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Frank

Are we not men? We are Nemo.

So, what have I been doing over the past month?

Turns out I kind of stumbled into an acting gig.

Very ironic. I mean in the sense that even though I have nearly fourteen years (on and off) of professional experience with magazines, I can't even get interviews in that field now, except for internships that I don't even land. And yet, after I more or less gave up on acting after the Grouch on a Couch semi-disaster, after I realized that maybe I just didn't belong in the theatre world, this comes up out of nowhere. Just because one of the show's producers happened to know me. If I'd still been working full-time, I'd have passed it on to one of my "real" actor friends, but I needed the extra money and thought it would be fun, so took it as an opportunity.

It's a kiddie puppet show on Centre Island, based on the old Little Nemo comic strip. I'm actually part of the "B" cast -- I was originally supposed to be replacing the main guy, who wasn't working out, but they've since decided they prefer another of the producers' take on the two characters, so I mainly do later afternoon shows on the weekends and emergency fill-ins. It's a physically tiring job because I spend half the time inside a giant King Morpheus puppet, and the other half under a Commedia-style mask and a giant top hat, and sometimes it's plain hot outside. But depending on the day and the time, the money can occasionally be good (it's PWYC).

Originally I thought the role was just going to be a weekend stint, and then they decided to use me for the entire run -- and then, when I was expecting to be working every day, they decided to scale it back and make me just the "understudy", sort of. Actually, I think the real reason is that they don't think I'm that good. I'm constantly getting well-meaning notes on how I'm doing the characters wrong or working the costumes wrong, sometimes completely contradicting what they told me before... but I shouldn't complain, because they're a nice group of people, they've stuck with me and I've made some decent extra money for it. I just hope they appreciate that I was trying my best to master in almost no time what must have taken the previous guy a month or two, and that I have by far the most *technically* difficult roles because of the costumes.

The show's supposed to be continuing up to next Sunday, although they've been vague as to whether they'll be needing me this weekend.
In the meantime, I'm still getting absolutely no response on the job-search front. Almost a month ago, I sent an application for a great entertainment-editor job for which I was almost certain I'd get at least an interview. Why? Because I was perfectly qualified for it; because I've contributed to the magazine numerous times; and because I've known the managing editor for ten years. But there was precisely no response at all, and when I mentioned it to him, he got a bit evasive and said, "Yeah, well, remember you're competing with a lot of people who've been laid off by The National Post and so on..."

So much for experience, hard work, dedication and who you know. What are the new rules?

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