Monday, January 9, 2012

How a Life Turns Around & Some Mini-Rants

When we last left The Angry Redheaded Lawyer, she was in a serious funk over perceived stagnation in her career. I'm not the sort of person who does well at waiting on things; I never have. This is probably why I took a wheeled suitcase to do grocery shopping when I didn't have a license/car & no one would give me a ride. The wheeled suitcase was so I wouldn't have the situation I had another time when I tried carrying a ton of groceries home & had shoulder pain for 2 days.

To kill my boredom & do more constructive things, I signed up with an acting coach and decided to see about taking some acting classes at an affordable price & good schedule not just for the sake of beefing up my performance resume but also to save my life (mentally speaking). I love performing, almost never get to do it and felt a class would at a minimum give me something to do as well as a forum.

As I was preparing to just seek out classes & chill out for a bit (with my husband telling me he continues to support my endeavors & my being happy in my own life), I get an out of the blue e-mail about a job I'd long since given up on. At least my interviewer for it did bother to tell me straight out that (presumably) I had no chance since I wasn't getting a follow up interview. Unlike many potential employers I encountered, I appreciated at least getting an honest answer where I've had many who never bothered responding to such follow ups. Though a part of me was like "Well, why not just tell me directly I suck?"

I figured that this rejection was just further confirmation that I needed to keep myself in the entertainment industry since people there actually (gasp!) respect me & listen to what I have to say. I'm telling you, if you feel persecuted as a lawyer you should work in entertainment since people will kiss up to lawyers in this business & be nice to you. Plus, I believe in giving back what you get from people & if someone's not causing trouble with you or harming you in some fashion, there's no reason to start conflicts. If I'm nasty to someone, there's a good reason for it.

Just as I resign myself to pursuing acting classes & chilling while waiting on film company stuff to happen, I get an out of the blue follow up on that job I thought I'd been long rejected for. Got an in-person interview for it tomorrow. I feel like if I'm going to do legal recruiting work, that's the best & probably only setting for me to do it in. It seems like the setting where I'm most likely to succeed and where my personality could be an asset vs. something I have to cover up like a pimple on the forehead.

Then, I get contacted by someone who wants to talk with me over my expertise in this industry. If you're a lawyer w/some experience (especially if your career is unusual), I think it's critical to talk to the up & comers + provide guidance when they ask. I like getting it myself & have found very few people doing what I'm doing. Not to mention helping the profession as a whole & all that good stuff. So that boosted my self-esteem some. I always try to think of things I'd have liked to hear when I was in that situation & mention facts I had to discover on my own, with very little guidance (especially from attorneys).

I don't view up & comers as competition since eventually they're going to be doing what I'm doing (no one lives forever) and I think it's better for all involved for them to have some support so they can do their best + generally be more competent for the client base. Plus, the entertainment field is so based on the personal that you have to forge your own way here. You have to find your own cheerleaders, your own fans/army/angels/whatever you call those supporters who trust you & believe in you.

Not to mention that if you care about what you're doing, you should be doing your part to raise the curve for everyone in it. I don't want poorly trained or mentored attorneys my age tainting the field & making me look bad by association.

So, we'll see where this interview goes. I hope I'll continue to be treated as a professional & not a number or groveling peon. At least if I'm not, I can just conclude it wouldn't be a fit and be on my way.

If things go bad on this, though I'm probably not going to pursue "traditional" legal stuff. Recently, I had family members dare to suggest I go pursue BigLaw work. I'm like, "Thanks so much for your concern about MY life or MY feelings on the whole thing." How about suggesting I apply to the local strip club while we're at it, if my making a ton of money is all you care about?!

Aside from this new development to expand my resume & general career portfolio, there are some rants that need to be made.

First off, I'm disgusted with the amount of musicians on my subway train who lately have some woman parade around with a baby strapped to her chest while carrying a hat or whatever to collect money in. This REALLY pisses me off as the auntie of a toddler whose now pregnant mother would never be doing that even though she probably needs the money much more than some of these folks. If my sister isn't going around in public panhandling with her pregnancy & her child strapped to her + managing in life, I have zero sympathy for anyone else doing it. Have they not heard of WIC?

Chances are, I know someone who's been in a comparable or worse situation & they're not here breaking the law by panhandling to others or trying to whine about their social condition while doing nothing to change it or taking personal accountability.

