As promised, here is “the rest of the story,” when it comes to the truth behind my ostensibly-glamorous career path. Let’s see, where were we…
5. I am essentially slave labor.
Yes, I do get paid (the aforementioned no money)… for my regular job. But as anyone who has ever been referred to as “talent” can tell you, it don’t stop there. For example, when I was a TV producer (NOT an on-air job, mind you), I was frequently dragooned into “voicing” in-house commercials and PSAs… for no additional money. Which translates into “fo’ free.”
All the ads you hear on the radio? The DJs did them… fo’ free. Voiceover work is a PAYING job, yo. But once The Man owns you, sure ain’t he gonna use you. FO’ FREE.
6. I have almost no goddamned privacy.
Like it or not, once strangers know your name (even if it’s fake, as mine is and most are), you’re at least a quasi-public figure. This means your every move – even in your so-called “real” life – can be subject to public scrutiny. Case in point, I myself have been arrested. For a nonviolent, victimless misdemeanor that, while infinitely stupid, most of YOU could chalk up as a lesson learned. But MY mugshot was on the motherfucking teevee… because I was a “public figure.”
Further point, the infamous Chuckweasel and I were once at a baseball game in another fucking state, when someone recognized him by voice alone. My day-to-day “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” quotient is ABNORMALLY high, mostly just from my voice. Of course, it gets much worse for my brothers and sisters who are actually on TV – I’ve had friends harassed and even stalked, one to the point where the cops had to come walk her to her car every night. And you wonder why my avi is a fucking cartoon???
7. I am consistently undateable.
Yes, yes, part of that is my charming personality. Bite me. But a fairly large part of it is the horrible hours I work – part of the appeal of goddamned Chuckweasel was that we had the same butt-crack of dawn shift.
Another part is what the job – the news part – does to you. I’m fairly callous and unfeeling about just about everything now, and apparently potential partners like someone who at least PRETENDS to have human emotions (huh. Pussies.). Fine, Sonny Jim, you watch live Ground Zero feeds all by yourself in the middle of the night for over a week straight and tell me you have fuck one left to give about people’s petty fucking problems.
But I do have some, emotions, that is – which generally come pouring out in an awful cathartic flood when some major can’t-take-this disaster becomes the lead story. The only way I’ve found to deal with this is to date people who are also in the industry (See Gilbert, the Evil Ogre, and CW). But this produces its own problems, in that A) You both work ridiculous hours and never see each other; B) You end up in competition for the same jobs and/or C) Your general self-protective disdain for all of humanity extends to each other.
Or you’re just a total bastard who bolts when shit gets real, like someone this blog used to know very well… but I digress.
So, E-Harmony, Match.com… um… J-Date? (note: not Jewish but fascinated by the whole Orthodox thing). Huddle up, you guys.
I’m a 37 year old news professional who will never work normal hours, make any goddamned money, or give more than half a fuck about #FirstWorldProblems.
A life with me will mean an endless cavalcade of “real” FB pages versus “professional” ones, and even so, strangers will masturbate to the sound of my voice.
Get used to being alone (again) at important family gatherings, and embrace the fact that, while I will seldom shed a tear in relation to our own crises, I am extremely likely to start hysterically bawling over a mine disaster or similar.
I will know the names of our state and local lawmakers better than your family’s. And I’ll have their cell phone numbers.