When I was Gainfully Employed in the days before MapQuest and GPS, my job required frequent travel to visit clients in several Midwest states. I’d drive around Milwaukee, Kansas City, Louisville and even Topeka to see see five to seven advertising agency or advertiser clients each day. For another job, I had to visit many clients every week. No matter the weather, I had appointments to keep. Fortunately, most were within walking distance, but a few were in the distant burbs.
Good things about desk jobs are that you always know where the bathroom is, where to get a glass of water. And you have a space, even a cube with a few drawers, to call your own.
Many years of commuting to my company’s office, then going to at least one client, then back to the office and then to another client–usually carrying a heavy briefcase–prepared me for being a working actress.
Yesterday, for example, I had an on-camera audition downtown that took about half an hour, plus driving. I had to go back home, then went to help a friend. We both happened to have a callback around the same time just past downtown (and, coincidentally, were paired up). We were there less than 15 minutes. Then back to my place. At night, I went west of downtown to work on a cable TV show and go out with friends, making three trips in one day. Today I had a TV series audition that took less than 5 minutes. So I can spend more time commuting than I do at my destination.
At least I live in the city, not the suburbs like many actor friends. Most auditions are downtown, but jobs can be anywhere. I had an ongoing VO job in Evanston, and now have a client in Oakbrook, which can take an hour to get to. I do most VO auditions and some jobs from home, which is time-saving and can be done around my schedule. That’s convenient, especially when, like today, an audition arrives late afternoon and is due by 9AM the next morning.
But despite all of the back and forth, I usually prefer being there in person. I enjoy interacting with colleagues, as I did when Gainfully Employed, and also the opportunity to take direction and grow relationships in a way that can’t be done via e-mails.