It's been a great couple of weeks. :)
Last Thursday, I go in for an interview with the Trader Joe's here on the Upper West Side. You may wonder why, of all things, I'm applying with Trader Joe's. After all, I swore I'd never work retail, especially grocery. But circumstances change, and I'm open to a lot of options. Part-time status earns me a 10% employee discount and full benefits. My medical, dental, and vision coverage with Dad's insurance policy expires at the end of the summer, so the benefits with TJ's are especially attractive. It's either that route or $400 out-of-pocket every month. Considering I'm not a chronically ill individual (thanks be to God), I can't see forking over hundreds every month. And frankly, my budget won't stand it.
So I interview with Kelly on Thursday afternoon. She's super nice, the interview is really informal and fun, and as I leave with a firm handshake and wide smile, she tells me she'll pass along my application and "I really like your energy." Awesome. Talk it up, lady. Get me Interview #2.
And she does. Just a few hours later, as I'm on my way to Ben's 23rd birthday party at West 3rd Common, I get a call. I'm asked if I'm available to come in the next day at 1pm to interview with Bobby. YES, I'm available!!! I show up to the birthday bash high on adrenaline. Gourmet Mac and Cheese, a decidedly "adult" board game, and a bottle of cider round things out for a very fun, carefree night.
The interview with Bobby on Friday goes well, but he asks challenging questions, and when all is said and done, I don't really know where I stand. He's a little hard to read, and unlike my experience with Kelly, I leave feeling a bit uneasy. But I've prayed about the situation a lot, and I know God has my best interests at hand, and whatever happens is what needs to happen. I've long since quit my end of the guessing game with God. It's so much better to be surprised and roll with it than to pointlessly agonize and worry about every detail.
On my way out, Bobby tells me if they're interested in hiring me, I'll hear by Tuesday at the latest. I hate the waiting game. I might as well be six years old again, already itching in July for Christmas to hurry up and get here. I've never been too good at the whole patience thing.
Saturday morning, I am determined to run off all my anxious energy. I lace up my Sauconys and run west across town in what I feel is a bizarre workout combo: a white tee, running shorts, my Nathan runner's pack (for my phone, keys, ID, and debit card), and a bikini top. Yep. After 2+ miles down the Greenway, I stop on the water at 72nd St. At 11am, it's hotter than the blazes--at least for this mild-blooded Northwesterner--and I congratulate myself on my clever plan.
At 72nd St. (and two other locations in the city), the Downtown Boathouse offers free kayaking every weekend, all summer long. Volunteers and donor-sponsored equipment means there's no catch. You just sign a waiver, pick up a life vest, and wait your turn in line. Awesome! I take my kayak out and paddle around for about 20 minutes. It's the perfect cool-down after a hot run. And seriously, if we have to suffer the heat by being sticky and wet all day, it might as well be thanks to the Hudson rather than sweat, right? I think so. After docking my kayak, thanking the nice volunteers, and catching the train home, I decide I'll be back next weekend with Mom, Daddy, and Chelsea. (They fly in TOMORROW!!!!)
Laura and I round out Saturday night at her place, over homemade spaghetti and So You Think You Can Dance from the DVR. It's so nice just to kick back with a good old friend and relax. We can be total bums with our pasta, sparkling wine, and cupcakes. No judgment. Who needs therapy? We both agree we need to do this more often. :)
I'm at home after church on Sunday, making lunch, when the call comes. These days, every unknown number on my cell makes my stomach do a little flip-flop. (I never know if it's going to be a job offer, a casting director, or some other random twist of events. Anything can happen in this city.) I answer, and the guy--whose name I missed in my blurry fog of anticipation--tells me I'm hired. At which point I proceed to do a skillfully restrained happy dance--you know the kind--and all but gush my thanks. Orientation is on Thursday.
Pete's sermon that morning was "God Keeps His Promises" (scripture reference below).
And boy, does He. Every single one of them. Trader Joe's may not seem like such a big deal, but in the scheme of my little life, I think it is. And I give God all the credit.
Hebrews 6:13-20 (NIV)
13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
16 People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
Monday morning, I'm up early for three calls. They close the Mary Poppins audition to non-Equity, so I don't even have to bother with Pearl. I hang out with my friend Bryna at AEA, hoping to be seen for Nice Work If You Can Get It and Camelot. I get to sing for the first, but the folks with Camelot ask us to come back tomorrow. It's only 2:30, so I still have a lot of my day left. Awesome. :)
I do the same routine this morning: up at 6:30, out the door by 8, on the list at AEA by 8:30. Little do I know what a whirlwind I'm in for! The monitor for the New York Musical Theatre Festival calls me in around 10:30. I sing "A Summer In Ohio"--definitely a new favorite--which goes over well. One of the guys behind the table asks me where "Gon-ZAH-ga" University is. Ha. Spokane. That's what happens when you're from the west coast. At home, everyone west of the Dakotas has at least heard of the basketball team. New York casting folks, however, don't seem concerned about the geography of Eastern Washington, much less college basketball (and I don't blame them). But it's nice to be talked to in the room, beyond the obligatory "hello." :) Thanks, Gon-ZAH-ga. I'll take it.
I schlep myself and my things back to the non-Equity lounge, the space to which we underlings are relegated until we earn our much-coveted Equity cards. I sign up again on the Camelot list since my name was called while I was on line for the other audition. And just as I'm about to sit down, monitor #2 calls me in. Well, alrighty, folks! We're going back-to-back! I'm still buzzing a little bit from being in the last room, so I focus on breathing more and gathering my thoughts.
Camelot asks us for 16 bars of a standard up-tempo. I love up-tempos, but singing just 16 is always so hard. The music moves much faster, and I always wish for at least a 32-bar allowance. Still, I choose a chunk from the middle of "I Have Confidence."
And what does the girl in front of me sing? The end of the same song.
I stand there in the hall, grinning (how ironic!), knowing that I'd be foolish to change my game plan now. So I pull up my bootstraps, greet the room smartly, and make my good-humored announcement: "Well, she gave you the end of the song. I'm gonna give you some of the guts of the song!" My ego silently thanks them for their chuckled response. And I sing my bit.
Afterward, the first thing they say is, "You do have confidence, singing that right after she did!"
"Yeah, well, I wasn't going to change my cut last-minute. It's either sing what you've got or scramble and sweat right before you walk through the door." They definitely agree with me on that one. Smiles all around. :)
I thank them and glide right out of the room, savoring the sweetness of doing something good for myself. Sticking to your guns and being brave is sometimes the best--and most rewarded--policy.
Mom and Daddy and Chelsea fly into JFK tomorrow afternoon for a week-long visit. Mom was here last August, but it'll be the first time Dad and Chels see the city. I can't wait. I'm totally going to go bonkers-tourist-cheesy with them. And I don't care who laughs. :)
Thanks for reading, guys. Your quiet, steady support means the world. Love you all. xoxo