Saturday, April 11, 2009

Beat the clock

All right. Time heals all wounds, they say, or at least it lets them callus over. It's now 18 days since I was dumped by my company, and I've worked all the way through the classic Five Stage of Whatever:

1. Denial ("is this some kind of a joke? it is, right?")
2. Bitter, bitter resentment ("after all I've done for them....")
3. Depressed listlessness alternating with euphoria
4. Irritation at being defined by the recklessness of the whole stupid turn of events
5. Acceptance (i.e., interest in a future that leaves all this behind, AKA transcendence)

Been thinking about this bloody business. And I've concluded that I can either be a victim about this ("they did this to me on purpose") or I can regard it as a gift. Because as thoughtless and unnecessary as my lay-off was (sez me), the fact is that I now have a little time. Time to find out what there is to do out there besides theater. Some way to make a living that doesn't take all day and all night and all seven days of the week.

I don't think I'm going to make it all the way to GRATEFUL. But I've definitely gotten to glad I'm not with PCS anymore.

So. Knowing me as you do, let me know if any new careers come to mind. Preferably ones that don't involve wearing paper hats.


Dot Hearn said...


Way to move through the cycles. That could be an amazing experience for you: to have a little time to do something other than just work?! I know you'll have plenty of creative endeavors to fill it *smile. paper hats, huh?...

col ceathair said...

I notice that you process change at about 20 times my pace.

Oh ye of vast and vitalized vocabulary, I don't know what will be your next step. I'm pretty sure it'll be good.

Prince Gomolvilas said...

Perhaps you'll consider "turkey masturbator?" From The Independent:

And so the job of turkey masturbator was created: grown men who spend their days tweaking turkeys' penises for a living, sucking the semen into tubes (it tastes slightly salty, in case you were wondering), then squirting it into females.

More here.

Althea Hukari said...

You are amazing. As always.

Steve Patterson said...

Well, you know what I think you should do; so I won't repeat it here. Though I'm sure many people have said this, if you ever want to chat, the door is always open for Mead Hunter.

It's kind amusing (in retrospect) that I've only been "let go" from one job in my life (though there's still plenty of time)...all the other places I've walked away from on my own terms. But I'd been discouraged by the monotony and pay scale at this particular gig, and, while was being "debriefed," my executioner told me "you should do something more creative and tied to the arts." And I thought at the time: you moron...half the reason I've been depressed and doing a half-assed job is that you're paying me two-thirds of what I should be getting to do crap that I don't want to be doing to begin with. But then, civilians have no idea as to pay scales in the arts.

That said, William S. Burroughs wrote he became a writer because he had this perception that writers spent a hour or two each day crafting a few exquisite paragraphs, then used the rest of their time lounging around tropical balconies in silk suits and smoking opium whilst languidly stroking a pet gazelle. So at least there's a goal to shoot for.



Harold Phillips said...

That's the right way to look at it, Mead... any crisis is just an opportunity, once you remove the leering evil clown makeup from it.

A new career? I'd say focus on yoru current one - not only dramaturgy (which you're finely equipped to move forward on, with the new business you just started), but proofreading. How many horrible gramatical errors do we see in published works these days? Market yourself as a freelance proof-reader, and you might just be amazed at how much work comes your way!

Tim said...


Keep a wide view. Hell, Luan went from plays to cheese.

Dinner Soon.

Anonymous said...

Mead: I'm Ellen West a Portland Playwright. I'm the one who complained that there is no workshop level of play development at the DG meeting in January. What I got was more or less Do It Yourself, so I am. I'm revivifying Bump in the Road Theatre, or a part of it, dedicated to developing new plays, and I'm calling it BumpWest. Carmela and Raymond Lanza-Weil, the founders, have moved to the East Coast, you see. And they are less interested in the playwright part than I am, but very enthusiastic about my idea. By the summer of 2010 I hope to raise enough money to do three new plays in rep in a bare bones workshop production. I'm starting by piloting one of my own plays this year at my own expense. My writing group is basically my support and I have some excellent actors/directors involved, Jane Fellows and Trish Egan. If I could interest you in participating as dramaturg and perhaps helping choose the plays we'd be very honored. Of course with pay. If you want to discuss this further would you please communicate through my web site at Anyone of your friends reading this, your input and interest are also welcome. Thanks. Think about it.

C A Wohlmut said...

umm, but I think you'd look uber cute in a paper hat. ;-)

MaryMac said...

OK, I'm at number four as regards the idiot formerly taking up space in my, um, driveway, Mead.

I see now I must hurry if I am to meet you at the bar for that "we made it to number five" celebratory toast.

Thanks for the inspiration!