my big news

We just got back from a long weekend trip to New Orleans with family which was fantastic. We were celebrating my stepdad’s 50th birthday and I’d like to think we did so in style. I’d never been to New Orleans before and I can’t believe I hadn’t been – it was incredible. I loved the weather, the vibe, the flowing daiquiris, the amazing live music and the whole culture. We stayed in a big, old stunning vacation home and I’ll share pictures soon. All in all, it was a great trip and the perfect indulgent refresher from crazy city life.

Then, yesterday, I gave my two weeks notice to my boss at the music law firm. (On a Sunday because he left for a week-long business trip to London last night.)

When I started this job I didn’t expect to stay here for a very long time, but I also wasn’t sure what was in store. Maybe I’d get used to the comfortable salary and the free metrocard and stick around for a year or more. But it seems that wasn’t in the cards.

At the beginning of May I’ll start my new full-time job as Business Manager of the Peoples Improv Theater (the PIT). I’ve  performed comedy at the PIT for the last six years and I started teaching comedy classes there last fall, and now I’ll be a full-time staff member. I’m excited, to say the least.

I wasn’t looking for this job, or any new job for that matter. My boss here at the law firm is certainly a colorful and intense character, and I probably would have made plans to move onto something else soon enough, but I hadn’t really given it much thought in terms of the immediate future. I was focused on paying down some debt and getting through winter and that was enough for now.

But then the woman who has held a version of my new job for the last 5 years (who also happens to be a friend of mine) announced to the PIT community that she’s moving on to explore what’s next for her own career, and long story short, after several interviews and meetings, I was offered the job last week and I happily accepted. It feels right.

This may well be one of the first full-time days jobs I’ve ever had that I care about in a genuine way. I haven’t taken other jobs in the past intending NOT to care, but I haven’t been passionate about any of those positions and haven’t been invested in what their companies were about.

But this new role will be different – I care about the company, the community, I believe in what we’re trying to do for artists, entertainers and the audiences who love to support good comedy, I like and respect my new co-workers a lot, and I’m just generally excited to contribute to a place I believe in and have loved being part of for so many years.

Obviously, I will still perform with Harvard Sailing Team and with my improv team The Baldwins, both of which perform at the PIT, and I will still teach comedy classes, so my plate will continue to be very full. But again, it feels right.

As far as a dream career is concerned, I’m still pursuing a path as a comedian, actor and writer – and my new colleagues know that about me. Many of them have personal creative aspirations of their own that relate to comedy and theater. (Awesome.) I definitely don’t plan to “settle” into a job and forget about my other goals and passions. In fact, when this opportunity came up, I gave serious thought the worry that being passionate about a job like this could distract me from other ambitions. But after much soul-searching, I feel I’ve made the right decision. I don’t see this new job as a distraction, but as part of my greater career path.

When I was 27 years old, I started this blog with the intention of figuring out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had been working as a receptionist and an assistant in one form or another since I graduated college because I had to support myself while I performed and took classes on nights and weekend. But it was time for me to shift my focus. I didn’t think I wanted to be an actor anymore, I thought I’d moved on from that, but I also knew I didn’t want to be a receptionist.  So I spent a year saving up and planning to quit my day job and to explore my options outside of performing.

It took my leaving that job, starting a bakery with a girlfriend (since that sounded fun and cool and creative) and working my ass off to make it all work to finally realize that I really did want to be an actor and a comedian, that I hadn’t gotten those creative pursuits out of my system, and oh yeah, I also love to write and always have so why not add that to the list of challenging creative pursuits I’m gonna get serious about exploring. That information about myself was always right in front of my face, but apparently I needed to venture pretty far down a few other paths until I was willing to trust it.

I feel really lucky that these two worlds – the paycheck need and the dream job desire – have converged into a position I’m excited about. I’m looking forward to gaining experience and learning aspects of the entertainment industry that I haven’t been a part of yet and to contributing to the continued growth and success of this awesome theater.

Who knows where it will lead or what lies ahead, but it all feels very grown up.


5 thoughts on “my big news

  1. Jen – WOO HOO – this is awesome news! I think you have found the perfect way to pursue your passions while still brining home some $. I’m working on the same thing – so this is very inspirational to me.
    Good luck with your new position – I’m rooting for you!

    P.S. New Orleans rocks – hope you got to have some coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Monde

  2. That is sooo exciting. Not many people can say that their interests and financial needs are met with the same thing. You’ve worked and searched hard for this! Enjoy each moment!

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