application to have no news for two months and then an email to say its been moved on to the first test and then nothing for a moon cycle to be told you were successful but wait there’s another assessment and so it goes on starts to get you down. My good friend Kat has been there with the struggle and the process and when I got the call to say you’re in I think she may have been more relieved than I, partly as she won’t be receiving anymore ‘Whats happening’ ‘Why they not get in touch’ ‘My job profile status has changed, what you think it means’ messages, but also she understands what this means for me. However now I am back to waiting on HR… this time I know I have the job but need to receive the ‘Job Offer letter and pack’ and until I have that in my hand I am once again in limbo.

I’m like an animal, I can smell the blood of the kill I know it is close but it’s just out of reach. The exit from theatre is right in front of me yet I do not have the key to unlock it.  Believe me when I say posts on forums tell tales of people applying to putting on uniform taking over a year. So the wait is no way near over, the finish line is in sight… Just… it just happens to be obscured by several more obstacles, but as I look behind and see the ones I’ve already conquered the ones to come seem easy in comparison.

So now I move from checking my emails every day and job profile on the career site to waiting for the postman to bring that news, that Network Rail letter that contains my job offer and when it comes I’ll hold it high resembling Charlie and the Golden Ticket, for it will be my ticket out of a career I’ve fallen out of love with and onto something new and exciting with real career prospects.

So while No News is certainly not bad news, it is not good in any respect, just painful.


Having the Memory

Six months I’ve been back in the country and thats not to say I haven’t enjoyed the time. I’ve got myself a new shiny road bike, caught up with old friends but the truth is it’s just the same as when I left these shores for the ones of New Zealand. Nothing has really changed. I returned to my parents and I’ve tried to settle back in and get a job, boy have I tried to get a job… Its not that there isn’t any out there, its just whats the point of getting bar or supermarket work, when thats not what I want to do?

Anyway once again I wander of the path. The one subject that has been on my lips since the plane touched back on British soil, was how great New Zealand was and how it was right for me. In truth I think I have turned down or selected certain decisions on the fact that I want to return back to Wellington… Why move out of the parents and sign up for house when another visa could be in the post. At least at the folks house I can pack up and go straight away.

Yes everything has been about getting back. Well before Christmas that opportunity came in the the form of a Bunac IEP visa. Did I grab it with both hands? No, I said I would think about it. Why? Why indeed. I think in my hearts of hearts I know maybe its not to be, I always said I wanted to live and move over full time and if I had got sponsorship first time round that would be true, however I didn’t and now many of my friends have moved on, whether back to their own countries or else where in NZ.

So maybe my love and thoughts of returning is trying to hold on to a dream, a bygone era, if I go back its going to be different and maybe not the way I remember it, am I prolonging the prospect of growing up in the UK, settling down with pension, house, car, the white picket fence life? Is New Zealand somehow me running away from my responsibilities and life in the UK. Sure I was happy over there, maybe the happiest I have been, but are my memories clouded. There were times I felt low, I had no job for three months, no money to my name for one of those but yet the memories are always off Burger Fuel, nights out at the Embassy, craft beer, the beach, the friends, the pals, the fellow travellers, the one who have now moved on. Was it the city, the country I remember or the people I shared it with… Why do I feel so strong about the place.

The place is really quite different. Sure I have NZ mates, who were born and bred in the city, but most of my network were fellow travellers who’s relationships were built in the hostel we all sheltered in before we made our lives in the capital city. Sure I could go else where and be a traveller make new friends a new life in a new town, but whats the point if in a year I have to pack it all up again, knowing that I will only ever return for holidays if and when my wallet will allow.

So now I have the opportunity I find myself again, worrying and becoming scared if taking the visa is the right idea, but unlike last time, I won’t be stepping into the unknown, and some how that terrifies me more than not knowing what is to be expected.

The Smell of the Hunt is losing its Odour

So I’ve been in New Zealand now for going on four months, and in month three I began the task of job hunting. An easy task I hear you say, but myself and several other residents of the hostel would tend to disagree. I have dropped more CVs off in shops and bars than I care to think about, I feel that between us we could have destroyed the forests of the South Island with our constant printing of resumes.

Even locals are finding it hard as every business is looking for long term, and long term is more than 2 years. Who picks bars or retail work as a career? No one stays in these positions long term unless you want to climb the ladder or have to as it’s a second job, uni work or fits around your life choices. The biggest beef is when I’m asked for my experience. Sure I have experience but it was ten years ago but it’s still experience and with my other employment industry I should be a valuable asset to any team (in my humble opinion). I have managed 45,000 performers dancing in front of a stadium of 70,000 people and a live television audience of a billion people where my job was to make sure they entered in cue, I have pressed the buttons to detonate pyrotechnics that could injure performers… After that I feel I am able to cope with pouring a few pints on Saturday night or selling some jeans.

The job hunt is proving hard, and for someone with my work experience it’s starting to get frustrating. But in order to get a job, you need to have had experience in the role what seems like yesterday and are willing to work longer than your work visa allows.

What pisses me off is the fact that it’s retail and bar work, and not to rock boat but these professions are the easiest and rarely need experience… Off course you can be good or bad at it but at the end of the day it’s pouring a pint or putting a jumper in a bag. This is why for many it’s the first job. What adds insult to injury is that the signs for work remains up in the windows for many weeks after I’ve dropped my application off… And all within this period I’ve received no knowledge of the receipt of my CV.

