My parents were anxious when I decided to become an actor; I vividly remember freshman orientation when my dad stood up and asked how in the world I would ever earn a living. My teachers did their best to assure him: my education would prepare me for jobs in many career fields and Webster actors do actually find work as actors.
“Fine. But how will she feed herself?” My father demanded. My dean paused for a moment, smirked, and very calmly replied, “Depending on which restaurant she works for, she may eat quite well!”
Since graduating, I can tell you that Webster actors do indeed find work as actors. They are also still poor. They, with their very expensive college education, expansive worldview, and dedication to craft, will happily wait your table, watch your children, clean your house, and call during dinner to sell you a timeshare. So when someone offered me a job painting their ceiling, I thought about it for maybe half a minute and said Yes! (After all, I had painted a few walls in my college apartment). Then I got an e-mail asking about some landscaping work, and had I ever used hedge clippers? Yes! (Hedge clippers are really just great big scissors). I treated a hard wood floor (they print the directions on the back of the bottle!) and finally I was called in to spackle a wall. I had absolutely no idea what that entailed. I knew it sounded vaguely technical, construction-y, possibly it involved glitter. It also paid $15 an hour. So I said Yes!, googled “how to spackle a wall” and I spackled that wall. There were no sparkles but it’s pretty reassuring whenever I start worrying about how I’ll manage to feed myself.
I’m happy to say this story does not end with my being approached by the owner of a whore-house.