Sometimes I wish money motivated me to do things, just so I could understand the rest of the world. I’m the least motivated or excited person about money that I know of, which is probably why I don’t have much of it. Savings?! Who needs one of those when I live in the moment. Seriously though, I’d rather be poor and happy than rich and happy any day. How does that make sense? I don’t know, I just imagine rich people have a whole bunch of extra problems I don’t have. Yes, I would like to make a decent living as a writer and be able to afford nice things, but my goal in life isn’t to live like Jay and Bey. Speaking of Jay and Bey is anyone else not terrified of how powerful they are? I bet if we did a poll right now 95% of America would vote them as king and queen of the world, versus like having a democracy. It’d be like a scary not so distant future sci-fi movie; giant statues of them erected everywhere; Beyonce history classes; everyone has to wear Roca-A-Wear – that would be the most terrifying part! Sadly, my exaggeration isn’t far from reality. With that being said I should just move to Canada before that happens. If not Canada then, New York.
I’ve always wanted to live in New York. I blame all the 90’s movies and TV shows that were filmed there: Home Alone 2, Coming to America, Sex In the City, and of course How I Met Your Mother. The thought of moving to New York makes me feel like I will meet my soul mate there or at least devise an intricate plan to outsmart some dimwitted criminals. I’ve been told that I “look like I could live in New York”, whatever that means. I’ve held back on my dreams of living there for many reasons: money, family, money, friends, and mainly money. New York is crazy expensive to live in. I spend one week there and I’m taking a second mortgage out on a house that I don’t own. I think Roger from American Dad put it best, “I want to move to New York but you either have to be really rich or really poor and I’m kind of in between…”. And when it comes to writing for TV shows the pickings are slim. There’s really only SNL and late night shows. So if you thought it was hard to get a TV writing job in LA, New York TV writing jobs are as rare as a unicorn riding a motorcycle down a rainbow.
But one caveat I’m forgetting is that I’m not a working sitcom writer…yet. So moving to New York isn’t taking me away from anything. There’s no husband, kids, or pets I have to sell before I move. I could just go and see what happens. Find my way in the big city, get robbed on the train, fall in love like 8 times in one month, and write an amazing script about all of it. The cool thing about life is you never know where your “big break” is going to come from. I mean I guess you kind of do if you want to be like a dentist or something. They have to go to dental school, duh. But I mean when you’re trying to break into entertainment. Who says I will write a pilot and get a manager or agent in LA? What if I’m waiting tables in a New York restaurant and I happen to meet Tina Fey and we connect over some women’s rights issue and she asks to read my work? Next thing you know I’m writing for Tina Fey’s new project or maybe even my own. Hey it could happen! All I’m saying is I don’t have to be married to this whole “LA is the place to be for writing” idea. While I ponder the benefits of living in a 5 story walk up, please enjoy this slot dancing to 80’s music.
The hardest part about getting a job in entertainment is getting a job in entertainment. You have to be okay with getting rejected, a lot. Like more than Laura rejected Steve Urkel. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people in LA trying to get the 3 or 4 positions that become available once in a blue moon. And the sad part is that LA is supposed to be the place to be when it comes to finding a decent writing job! I have accounts with paid sites that exclusively post entertainment jobs. I have friends that work for networks that give me the heads up when a position has opened up at their job. But even with all that, it’s still not enough. Because once that posting goes up you have a tiny 15 minute or less window to squeeze your resume through. Otherwise it will go into the resume black hole with all the other applicants.
I can honestly say I’ve applied to about a million of these jobs, give or take. So how many interviews have I gotten from all my applying? A grand total of one (1 in a million)! Yes, I’ve been on one interview for a production company that was looking for a front desk assistant. I was extremely surprised when I received the reply email for this particular production company because well, I never received a reply before. But also because this particular company always had this job posting listed and I assumed they had a high turnover. In any event I jumped up to get ready for my same day interview. It was in Santa Monica nestled in between a bunch of other production companies and studios. When I walked in I saw Lego statues, an old school Coke machine, and a crayon shaped bench. I thought: 1) either I have the wrong place and this is a cool private preschool or 2) I have died and gone to job heaven. The pink haired receptionist (maybe 21 years old) had me sign an NDA and offered me a Coke while I waited.
Finally a guy comes from the back and walks me to his “office”. I use quotations because his office was more like a single apartment with a flat screen TV, mini fridge, and a bunch of books he never read. He fired questions at me like I was on a game show. I struggled to not be caught off guard, but I was. He was quick and to the point and he even asked some questions that I wasn’t expecting like; “What do you do for fun?” Instead of telling him about all the cool stuff I was into and did with my free time, I said “I like going to bars.” Good job Kiana now he just thinks you’re an alcoholic. So two and half minutes later he was showing me to the door and the interview was over. I walked out through the toy store lobby and knew I would never see that place again…
So I think you guys have a pretty good understanding of my part time life. Part time writer, part time hostess, part time gym manager, and part time superhero. So you’re probably wondering what I do for fun. How does someone with limited financial resources participate in activities? Well the short answer is, I’m a girl. Also most of the activities I do are a result of my random jobs and diverse network of friends. Because I work at Pop Physique I got to attend their 5th anniversary party at the Roosevelt. There were free mani’s, open bar, and a photo booth. I’ve come to the conclusion that a party isn’t complete unless there is a photo booth present. Since I work at the restaurant I sometimes grab drinks with coworkers after work at local posh hotel bars. And when I’m hanging out with my friends I can do anything from going to a documentary screening about stand up comedy around the world, to playing the cards against humanity while syncing Billy Madison scenes to Lil Jon’s Turn Down for What.