What is starting to get to me is the fact that I’m unemployable… And that is not good for the soul.

An Update….

I get bored with thinking of titles for my blogs so this one I have left blank. Well, not completely blank as you can see as I have named it and for once it is a name that could be printed on the side of a tin or on a box. It does exactly what it says on tin you could say. It’s an update!

So as the bell struck midnight I was busy snoozing as the rest of the UK was seeing in the New Year. While I do not really make resolutions I promised myself that this year would be the year that I would break my running PB’s and really try hard to stop drinking the red stuff and finally get myself off to New Zealand even if it’s just for a holiday.

So how am I doing? Well I have not had a drink since the 1st and feel fine. I have also started to eat more healthy and while I may not be eating 5 meals or even three a day I am snacking more wisely as the share holders of Cadbury will notice when they see the sales of their confectionary come the end of January. I have been hitting the gym on an almost daily basis and mixed my running up with the bike, weights and cross trainer. I have also been using the gym to do my speed and hill work on the old treadmill. All of this has seen me loose the bloatedness of the Christmas belly and has seen the weight fall back to what it was before the annual gorging we call Christmas. To tell you the truth the weight has actually fallen below 13 stone for the first time since high school and while I can now fit into a 34″ waist there is still a lot to go.

No doubt as I keep up the weights, my weight will bounce back up, but for now I am feeling good. That feeling however was not to last. Today saw me go on my long run for the old Manchester Marathon training and while in my head I said I’d settle for 10 miles I really wanted to bank 13 and possibly 14 if my legs were feeling up to it.

So I set off with a bottle of water and no gels. After a very light breakfast and not too much carbo loading through the week, I found that mile seven had a little wall for me. I carried on and while the tenth mile was comfortable the final three saw me digging deep. I can’t believe that I did this run. I knew by mile five that I did not have it in me and should have stopped, it’s not like I am new to marathon training but today seemed to display that I had not learnt from past training mistakes and maybe I should do more homework before embarking on this athletic milestone. I’m hoping that this set back will be quite the opposite and will urge me to take on the training with even more planning and authority, but I am following a schedule that see’s me running 16 miles by the end of the month and if I really want to break that 3:30 mark I need to get the miles in my legs quick.

In other news I actually planned to spend over £1000 on plane tickets, until a job prospect came up… I have spent the last three days thinking about this job and the trip to NZ and think that come monday I will be making the call to the travel centre to get myself two tickets to New Zealand.

Oh well onwards and upwards. I have work in two hours that will see me working through to Sunday morning making sure that Sunday becomes a day of rest… But I might sneak a little trip to the gym in or a cheeky 5K in the evening.

See you all soon.

Never Easy

Well just as I was going to put my hand into my wallet and allow all the moths to escape my eye gets drawn to a job advertisement that is right up my street.

I was already to take the plunge and buy the air fare to New Zealand but then I see the job. Now I’m in two minds. I need to get to NZ before the end of July as that is when my Visa will run out but this job is so ideal for me I don’t want to miss out. I have found cheap flights but now am wondering if I should book them or wait to hear back from the job. I know that I will regret not going to NZ (my best mate informs me of that) but what happens if I turn down the job of a lifetime that could see me escape the world of theatre and start my dream career of working in the out doors and eventually Snowdon.

Why is it that my life is never easy. This always happens. I spend an age planning or thinking about a job or holiday and the day I make my mind up then like a bus another job or plan comes along.

Darn it. Thats what I say.

Starting Again

It’s no secret that I want out of my current job the trouble is it’s not just a job or a career but a way of life. Describing the theatre biz to people who are not connected to it is a hard task. Even partners who have their better halfs working in the industry can’t really explain this magical hidden world.

As well as a job with unsociable hours comes the joys of a very busy hectic social life always drinking and partying as you say goodbye to one cast and hello to a whole bunch of new actors. I’ve been luckily enough to work with some very generous people and my phone book and facebook page is filled with one time affairs of people I’ve worked with knowing that years down the line our paths will once again cross.

However my career has taken the wrong path and has come to a dead end. I can’t trace my steps back as I’ve come too far, instead a career change is needed. Now let’s be honest people who read this blog or know me just a little will know my love of history, Wales and castles and that my dream job would be to work in a Snowdonia National Park or for the National Trust the trouble is how do you start?

The theatre biz has seen me with several transferable skills but how do I lay these out on application forms? I am a production manager which in simple terms is some one who managers budgets, all staff involved on a production and schedules to make that show be built and open on time. But for some reason people scoff as its nots a business or shop manager a role they can relate or understand having knowledge off that position.

So again where do I start, how do you start again? I’m applying for jobs that I meet the criteria for but don’t seem to get beyond ‘thank you for your application we’ll be in touch if you get through to the interview stage’

I sometimes wish it would be easier to stay in the theatre game but while the social life is great the settling down side is absent. You can forget buying a house or starting a family as it really does not pay enough or give you the time needed away from work. I often joke that theatre is my life but the tragic truth is that my life is theatre. I sleep, talk, walk, drink, eat this art form and like a seductive mistress she has a spell and a grasp on me so strong that I forget there is more important things in life.

Oh well time for yet another application form. Wish me luck!