I don't like to see beggars asking me for money considering I have negative net worth. They don't have non-dischargeable student loans to contend with. Talk to me about needing money when you have student loans.

The moral here is that no matter how bad you think you have it, there's ALWAYS someone who's got it worse than you. We can play "Whose life is worse?" until the end of time & that basic fact will not change.

Second, take a look at this. The comments are mostly "Oh, she looks like a skank & that's unacceptable. She's being marked for like." and all this other crap.

Okay, as someone who actually works in the entertainment industry, knows people in modeling & the like I think I'm a bit more qualified to speak on the issue of entertainment standards than some of these two bit 1950s holdovers who claim these pics are appropriate for porno. I personally had no issue with the first one. It strikes me as something you'd see as an ad for the old 90210 series. I think the second one is more risque & I just don't favor that so much. I wouldn't consider it porn material or appropriate for an escort ad (too tame) but maybe something between mainstream stuff & porn. This coming from the woman married to the man who thinks Maxim is the magazine equivalent of a female tease (all talk of sex & no action).

Now I wouldn't personally do these poses & at 18, I wouldn't have submitted such photos of myself to my school yearbook but that's because I was a more modest person, had a strict mother & I think it would be hard for me to look trashy since I'm more of an artist + have a general demeanor/personality/attributes that counteracts any "whore" image that might result. I also don't think I'd be posting such pictures on LinkedIn unless maybe you're trying to get modeling jobs but this is tame compared to what I've seen. You'd expect ass cheeks or nipples to be showing with all the fuss made over this; I think THAT'S trashy.

This particular conflict should be decided by the students & ONLY the students. Not some old fart administrators stuck in the 1950s or bitter old women who hate this chick for having the looks they never had. Mores have greatly changed in our modern age & I think the school deserves to leave it up to the students when they refuse to spring for senior photographs & expect the students to spend their own money to come up with their own pictures. We had senior photographs taken by the school; none of this "Come up with it yourself" stuff. Hence, this situation never came up.

For those saying "You have to follow the school's dress code" for pictures consider that most yearbooks do have out of school candid shots. I even remember some shots of students at the beach being in our yearbooks (I don't recall exactly what people were wearing but 2 piece suits are generally the norm for women at the beach). No one got molested or had a heart attack. Can we also not just do some cropping? We didn't get full body shots in our senior pictures & we had about 150 people in my graduating class. Just make it a headshot or three quarter.

Let's also talk about the cheerleader uniforms & the like. Some of those outfits are downright scandalous & I even noticed this as a high school student (coincidentally, many of the cheerleaders got away with dress code violations often though some of them were actually nice to me & I had to dress more conservatively then so I didn't go raise Hell about it).

If employers wish to use high school yearbook pictures against folk, maybe they should also refuse to hire anyone who was a high school cheerleader, dancer, majorette, etc. There's a need not to have long attire for it but some of the shortness is for nothing but male titillation, plain and simple. We're not stupid, school admins!!! We know you're dressing kids up like that so you can get attendance at the games. How many ugly cheerleaders & dance folk have YOU seen on the fields?

At my high school talent show senior year, we had a fashion show for part of it and it did involve swimsuits (one piece but still, bathing suits; even our harpy Assistant Principal didn't object to it while intervening on people's raunchier dance acts). I was in the evening gown part. I also had to wear a bathing suit onstage for a play I was in along with my classmate who was in the same scene. I got to wear shorts & a coverup since I was the geeky, pale character & it was part of the performance (that part was very true to life for me at that time) but my friend didn't. Should we have never taken pictures of these shows? Should they have been banned, you Victorian Era cheerleaders??

Does the idea of such a hiring ban sound stupid to you? It should. I've handled HR tasks & it sounds very stupid to me, even defying law firm associate hiring logic.

It's as stupid as banning contraceptives or abortion, thinking it will stop people from having sex. Are you that dumb?! Has society degraded so much in brain power that some kind of mass cleansing is in order? It goes without saying in politics but I wonder about this in terms of the general citizenry in America. Even the more hardcore religious types I know realize you can't force morality onto others & it's a bad thing to have more unwanted kids in the world.

Please, for the love of God will some safes fall from the sky & give idiots like this a good thump on the noggin? A little animated justice would be great, especially for the morons who think they can put toothpaste back into the tube of repression & leave women barefoot and pregnant while they bind their feet and squeeze into their corsets.

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