I’m a stereotype, I’ve decided. I am the “Actress/Waitress” mug you can purchase at Samuel French on Ventura. I’m a server on Day One of a week’s worth of training at a restaurant that one of my childhood friends owns. So… my childhood friend… is my boss? On one hand this is wonderful, yet on the other it’s unsettling on so many different levels. “Actress/waitress.” “Waitress/actress.” I’m the gal who serves tables during the day and then goes on auditions after work (like today).
This particular eatery sits fancily in Santa Monica with fancy cups and fancy aprons and it only takes me 45 minutes on the 405 to get there each way! (Sarcasm, of course).
I learned all kinds of valuable information today. For instance and most importantly, I need to warn the server closest to me when I need to use the bathroom, to please restock the toilet paper if there is none, and that serving pregnant women alcohol is legal all across the United States. I also learned that I don’t apply for medical insurance at this particular company unless I’m a full time employee (which I am not… at least not yet).
So… my studies at an acting conservatory and Oxford have landed me… a serving job and insurance-less. Is this the sacrifice I’m making to be an artist? Is this a sacrifice? Let me share, however, that for a person who auditions regularly, this is the best possible job option for me at this time. No other job can I just trade shifts with someone because a last minute audition has popped up (and they always do, especially when booking a plane ticket—ask any actor—but I digress) and I get to leave with cash.
After training where I was given “restaurant homework” I sat in seriously hardcore, dreadful traffic, got lost somewhere in Hollywood, found the audition, and then quickly disrobed in my car (literally) and changed to a small blue dress and heels (my audition attire) reminding myself of the 2005 movie Ellie Parker starring Naomi Watts, who plays a struggling actress and spends her days doing… well… exactly what I’m doing.
This is the weird part for me. I have to get out of restaurant mode and back into actress mode which are quite dissimilar. I have to forget about the fact I have “restaurant homework” and focus on my lines and my breathing. I like to sit in my car breathing and talking to myself. I like to roll my lips and tongue to relax tense muscles. I’m sitting here in the parking lot feeling like such a dork. If anyone saw me right now I must look like I escaped the mental institution!
So. At the end of the day I’m left wondering if I mind being seen as a stereotype. Maybe it’s in my head. Maybe it’s more of an inner battle than an outward one. Do I mind waiting tables and then going on auditions? Maybe I’m doing what I have to do right now. And maybe that’s enough.
And wait… wasn’t Harrison Ford a carpenter at one point early on?