Ah, Craig S. List. My greatest friend. You’ve gotten me an apartment, a chair, two cars, and all of my jobs in the last three years. You’re always available, and sometimes reliable. You are a solid gamble.
The one time I could count on you, was the one time it really counted.
It’s 2016. I’m a girl from Iowa, fresh in the city. So fresh, I’m still believing every person that tells me they’re a producer. I’ve given out twenty business cards at this point. Taken the red line to Hollywood Blvd. a few times. I still think Santa Monica Pier is best beach spot. Some dude who said he used to be a viral youtuber tells me he’s now a headshot photographer. I pay him $100 for new headshots. I am killing.
I sign up for a casting service and start working background on a few jobs. Some dude I met hooked me up to work on set with AFI, so I’m stoked. Life is good. I decided I’d spend the first month auditioning.
May rolls around, and my savings are dwindling. It’s all good though because I don’t care about money and art is the only thing that matters. I am an artist scraping by in the noblest of ways, crazily responding to setbacks by speaking positive phrases in my head, each day getting closer to the hard truth: I am broke.
Hey, Craig. What’s up.
Within the week you get me a waitressing job in Studio City and now, three years later, I still have it. I hate the job and then I love it again. I’m grateful for it and then I scream at it, “F*ck you!” It’s a rollercoaster of curse words and appreciation, up and down and all over again. In this moment, I’ve decided I love it. I’ve met some of my best friends through it, and it keeps me grounded in reality. Floating into the clouds can be dangerous, so thank you, restaurant. Thank you, Craig. You remind me that I’m a piece of shit like everyone else. No, we’re not all pieces of shit. But no one is better than anyone else and you make that overtly apparent. Thank you.
My waitressing job has been the one consistent thing from the beginning. Jobs have come and gone, friends too, but you’ve always been there. I can take you or leave you. I can use you or avoid you. I take off my apron and forget about you. Of course, as artists, we’re all in the same boat trying to balance our career and then our other career. I guess I never wanted for it to be easy, to just pick the less hard thing to do. Maybe that’s not a good thing, cause maybe I’d be happier. But maybe it’s the best thing because I’m always looking for something more.
Truthfully, I thought this piece would turn out to be me ranting and joking about my piece of shit job and weird craigslist experiences, but I find more and more that the things that don’t bring you immediate joy are usually the most rewarding. So thanks, day job. Thanks, Craig. I’ve learned a lot from you.