So I guess when I look back at my life (via my Instagram feed) it’s kind of awesome. But it’s not all smiles and unicorns. Such is life. I’m poor, stressed at times, discouraged, and can’t leap a building in a single bound. But I am happy. I make the most of my limited resources. Kids (in my Bob Saget voice from How I Met Your Mother), when you get to be my age you appreciate experiences rather than things. I know things are great. But things don’t last. Happiness does. And isn’t that what life is about? Finding out what makes you happy.
Sometimes I write in a coffee shop. As cliche as it is, I don’t care. The coffee shop I write at is awesome. There’s cool art on the walls, lots of cool books to check out, and board games you can play. It’s like an after school club. A great place for creative types. I usually order a tea or some type of latte, break out my laptop, and
scroll through Facebook write . It’s also good change of venue from writing at my boring apartment.
A few days ago I was there having a writers session* with two of my friends. And I decided to inquire about the help wanted sign. The barista told me they needed someone right away with barista experience. I don’t know how to work an espresso machine but I’m pretty sure you don’t need a degree in espressology. I filled out an application anyway. The owners called me the next day and asked if I could come in for an interview. So of course I started judging myself before I even got the job. I sarcastically thought; “Oh really, you’re just going to work at a coffee shop AND be an aspiring writer? Oh good luck with that.” Yes, I can be very cynical of myself.
Anyway, I went to the interview right before I had to be at my job at the restaurant. And I know you’re not suppose to judge a book by it’s cover but the owners were not what I expected. The coffee shop has a cool laid back super California beach vibe. So imagine my surprise when the owners were a nerdy old white professor type (think Mr. Feeny) and a little Asian woman with a heavy accent. I totally expected white people with dreads or something. They were sweet. But the interview was super awkward, full of long pauses and stare downs. The Asian lady, lets call her, Barbra (a completely racially unspecific name that is not far off from her real name) wanted to put me on the schedule ASAP. I felt pressured and unprepared. But I agreed to start to training days later.
After the interview I texted my guy friends telling them I would be working at our favorite kick it spot. And that I would possibly hook them up with the other hot baristas’. Then, while I’m at work, Mr. Feeny leaves me a message saying they got another girl with more barista experience to start. So they wouldn’t be needing me to start. Whether that story is true or not I don’t know. What I do know is the universe was either punishing me for talking so much shit about the job in the first place. Or by not taking that job some other major planetary life shift just took place setting me on an entirely different path. A path that will hopefully lead to me landing a job doing something I’m passionate about, like writing. I like to believe the latter is true.
*Writers Session – When my friends and I meet at the coffee shop and play the “What if” game. It’s not really a game, it’s just us throwing around a bunch of random funny ideas like: what if Donald Sterling was Batman? Just imagining him busting out of the bat suit is enough for me.
I hate interviewing. I think that’s something we can all agree on. It’s like going on an awkward blind date and trying not to say the wrong thing. I’m trying to remember to smile, ask questions, make eye contact, and not talk bad about my (ex) old job. But sometimes you get in an interview and everything just flows. You feel like you just threw a perfect ball in bowling and you can feel the imminent strike. Other times you know you just threw a gutter ball. I wish they changed interviews and you just had to answer a series of relevant questions about yourself. Like, ‘what’s the coolest place you’ve ever traveled to, what’s your favorite food, or who’s your favorite N’SYNC member. You know the important stuff, that will really tell how good a person is at Excel.
Every now and then I get really anxious about not having a full time job. So I apply to jobs like crazy. That’s when I apply to any and everything. I apply to jobs that aren’t even remotely related to writing or TV. And sometimes I get a call back. Last week I got a voicemail (it’s like a text message you listen to) from a company trying to schedule a phone interview. I ignored the message because I had no recollection of applying and I just didn’t feel like it. Mostly because I didn’t feel like it. They called me again and this time I answered because I thought it could be one of the millions of writing jobs I had applied to. But they got me. I ended up reluctantly scheduling the phone interview. So reluctant you could hear it in my voice. The phone interview was whatever. I felt like I was trying to blow off a guy I wasn’t interested in and that I found slightly annoying. And to my surprise they wanted to schedule an in person interview.
But this was also the same day my good friend was in town visiting. She wanted to meet at the beach. However, this damn interview was imposing all over my beach day. So I did the responsible thing, the adult thing and I……wore my swimsuit under my interview clothes. That way I didn’t have to drive home and change after. The interview ended up taking 45 mins because they had me fill out a textbook sized application. Then while I waited to be interviewed I read their textbook sized employee manual. The interview went well. If it were a blind date I’m sure he’d be asking me out again. But did I want this job? A job that pays more than I’m making now but less than I did at my old office job. A job that will cause me to work 5 days a week from 9-5. A job that has the potential to take me away from writing and this blog. I feel like this is a cliffhanger from the 1960’s Batman show (a show I shouldn’t remember). Hopefully I see you guys next week. Same bat time, same bat channel.