I started my blog to try and stay accountable while paying off a bunch of student debt.
However, once I finished that, I had to rethink why I wanted to keep blogging and my main goal really has been to show an accurate pictures of life and finances when you work in the arts.
I’ve also been really lucky, which some of you long time readers have been able to see, in that I almost always seem to land work, even if it sometimes pops up at the last minute.
Not so much this past winter. That was my first unemployed spell since I left cruise ships in the fall of 2012.
So I thought today I’d give you a look into a day in the life of an unemployed stage manager. Guys, it’s super exciting. #sarcasm
Week One of Unemployment
9:00 AM – Wake up. Make some coffee and a healthy breakfast.
9:30 AM – Write an article for brokeGIRLrich. Work on freelance writing work.
11:30 AM – Research resume building skills like pyrotechnic training classes, how to become a notary, etc. Work on updating my personal website.
12:00 PM – Look for more freelance writing work and/or transcribe something for Rev.
12:30 PM – Eat lunch.
1:00 PM – Work on blogging course I signed up for.
1:30 PM – Transcribe something for Rev.
4:00 PM – Search OffStageJobs and Playbill for work. Apply for pertinent positions.
4:30 PM – Clean house. Do laundry. Other exciting, similar things.
6:00 PM – Brush up on Russian with Rosetta Stone.
6:30 PM – Eat dinner.
7:00 PM – Watch Jeopardy with my family.
7:30 PM – Go to gym.
8:30 PM – Come home. Shower.
9:00 PM – Work on silly project that was bothering me forever like painting my cork board to match the rest of my room.
10:00 PM – Watch TV
12:00 AM – Sleep
Week Nine of Unemployment
11:00 AM – Wake up. Make some coffee.
11:15 AM – Watch 2 episodes of 24.
1:00 PM – Make some food.
1:30 PM – Search OffStageJobs and Playbill for work. Apply for pertinent positions.
2:15 PM – Consider getting dressed. Reject the idea.
2:30 PM – Work on brokeGIRLrich and other freelance writing.
5:00 PM – Eat a snack, watch another episode of 24.
6:00 PM – Have minor existential crisis. Wonder if I will ever work anywhere again.
6:15 PM – Scroll through internet job listings of normal jobs I could maybe do and reconsider my entire career path and every choice I’ve ever made.
6:45 PM – Aimlessly scroll Facebook for an hour.
7:45 PM – Congratulate myself on staying in pajamas all day, thus resulting in less laundry. I’m so green. I love the environment.
7:50 PM – Watch another episode of 24.
9:00 PM – Scroll aimlessly through Twitter, then switch to Pinterest.
11:00 PM – Check OffStageJobs and Playbill for work again. Apply for pertinent positions.
11:30 PM – Run out of episodes of 24. Switch the The Librarians. It’s not good… but it’s something to do.
12:30 AM – Remember I should probably eat dinner. Do that.
1:00 AM – Scroll through Facebook some more.
1:30 AM – Practice multitasking and scroll through Facebook on my phone while watching The Librarians.
3:00 AM – Sleep
Now that I’m back in the land of the working, it’s easier to see the alarming unemployment slope I led, even though I tried to fight it for quite a while. I was fortunate that the monotony was broken up once in a while by some stagehand work or being a brand ambassador, but man, the days are dreary when you’re unemployed.
I have a lot of respect for people who have gone through long periods of unemployment, because it really gets to you, very quickly.
If you also work in the arts and have hit an unemployed streak, here are a few useful things you can do around constantly refreshing Playbill.com’s job section.
- Start (or work on) you side hustle/survival job (maybe start a blog, cough, cough).
- Pick up a new language. As amazing as Rosetta Stone’s are, even if that’s outside your budget, there are tons of free language programs online.
- Look up classes you can take. This lets you add to your resume and creates an instant networking opportunity.
- Volunteer somewhere.
If a day in the life of an unemployed stage manager interested you, take a look at some (better) days as a stage manager below: