Monday, 14 January 2008

The patience of jobless

If you have neither a family nor a job, you're always having to justify yourself to people at parties. The first two questions they ask are usually 'Do you have a family?' and 'Do you have a job?'. Once you've answered No to both, they look blank fora few seconds, say Oh, then sidle off claiming they've left their drink in the kitchen.

Occasionally, people sympathise:
Them: "Mm. Must be tough without a job. Must be hard to know what your role is."
Me: "Well, fortunately, I DO have a role: that of an angry drunk who shouts constantly."
Them: "I see. And didn't you say something about being in an opera, as well?"

We had our first staging rehearsal on Thursday. Some bits went OK, mainly the bits that involved shifting scenery or making pretend paper fish for me to fillet.

The singing went less well, due to (a) the usual problem of nobody having quite got round to memorising their part yet, and (b) most of the principals being at work or in Cardiff or in a lecture or just AWOL. We did the court scene and the opening chorus of Act I, pretty dreadfully, and that's our main rehearsal for that bit gone.

So Nan is suggesting that we move rehearsals to Wednesdays, to give the principals a chance to be absent for different reasons. We'll vote on it next Thursday, except that nobody will be there as it's Thursday and nobody can make it on that day. Obviously I can make any day, as I don't have a job.

Still, I was pleased with my origami herring. You could tell it was a herring because I wrote HERRING on it in biro.

And there was some good news. Nathalie has got a place at the Academy, which is great, because we can make Opera Gold sound really cool and say our company includes members of the BBC Symphony Chorus (Dan) ENO (Abby) Trinity (Mario) and now the Royal Academy (Nat) etc. Congratulations Nat! Thoroughly deserved.

I'm not a member of anything just now, not even Goldsmiths, as I'm doing the rounds of Recruitment Agencies. Some people say Recruitment Agencies are useless, that they're just full of airhead 30-something women who get all enthusiastic and promise instant unlimited lucrative employment and then fail to return your calls.

Well, I'm currently on the books of about a dozen agencies, and I don't have a bad word to say about one of them. That one is TFPL. It's because they at least made me a cup of tea at interview before failing to return my calls. They haven't got me any work, though.

Enough moaning. Time to go and chase the fox out of the front room: the door is open to let the washing dry and they keep coming in and nosing around, perhaps trying to find that bar of chocolate I lost down the back of the sofa. Perhaps I do have a role after all.

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