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The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Sleepless in Seattle?

The day has come. Mr. Pink, who lost his job to outsourcing back in November, has found a new job. He likes the people, and the company is supposed to be one of the best to work for. The problem is, it's in Seattle.

I spent about two days in Seattle when I was 17. We stopped at the Space Needle, and then we took a ferry to Vancouver. I don't have many strong memories of the place, but I don't really want to move there. I get depressed when it rains all the time--when I was at Northwestern, I had to go to the student health center and sit under special lights to prevent me from being so blue. I don't like cold weather--we're having a cold snap here where temperatures are dropping into the 30s at night and barely reaching the 50s during the day, and to me, that's really cold. I am not particularly hardy. Also, I'm not that much of an outdoors person. Several people have told me how beautiful Seattle is, but personally, I think I've got plenty of beauty right here in Marin County.

I know I'm not very flexible, but I have lived in other places, and those experiences made me realize that I never wanted to leave California. Now, it looks like I don't have much of a choice. Mr. Pink has an offer for a steady job, and my acting, writing, and real estate business hasn't really allowed me to rake in the big bucks yet. Therefore, it seems that I have very little say in the matter.

"It's not forever," Mr. Pink says. "Besides, you have to look at the big picture. This will look great on my resume, and it will allow me to get a better job later."

Maybe so. I have agreed to try it out for a year. I know I need to keep an open mind, but I have a lot of misgivings about this move. First, it's going to be expensive to move up there. Second, my income potential will be limited, because I will have to give up my freelance clients that I have established here. Third, my real estate license is not transferrable, and I don't know the area, so even if I get re-licensed, selling homes in an area I don't know will be tough. Fourth, we know maybe one person in Seattle. Fifth, I like living close to my family, and Seattle is 800 miles away. Sixth, I have an agent here who sends me out on auditions whenever possible. I just had a callback for a Jeep commercial, and although I didn't book the job, just going out and making it to the second round was a rush. It just seems like I have all the cons in this situation, while my husband has all the pros.

It's hard not to be resentful, but I am doing the best I can. "Look at it as an adventure," Mr. Pink says. So, I'm looking for apartments and calling movers to get price quotes and planning a reconnaissance mission up to the Pacific Northwest. But if I had my way, Mr. Pink would find a job here, either in the Bay Area or in Southern California. Is that too much to hope for?


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