So You Need To Pay Your Bills

The bank wouldn't accept my mortgage payments in the form of artistic integrity. I tried, but they just kind of looked at me funny; this "What is artistic integrity?" kind of look before realizing it wasn't money and then having security guards beat me with clubs for having a bohemian on their premises. I may have made some of that up.

Being a full-time actor often feels virtually impossible. Gigs are few and far between and, let's be honest, you don't become an actor for the money (though you always keep faith that the money will one day be there). So you typically need a job to pay your bills and will still offer you the flexibility you need JUST IN CASE an audition pops up.

Back in October, I knew things were getting tough financially and so I started figuring out what I could do. I have a strong background in Marketing, Special Events, and Promotions, but I didn't feel like I had enough clout or contacts to try and push myself out there for contract work. I had applied for jobs through a temp agency because I still wanted the flexibility to do my performance work, but it wasn't enough. That's when I stumbled across the Metcalf Foundation.

I won't go into everything they do, but basically, the Foundation "will support the creation of internship opportunities for administrators, choreographers, composers, conductors, designers, directors, playwrights, and production staff. In this program, the Foundation is particularly interested in assisting individuals who have completed formal training and are in the early stages of their careers."

A quick bit of research and a few emails later and I found myself at the Great Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa with a proposal. They applied on my behalf and by December we knew that they had received the funding from the Foundation. And so you're looking at (or more accurately now reading about) the new Marketing Associate for the GCTC.

My contract runs until June (which leaves me the rest of the summer for Fringe or Summer Stock Theatre) and I almost cried when I read my Letter or Agreement:

The Employer recognizes that the Intern is a working theatre professional, and that the Intern may negotiate time off to undertake select independant projects that contribute to the Intern's professional development.

This is exactly what I wanted! A day job that understands my artistic aspirations and actively encourages them. They do exist!

So what will I be doing at the GCTC? First up, I will be undertaking the instigation of a social media marketing plan for the company. In fact, I just finished setting up our Twitter account this morning. Please follow us @GCTCLive. This is a really great opportunity because I will gain credibility and experience as a social media strategist, which will allow me to help my own theatre company and follow up on my goal to teach this new wave to the general public (for crying out loud this guy charges over $1000 for his weekend workshop so why couldn't I?)

I'll also be doing some work in Outreach and Development, sectors I'm less familiar with, and will be learning a great deal about traditional marketing methods. (Won't it be nice to attend a media call where the media actually shows up?)

I was scared to come back to an office environment, but this place is just great. Stick around this blog if you'd like to find out more about what goes on behind the scenes of a major Canadian theatre company... that is if I haven't already set up a blog for them on their own site by then.

******************************************************* Sidebar (or an absolutely shameless plug):

Ok, so an internship isn't exactly the most lucrative of endeavors. In addition to my work for the GCTC, I've also picked up a bit of a part-time job. I am also a brand-spanking new Mary Kay rep. Yup, I sell makeup and skin care products now.

It makes sense. As an actor, my face is one of my biggest assets and so I need to take good care of it. Mary Kay offers quality products and the cost is similar to anything you'd find in a major department store. Plus, I just really like makeup and this is a job I can do whenever I am available.

So, dear readers, wouldn't you like to have a little spa pampering session for you and your friends? Or maybe you'd like to treat yourself to a little makeover? Just contact me ( (at) and we can book a party at your place or mine. As the host, you also get lots of free stuff and there is absolutely no pressure to buy. Besides, this is great practice for me.

Or maybe you're just looking for a new lipstick? Or a gift for someone special? Check out my website and order online. If you spend over $50, you'll get a wonderful free gift from me. And if you live in Ottawa, I will personally deliver your purchase to your home or workplace.

Oh and gentlemen, skin care isn't just for the ladies, you know.

In the future, I'll probably be posting my reviews of certain products, but if you have any questions at the moment, please feel free to ask.

And if you're looking for some sort of home business for yourself, why not think about becoming a rep? I could help you with that too.

Besides, don't you want to see me in a pink Cadillac?