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.
Get a job!
While no one has said that to me apart from a friend, I am still surprised that my parents are not chanting those very words outside my door at 8am. It has now been well over a six months and while I know I want out of the theatre industry and have almost completed that move by turning down work and people getting the hint not to phone any more the true fact remains that I do not have a career or a role to jump into.
I have a dream of working for Air Traffic Control. Almost succeeded apart from the final online test. The Rails, Airside, Teaching, The Outdoors.
Now I am trying, I’ve sent out my C.V and have applied for several positions but the way I see it is simple, why get a filler job. A job like bar work or supermarket work when it’s not what I want to do. I don’t after all want to be stuck there as that’s not my career and at the moment I am living on ‘Mum and Dad’. If I wanted to work as a check out person or store manager then sure that would be the answer. But the other fact is why start a job when I might have to write a letter to the manager to say I’m leaving as I need to start training for a new job.
I should also make clear that unlike my sister who is paying or contributing has not left home and is quite a bit older than I. Also my brother returned from Uni and lived in the house for a good number of months if not years. I went to uni and found my independence and only returned after the plane touched down back in Manchester, so as a spoilt younger child I am now using my unspent time at the nest up now.
Those jobs I speak off have a very long recruitment process. Some have been going on for four weeks now and I have completed the online tests and am waiting to hear if they want me to interview, all I can do is keep applying for other roles and other jobs in the area I want to work every one of them with this prolonged recruitment process. So while I sit at home, bored, being fed and watered I’m stuck in Limbo. Do I go out a get a part-time role only to give it up after a week, or maybe get promoted after a month to full-time hours and slowly stop applying for these other roles as I get stuck in a dead-end job (dead-end for me).
So as I write this I have just received two emails to say I am through to the next round and they’ll be in touch shortly, Shortly was how long they would be in contact last time and that happened to be four weeks ago.
Oh well could be worse. I could be stuck in purgatory
Well, being back in England is jolly nice, no job or home and a strong desire to get back to New Zealand. Even all those friends that ignored me for a year and then suddenly emailed to say we should meet up as they’d love to hear about my adventures have once again disappeared off the radar.
Now I don’t want to sound like a moaning miserable bitter old man but there are just somethings that a trip abroad will not change. So what is this all about? Well, in truth I don’t really know. Its… I suppose a little metaphor of my life at the moment. Being in New Zealand allowed me to think and examine my life and where I want to go. We all know, if you’ve been following the blog that I want out of theatre that much is clear, what is a little hazy is what I want to replace it with.
Today I applied for an outdoor shop job, and a trainee Air Traffic control, both fit in to what I wish to do. One work outdoors and be an activity leader and the other have a well paid job with future prospects.
The other side of me is trying to work back up to running a marathon, except my legs and hips seem to have differing thoughts on this as every run is growing harder along with what seems like a little injury in my hips. Maybe a tight hip flexor or something else. But what ever it is, running more than 5 miles is proving to be a pain.
Either way I am not really committing to anything, running, job hunting or re-contacting my old connections in theatre. I’m also not really making a concerted effort to contact old friends I did without them for a year so a little longer isn’t going to hurt. I would like to point out here that I am contacting some, ones who remained connected and didn’t have a spell of radio silence while I was away. Yes I know how to hold a grudge. But if one more says they’d love to hear my adventures I might just say ‘You could have skyped or IM’d or Facebooked and got it in real time’ Like its not like I was in the Borneo rainforest with no modern methods of communication. But I can count the amount of people on my right hand who emailed, or FB a couple of times.
So yes, back to civilian street, no more walking down to the beach with a mountain as a backdrop and clear blue skys watching ships and relaxing in the coolest littlest capital in the world. Oh no, its getting back to my old life which for reasons known to me I’m trying to avoid. After all why go away for a life changing experience only to return and resume with your old life.
So getting back to it, is something I think I will carry on avoiding.
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!
Well I am now filling in at my old place of work where I have started a two month contract and even before the week is out I started looking for another job. I have found said job, and all I need to do now is fill the application form out and that is the hard bit. I can’t even go for a run to think about it as my right foot is a little sore which I find hard to believe as the last week was hopeless in mileage, I only managed to do 6.5 miles on Wednesday, 9 on Thursday and a Fartlek session off 3 miles on Friday. This lack of running was down to the world of theatre that keeps you hostage in her dark clutches while she spins her web which slowly forms into a new show for the public to enjoy. Hopefully from next week I will be back to having normal hours rather than 14 hour days. However the week and the start of the job has made me realise finally that I no longer want to be in this game and be played with by the evil trappings of theatre and therefore while I have a steady 2 month contract I am making an effort to change my career to hopefully a job that I will enjoy and have more chance to climb the ladder of success which so far I have failed to even mount any of the runs that is over looked by her beady eyes.
As always I will let you know, but will forget, until maybe I get the interview.
No not my driving test! Today I needed to be at the theatre for a 9am start to over see my rig going up and see the set being erected in time for a nice focus session. Now I managed to get here at 9 or just after, that wasn’t where I failed. No where it all went wrong is that I had set the alarm for 6am enabling me to go for a run. As the title suggests I didn’t, instead a returned to bed to sleep for another hour. I put it down to making sure my quad is rested and not that I went to bad after midnight due to being engrossed in a book all about… You guessed it ‘Running’ a review to follow soon.
Oh well I will try tomorrow and maybe have a run tonight when I get back in. Due to my injury I also failed to run the 30 miles I set myself last week.
This is a short post, as I have thinking to do. I’ve mentioned this before but can’t find the post to reference.
I’m fast approaching 30 and feel my career is not going anywhere and I wrote a while ago about giving it up or maybe moving to London where all the work in the industry is. Once again after a spell of work all be it tiny little designs the thought once again crossed my mind as I was confronted by a realisation.
So I am now thinking of leaving Manchester (which apart from friends and family I have no other ties) and following Dick to where the streets are paved with gold or quite simply say good-bye to the industry that has formed the back bone of my life for the past 12 years.
Lots of thinking ahead.