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My Laid-Off Life


No. 6: Cadden Jones
Age: 26
Job: Actress

I’m going on week three of no bookings or auditions. I used to have five commercial auditions a day that would have me flitting all over the island. Now I have no reason to set the alarm. All auditions have stopped. I know you can’t really get laid off as a freelance actor, but it feels like I was. It’s absolutely dead.

I’m going to be broke. I live off residuals from when work was good, like it’s my severance pay. I’ve considered selling a lot of my jewelry. I have to figure out the stuff that wouldn’t piss off my mom. A lot of it’s heirloom. Maybe she wouldn’t notice.

I don’t have to dress any particular way for any particular role anymore. No “young mom” or “businesswoman.” Just me. I open my closet and realize, My God, I have no clothing to wear that actually fits my personal style. I don’t have to wear makeup, but I put it on anyway. Somehow mascara always makes me feel better.

I’m taking a lot of yoga classes these days. I resent them the whole way through. I can’t relax. I miss my busy routine. I miss my adrenaline. Now, instead of racing off to five auditions, I sit cross-legged, chanting “Om” with a bunch of middle-aged women who probably haven’t had a job since their wedding day.

I started dating a guy at exactly the same time the shit hit the fan with regard to the economy and my career. I can safely say my sex life is the one thing that’s been benefiting from all of this. We even ordered pizza one night at two in the morning. Eating right before going to bed? I would never have done that before. Maybe I’m living more. He’s paying for our dinners, not to mention the opera, Broadway, concerts, movies, and cab rides. The other night, he took me on a surprise date to South Pacific. It was kind of depressing, though. Sitting there in Lincoln Center, all dressed up, with this guy who took me there—well, that is a really easy role to slip into. Am I going to forgo my acting career to become one of those yoga wives?

I went shopping today. I needed the perfect skirt because I didn’t have the perfect skirt. Plus I’ve got this new guy, and we go out to nice places. He deserves a me in cuter outfits. But I also got $900 worth of clothes that I didn’t need. I used my credit card—I don’t usually do that. But I’m done stressing. No auditions? No work coming in? As Miss Scarlett would say, “I’ll worry about that tomorrow.”


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