This is me.
Now, you might be interested to know that in this picture, I’m putting sheets onto a bed at a youth hostel in Ghent, Belgium.
You might also be interested to know, that I’m pulling a happy face because the reason I’m doing the aforementioned activity is down to the fact that I had travelled to Belgium with my new course mates, to see lots of crazy intense theatre. It was a very fun time, but also highly educational.
NOW. Let me tell you a bit more about myself.
I am a hard worker (as can be seen in the picture above), but also a person who manages to have a good time, even when working hard (as can also be seen in the picture above).
I like to think that I am a pretty nice person. I sometimes get a bit moody or ratty, but usually only if I’ve just woken up, or if I’m feeling low in myself and scarily existential about the world. Thankfully this doesn’t happen to often. I have been told that I am rather pleasant company.
Oh! I have a degree in English and Drama. And a masters degree in Advanced Theatre Practice. I know many things because of both these degrees, the second one in particular. Not only am I good actor, but I know things. Things like how to work well and collaborate with people, interact with businesses, make plans, come up with strategies. I have knowledge about the Arts Council, about the way that the theatre industry works, about what kind of people see theatre, and why, about what kinds of theatre people choose to see and why, about why people make theatre, and also about how theatre can be useful in developing young minds.
Oh yes, on this last point, I am very learned and confident indeed. Did you know I spent a year as a youth theatre teacher? I devised workshops and lessons for young minds to take, taught them about theatre, encouraged them to think creatively, grouped their ideas, directed them, gave them confidence, and watched proudly as they performed at the end of each term. Blimey, that was a fun and worthwhile job.
While I’m on the subject, I also worked in an office. Now, this wasn’t nearly as fun and rewarding as the youth theatre, but I learned an awful lot about myself and also about good customer service, general office things, administration, good management, bad management, and lots lots more.
So all in all, it’s safe to say that I have pretty good skills, education, qualifications, intelligence, and social awareness.
Now, let me ask you this, dear reader (no-one).
Why can I not find a job?
I am nice. I am pretty smart. I care infinitely about the arts sector, and therefore about the jobs that I’m applying to. I make people in offices laugh, but always finish my tasks on time and above expectations. I know how to run errands, use software, hit targets, and work both alone and as a team. I am creative. I can perform, direct, sing.
So why will no one hire me?
Is it because I’m going for work in an industry that’s underfunded? Is it because that for every position I apply to, there are another 100+ candidates also applying? Is it because so many arts organisations these days are trying to cut costs by offering unpaid or minimum wage internships which I simply cannot apply or commit to because the cost of living in London is extortionate and entirely all consuming? Is it because, quite simply, the Arts are in need of help to flourish and continue to grow, and that help is simply just not happening? Is it because this results in an increasingly lowered intake of fresh, young, new blood and the desire to stick with old, experienced, trusted blood?
No. Can’t be. Must be cause I’m lazy. Apathetic. Silly. A dreamer. Who do I think I am? Wanting a career in something that I actually care about and love rather than something that will simply pay the bills.
I mean really, let’s be honest here.