Beware invisible readers – I feel a rant coming on.
In our beauteous household of three there are two miserable self loathing unemployed actors and one smugly luvvied-up ‘in work’-er. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t begrudge him the job (which is an enviably good one in the West End) – he’s a talented glorious man who I love dearly and honestly wish all the success in the world to. What I do begrudge is his flagrant tactlessness when it comes to his two sad, poor, artless housemates. There was a particular heinous transgression this morning that has left me gently reeling and full of the urge to kick something small and fluffy. This I may regret so I thought I’d vent here instead.
Employment tactlessness is a common trait amongst us odious actors. The fact is you have to trample down seemingly unlimited amounts of envy and bitterness when those around you are cast in productions that you would give an important limb just to be seen for – fuck that – just to have the casting director breathe on your CV. Therefore – when you become one of the unreachable enviable few that actually have a job you exact revenge by surreptitiously gloating to all who surround you. Full circle baby – you become one of those very people you have bitched about and despised.
Facebook is scary territory to luck around when you’re an actor who feels especially down about their career path. Just a wee scroll down the news feed of friends (heavily populated by the actor breed) makes you want to sink into the duvet of no-return. A few examples:
‘Excellent audition today at the Nash (smug actory slang for the National theatre) – fingers crossed people!’
No – no fingers crossed – fingers darting quickly towards your eyes, or heavily engaged in trying to extract your head from your self important arsehole
‘Eeeeeeek so excited about my first night tonight’
Thank you, thank you person I’ve not seen for three years and never much cared for in the first place, thank you for announcing to your 947 facebook friends, most of whom I’m sure don’t much care for you either, that you are successful and working. It’s been delightful witnessing you roll about happy in your own shit – I’d rather not smell it though if it’s all the same to you…
‘OMG – sooooo many lines to learn, I’m literally drowning!’
(apply heavily sarcastic tone…) Gosh – not only are you in work, not only do you seemingly have a lead role, but – poor you – here you are trying to solicit sympathy from your 564 unemployed facebook friends about the huge misfortune of this situation. AND – by the by – you are not LITERALLY drowning, figuratively perhaps. If you’re going to be smug at least be accurate in your hideousness.
I know, I know – I sound like a bitter shrivelled up old bitch. Let’s face it that’s probably exactly what I am. To all the non-actors out there (or the perpetually employed ones) this small selection of statuses that send my mouse flying towards the ‘Block from News Feed’ link (a genius invention) – probably don’t seem that bad.
But the thing is I’m only too aware of that slightly vindictive vainglorious urge to self publicise when you (for once) join the chosen few. You know it will hurt other people, you know that you’ll hate yourself the next day – but you can’t resist. It’s sweet revenge for all those statuses you’ve had to endure.
To put in context for those out with the sense to have a real job – imagine that your facebook was dominated by those in your chosen vocation. Imagine that you and most of your vocation orientated crew had gone through some almighty profession cull. No-one is working. You feel lousy, unimportant, your self confidence and self esteem are at an all time low. As if this wasn’t enough you’re poor, hideously poor, been surviving on rehydrated bovril all week poor. You spend far too much time at home on the computer in an attempt to live life vicariously and cheaply. And then – a couple of your friends in said vocation – who have experienced your pain and your poverty themselves – have the luck and opportunity to get said jobs back. Are they sympathetic to the tens, nay hundreds of people who are still in the situation they have just escaped? No – of course not. Instead they continually post about just how amazing their jobs are. They post pictures of themselves in their new workplace, laughing with their new colleagues. They post pictures of all the riotous nights out they’re now enjoying with said new employees (not you anymore – poor unemployed hasbeen friend) bought with their bulging new pay packets. They do this with the full awareness that many of their ‘friends’ will read of their success and feel just that little bit shitter about their own lives.
I know, I know. I’m moaning. Whiny posts – don’t you just love them. It’s just a particular bug bear of mine – and I’m feeling a touch on the low side of down today – so indulge me!
I’ll be more positive tomorrow I promise!
Tell me to buck up – I think I need some harsh words of encouragement.