Saturday, September 13, 2014

Before Paying It Forward, You Should Really Pay Others Back

Dear Tazi:

I’m the kind of guy who can never catch a break. I am unemployed more often than not because employers do not understand my special circumstances. I am an actor/performer, so when opportunities to audition or perform arise, I must take them, meaning I will call out of work (sometimes with only a few hours notice) or quit altogether if they will not release me for a leave of absence for the run of a play or television filming session. Because of this, I have had to accept the charity of others to make my way in the world.

I am the kind of guy who believes in giving others the opportunity to pay it forward, so to speak, but the people in my personal life and professional network do not see it the same way. A theatre group that I have been auditioning with for years (I am trying to secure a place as a regular member of their company) recently called me in for what I thought was a leading role audition! They told me they had something important to discuss with me! It was not an audition; it was an intervention. They basically told me that they cannot continue to assist me in my goals since all I do is take without giving. Tazi, that is not true! As I have already mentioned, I am providing the opportunity to “pay it forward”. Plus, I offer to volunteer my time to help with set building and other odd jobs that need to be done. I do not think it is fair that I have been asked to leave this community of actors because I am a bit more needy than the rest of them. Someday, I am going to make it big – make it HUGE, in fact – and a part of my wants to turn my back on these people when that happens and they all come running (as I am sure they will). Another part of me thinks I should forgive them. What do you think is the best course of action?

Shooting Star

Dear Shooting Star:

I think accepting this Tazi Paw Slap of Disgust would be your best course of action, before paying back – not forward – all of the people whom you owe.

Second, if you are over the age of 30, I think you should accept that acting and performing are not your primary source of income, so it is time to stop quitting jobs that interfere with your preferred career because it appears to me that ship is never going to leave the dock. I hate to have to put it so bluntly, but the only reason you are seeing stars is because that is what is in your eyes.

When a community theatre group stages an intervention and tells you that you are no longer welcome among them, this tells me you that you lack the kind of talent that would make up for your shortcomings. Furthermore, your offer to “volunteer” to help with set-building and “other odd jobs” is plain insulting. These jobs are done by people who are skilled and/or trained in the artistry required to create theatre sets. It is neither unskilled labor nor an “odd job”. You strike me as someone who suffers from delusions of grandeur. Counseling could help.

To answer your question as to whether or not you should ignore your old colleagues or forgive them once you “make it HUGE”, I doubt this will be a bridge you have to worry about crossing; however, since you asked, I recommend forgiveness – just as they have forgiven you numerous obligations that you imply you are going to “pay forward”.

Perfunctory snuggle (but just one),

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.