On Striped Bass and "Money Jobs"!

4:08 PM / Posted by Ashley /

Today, I signed up for University Settlement's "Health and Wellness Challenge" in which I have pledged (to myself) to loose 10 pounds. I have been adjusting many habits and cutting out sweets (including diet coke which makes me crave sweets). Living in NJ has had a good impact on this, as most everyone in my family is fit (they are at the gym every morning at 5am for 3 hours... no joke). I haven't committed to that *yet* but I should start. To reiterate, University Settlement is where I co-facilitate an after school Arts and Leadership program (a.k.a. job #1).

I have a new job at Battery Park Conservancy. It's great! I've been learning a ton about the environment, conservation and New York City's efforts in creating environmentally friendly parks and recreation spaces. We facilitate great events (that are FREE!) for the community. If you are in the area, you should come by and enjoy it. Not only are the parks gorgeous and right on the water, with the most perfect view of the Statue of Liberty (http://www.bpcparks.org/bpcp/home/index.php). I caught a striped bass at a fishing event last week. I've never caught a fish before. It was small, so I let it go.

Ashley's Striped Bass

One of the coolest things about starting a career in theatre (I think!) is the opportunity to work many different "money jobs" (as they are called in this business). Most people probably don't embrace this as enthusiastically as I do, but I've had some pretty fun (and ridiculous) jobs including:

- Dressing up as a giant Rubix cube in Times Square to promote "The Awesome 80's Prom"
- Jumping out of grounded airplanes to test safety equipment for the FAA (weird, scary, fun)
- Acting as a "Newsie" to promote the Broadway show "Gray Gardens!" (Extra! Extra! Read all about it...)
- Wrapping and shipping props in a prop shop to/from Martha Stewart's tv show set

Right now, I'm just so happy to have jobs and be saving money in this economy. For anyone in need of a money job, playbill.com is a great resource. Craigslist and Idealist are also helpful. However, often the best resource (and the reason I got the new job at Battery Park) is a referral from friends. Ask around and network.

Aside from the commute (which, surprisingly has not been that bad) I would highly recommend living outside of Manhattan. Not only is it cheaper, but it has given me space to decompress and breathe, therefore, I've been getting a lot of reading, writing and editing done. I have also been saving LOTS of money. Most everything is cheaper outside of Manhattan (no more $9 cereal boxes from Gristedes). I have committed myself to no longer eating out at restaurants and spending needless money on food. I know this sounds obvious from both health and money saving perspectives, but ordering out was always the best option for my busy schedule. The habits I'm forming now must stay with me when I move again, which will probably be before the Lab beings.

I will be doing the GRE before the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. I have to. I will not be able to focus (on either) if I don't. I won't lie... I'm not looking forward to the GRE, in fact, I'm dreading it. I did a preliminary verbal GRE and did okay. I do not expect to do well on the quantitative section, as I have not done math since high school. I will not be posting much more on this topic, as it will only lead to me complaining about the ridiculousness of it and how one standardized test reflects nothing about my ability as an anthropologist etc. Kaplan says, "Complaining about the GRE doesn't make your score go up". They are right. It's unnecessary to put bad energy out there.

I've been thinking about changing the title of this blog to "The Director's Life"... but that's a little rigid since I do more than direct. I have also thought about "The Actor's Life", "The Anthropologist's Life", "They Playwright's Life", "The Artivist's Life"... but they are all a little rigid as well. I guess there is no need to box myself. For now, it remains "They Artist's Life".

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