Welcome to Don’t Hide Your Hustle, a new series on Finding Delight that explores the myriad of ways to make a living in 2017. I’m asking folks to share how they hustle over the course of one work-day (which usually extends far beyond a 9 – 5 situation).
Today, I’m starting close to home and bringing you my sister Katie’s story. Her official job title is “Reservation Specialist” but you’ll soon learn that her talents and passions lead her to wear many more hats, even in a single day.
Hi there! My name is Katie and if you asked me what I do for a living, I would probably answer “I’m a professional actress and playwright” without blinking an eye. If we are being completely honest with each other though, that’s not always how I make my living. I also work full time at an Italian restaurant in Downtown St. Petersburg. My official title is Reservation Specialist (I even have a business card! Fancy!). Since taking on this position I’ve had to learn how to balance my artistic endeavors while pulling a paycheck in a completely different industry. It’s a lot, but I thrive on stress. What follows is an account of a recent Monday where I had to juggle several facets of my career. Come along with me and make sure you have had a LOT of coffee.
9:00am – Up and fed and caffeinated. I don’t have to be at the restaurant until 10am so I usually use this time to look at upcoming auditions, make my to do list, or write. For whatever reason, I tend to write my best stuff after I just wake up. Today, I also update my acting resume for my auditions this evening.
10:00am – We open at 11:30am so I clock in, fill up my water bottle, put my stuff in the back room, and say hi to the day bartender, Jessica. I start flipping chairs off the bar and high tops. The openers arrive and start cutting lemons and setting up the outside dining area while I check my emails. I get through as many emails as I can before we open, while Jessica and I watch the morning news on the TV at the bar.
11:15am – The manager on duty gives me the floor plan for the day and I make a copy of it. I check in with the servers to make sure they’re ready to go.
11:30am – I unlock the front doors and seat the first few tables. It’s a slow start today because it’s cloudy and gloomy. It’s amazing how much the weather affects our business, but it truly does.
12:00pm – 2:00pm – It’s a pretty slow lunch rush today so I have plenty of time to take phone calls and answer emails as they come in. We are closing in on the holiday season so there are lots of big party reservations coming up! There are already days that are completely booked, and I have started having to tell people we don’t have room for their parties.
4:00pm – I go upstairs to the office but instead of printing menus, I have to print my acting resume because I have THREE auditions this evening.
4:30pm – I go back downstairs to gather my things and say bye to my coworkers. I get plenty of “break a legs!” from all my friends. I love these people.
5:00pm – I run to Staples to print my new head-shots! I just got them done (thanks Beth!). I go home and trim them and my resumes down to 8×10 inches, and staple them back to back. I have done this so many times that it only takes me a few minutes to do 10 of them.
6:00 pm – I drive to Tampa, where my first audition of the night is.
7:00pm – I audition for A Skull in Connemara, a play by Irish playwright (and one of my favorites) Martin McDonagh. It goes pretty dang well.
7:15pm – I say a hurried goodbye to my friends who are also going in for the same role and drive back to St. Pete for my other auditions.
8:00pm – I arrive at USF – St. Pete’s campus and check in for my St. Pete Shakespeare Festival auditions. I’m auditioning for Ophelia in Hamlet and Viola in Twelfth Night. Two different shows. Two different directors. Lots of words. I read a lot of scenes with some of my favorite people and I’m the last person of the night to be released.
9:30pm – I arrive back home, feeling great about my reads. I say hi to my two roommates and get out my music binder. I’m playing in the pit for Blake High School’s production of Full the Musical and I need to make my script and music a little neater and easier to read for rehearsal tomorrow. (Oh yeah, and I wrote Full.) I’m pretty hyped up from all the audition adrenaline, so I work on music until my eyes start to slam shut.
12:00am – I set my alarm for the following day, which includes work at Bella, Full tech rehearsal at the high school, and helping my friend plan her wedding. Because why not.
Thanks so much for sharing your hustle, Katie! Do you guys have any questions for her? Do any of you balance creative endeavors alongside a 9-to-5?
P.S. Are you a hustler willing to share your story? Let’s chat! I would love to know how you’re making money while following your dreams in 2017. Shoot me an email — firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!