I have good news and bad news… The good news is that Sal has been hired onto a touring cast with TheatreWorks, a professional acting company in NYC, and will be earning his Equity Actor’s Union membership with this show.
The bad news is, he’s about to leave for three months.
I should’ve said great news about the show, because earning his Equity card will be a big enabler in his career as a working actor in NYC. At professional auditions in NYC, actors who are part of the Equity union schedule appointments for when they’ll be seen and considered for roles. Non-equity actors form a line at dawn and wait, sometimes all day, hoping there’ll be a break in Equity auditions and they’ll get the chance to be seen. Sometimes non-Equity actors will wait all day long and never even get seen, thus having just wasted a full day without earning a cent.
So why, you might be asking, would any actor not just join the Equity union? Unfortunately it’s not that simple; you have to be invited to join the union, and you earn that right by working on Equity shows. The catch-22 there is painful; it’s very difficult to get seen and thus cast in a show if you’re not Equity, but you have to be in Equity shows in order to get your Equity card. It’s a bitch.
So after auditioning for four years in NYC, Sal is finally getting his Equity card. This doesn’t mean he’s got it made, of course; plenty of Equity actors audition all the time but still work “survival jobs” while waiting for their next break. But still, it means he’ll have opportunities that he wouldn’t otherwise.
As for me, the price I’m paying for this opportunity is that I have to live by myself for the better part of three months. As separations go, three months certainly isn’t all that bad… But I realized the other day that this will literally be the longest separation that we’ve had since the day we met. Even when Sal lived in NYC and I lived in Charlotte, we didn’t go more than five or six weeks without seeing each other. And I haven’t lived by myself for seven years.
I’m making preparations, though. I’ve stocked up on my bachelor staples of Lean Cuisines, breakfast cereal, and soup. I’m already getting myself mentally prepared to leap back into Ph.D. dissertation mode, and finally make some real progress on it. (More about that later, I’m sure.) And I’m adding some new routines to help me make better use of time, such as taking the dogs for a run (no, really) and learning Italian.
By the time Sal gets back from tour, I’m hoping to be back at my pre-NYC weight, have finished the first three of five chapters of my dissertation, and be comfortably conversational in basic Italian. I’ll no doubt be absurdly far behind on my usual TV shows, and chances are that I’ll be sporting a hermit beard and a homeless stench, but I guess these are small prices to pay for productivity.
If you haven’t seen an update on Facebook for a week or so, though, come by and make sure that I haven’t become trapped under a pile of unwashed dishes and laundry?