Day Jobs (According to Web M.D.)
Do you feel sad? Are you irritable? Tired? Frustrated? Do you find yourself subject to uncontrollable fits of rage, usually directed at unsuspecting tourists? Do you occasionally burst into tears for no reason (possibly, in supply closets)? Are you an actor? If you’ve answered yes, to one or more of these questions…then you might be suffering from a condition known as “Soul Sucking Day Job” or S.S.D.J. S.S.D.J. is a chronic condition that effects 98.3% of all actors at some point in their life, in which, (between shows) tiny particles of an actor’s soul are devoured at varying rates, leaving the actor feeling hopeless, artistically unfulfilled, and personally frustrated.
This condition may be severe or mild depending on the length and frequency of each outbreak. In many patients, the frequency of outbreaks decreases with age while, in others, symptoms do not occur until later in life. While there is no guaranteed cure for occasional outbreaks of S.S.D.J., the following treatment options are available to alleviate some, if not all of the symptoms.
Learn to Play the Piano– If administered early enough, this treatment can be a helpful and effective tool to fight against outbreaks of S.S.D.J.. This treatment early in life, can provide you with many lucrative ways of avoiding S.S.D.J. outbreaks down the road like “teaching voice lessons”, “coaching”, “playing for voice lessons”, etc. Side effects are mild and include sore fingers, a whole new set of scheduling issues, and possible earaches from playing for bad singers.
Start Liking Kids– This treatment is usually administered through a process called “nannying”. The side effects (which include waking up at dawn, extreme paranoia, and a heightened desire to punch one of those Yo Gabba Gabba freaks in the face) can, at times, seem worse than an S.S.D.J. outbreak itself…However..I promise….it’s not worse than retail…
Work Out A LOT– While this treatment does not stop the majority of the symptoms of an S.S.D.J. outbreak (particularly for severe cases like RETAIL or WAITING TABLES), it can provide some relief. Endorphins will, so I’m told, make you less depressed. Feeling hotter will help with the self-image issues usually associated with S.S.D.J.. Looking better will most likely decrease the frequency of your S.S.D.J. outbreaks (by making you more cast-able) and, ultimately, an increase in sex with hotter people will lift your spirits (at least for the evening).
Marry Wealthy– This controversial treatment is EXTREMELY effective in suppressing outbreaks of S.S.D.J. and is usually most effectively used and maintained in conjunction with treatment #3. While some patients complain about feeling like a mooch or like they have nothing to contribute, most manage to get over it ..especially around the holidays.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize– If none of the other treatments prove effective, this treatment (the hardest to execute) must be used to prevent further trauma to the patient. While at times you may feel that all hope is lost…that this chronic condition may one day become terminal..you must remember during each episode, that this too shall pass. Though at times it feels as though you’ll never work again….don’t panic…you will. Don’t focus on the fact that you have a $200,000 college education and are being constantly treated like you dropped out of grade school, by unjustifiably entitled customers (so I hear..). Focus on your art. Don’t let this necessary burden, lead to unnecessary stress. Every idiot who wants their meal free because you put two ice cubes instead of one / every lady screaming because you can’t accept her return from 1979, is another character in your repertoire….Every traumatic and stressful episode is just another life experience to feed your art. You just have to take it for what it’s worth and keeping trudging ahead towards your goals. The lady who wants to return the 34-year-old bra without a receipt… she may be a reason for someone making their life in a retail company to stress. You, however, should not stress. Just paint on a smile, and remember that in the grand scheme of your life this is inconsequential. Don’t let a hurdle on someone else’s career track become an obstacle in yours. You just focus on the hitting the next checkpoint in your road to success. Instead of thinking of this time as a pause button in your career, think of ways you can continue to advance. Take a class. Read plays with friends. Have a voice lesson. Start that diet. Produce a show. Get new head shots. Revamp your audition book….WHATEVER IT IS that makes you feel like you are moving in a positive direction toward YOUR GOAL….not someone else’s goal….YOUR GOAL…..DO IT…and I guarantee, you will feel like you are regaining little remnants of the soul that this unfortunate malady has robbed from you. It’ll remind you that your S.S.D.J. is just a temporary price to pay to have the life long gift of being an artist…..and….you know….if that doesn’t make you feel better……try treatment #4.