Monday, May 22, 2006

The end should be a good one

I'm in Toronto.
My dream of becoming a regular on MuchMusic's 'Electric Circus' is one step closer to becoming a reality. I've been watching 'live at the Apollo' and I think I have learned some good moves. At this point I haven't practiced or anything but I have feeling it will all work out in the end. Or will it?
I've been in this city for just about three weeks - I've put out dozens of resumes, filled out all kinds of application forms and I've had only three interviews, none of which went well.

Allow me to recap:

Against better judgment and common sense I went to an audition to be a puppeteer. As a former summer camp counselor I have had experience doing things in front audiences. This is not to say I did anything very well, but I thought that an audition couldn't be much different. However, it turns out I was wrong (as I so often am). There were two men who asked me to do various things like sing, sing like old woman, animate an inanimate object and put on a mask and become the personality of the mask. Part of the problem I had while doing all of this was that I felt both foolish and silly. I don't know how to act, I've never taken a drama class, I'm not familiar with 'the craft' and all I really wanted to do was play with a puppet.
This whole process was also somewhat ironic as it made me think back to my regrettable high school days when I was convinced that I was going to be actor. My heart was so set on that path that I even went to an audition for a theatre programme at a college. Unsurprisingly, I didn't get in. (I do hope the audition tape they made of me has either been burnt or sent into the heart of the sun). Clearly, I didn't learn my lesson after the first audition, but I have learned it now - I'm not cut out for the entertainment world.
My next interview did not involve any personal humiliation but was equally disappointing. I went for an interview at a cafe. Things started poorly and never really improved. The first question my interviewer asked me was 'tell me about the last time you slept in, what happened because you slept in and what steps did you take to fix the problem.' Unless I'm mistaken, I was in grade nine the last time I slept in for work - I called work and told them I'd be there soon. My answer didn't seem to win her over. Should I have lied? I sleep in all the time, I love sleeping in. In fact, my nickname is Sleepybear - just look at the emblem on my stomach.
Question #2 - Telll me about the last time you failed in your job, what did you do, and how did you fix it?
This is where the interviewer and I really stopped communicating on the same level. How do I explain that last summer I crushed the spirit and faith of a ten year old boy by telling him he was no longer welcome at the day camp I was running? That I enraged his violent grandmother and feared for my own safety and his. Now that's a failure. She was even less impressed with this answer. Should I have said 'I once served someone a medium hot chocolate when they wanted a large.' Is that the type of failure she wanted? If so, I can deal with that kind of failure - bring it on.
Question #3 - Tell me about a time where you had to make an important decision, in your last job, on your own. What was the decision and how did it work out.
Hmmm, where do I start? I had to interview and hire all of my previous staff, design the training programme, plan out two month’s worth of activities and trips, and make the decision to remove the 10 year old boy... This was also not what she looking for. Guess I should have gone with 'I once came into work because I thought a shift wasn't covered, and it wasn't.'
I realize that I may be coming off as a bit snippy now, but in the interview I was genuine and tried to put my best food forward.
Interview # 3 - The Scam.
I went for an interview with Vector Marketing to be a 'marketing agent.' The office looked like it had been hastily thrown together to make it look like a legitimate place of business, which it didn't. There was what looked like a Commodore 64 and broken keyboard placed at a dilapidated desk. There were sheets of paper placed at odd angles on the walls. I think they were supposed to look official or impressive, or at the very least the meaning was vague enough to be anything or nothing at all. For reasons I cannot figure out there was a stereo, turned way up, playing classic rock when I walked in. There was no one there to greet me and, even though there were sheets of paper all over the place, none of them said what a person should do when they come in.
My interview lasted all of three minutes. Once the man found out I didn't know anyone in the city he realized that I would have difficulty selling high quality cutlery to my friends and family. Had I known what a 'marketing agent' did, I would not have gone. In my defense I did try and find out before the interview but, for reasons that I now think are clear, that information is not readily available. The worst part of this process was that I wasted a lot of Capital M's time. She drove me to the interview, went home, and came back to pick me up almost as soon as she stepped in the door (the interview was supposed to be an hour or more).
I would like to be believe that I am a hirable person with relevant job experience and skills. Up until the cafĂ© interview I thought that I could handle any question that came my way. However, getting an interview is proving to be a problem. I did have a have an experience that may help to explain why so few places have called me back. It happened while was I dropping off a resume at a drug store. While I was passing it to the cashier she asked me if I had filled out an application as well. She gave me one and I started filling it in. A short while later the cashier came over to me and asked, ‘is this a test?’
‘A test’ I responded, trying not to sound too baffled. ‘Yeah, is this some sort of experiment or something?’ she said as if she was clearing up my obvious confusion. For a second I thought that maybe she thought I was a secret shopper and was testing how she would respond to someone applying for a job. ‘No, it’s not an experiment, I’m just trying to get job’ I said without much conviction; I still wasn’t sure what she was talking about. However, everything made a lot more sense when she came back with ‘But you have a BA and stuff’ (she was reading over my resume while she said this).
Is this a test? It’s starting to feel like one.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

once more, with feeling

This is the last time I'll be using ol'shitty for a while. My flight for Toronto leaves soon and I'm pretty much ready to go. All I have left to do is cover my computer with plastic so when it leaks in here over the summer my computer won't get soaked.
My practicum placement went smoothly enough - with the exception of the last two days. There were two different subs in and the kids, well let me just say that I have seen the face of the devil...
I had a party this past Friday and I think/hope everyone that came had a good time. Being that I don't drink very often it takes very little alcohol to get me quite drunk. Which is what I was and why I'm not entirely sure of the general mood of the people who came. I think I still would have had a great time if armed gunmen stormed the party.
Well Halifax, and my less than fully operational computer, have a great summer.