The deal to fly to Phoenix was SO good. I was so excited. I requested the time off work and purchased the tickets. I was going to be visiting my friend in Arizona in January! January! I’d been waiting to go somewhere warm in the middle of winter and I hadn’t seen my friend in a few years. Phoenix was the perfect choice. Warm weather, here I come!
Side Gig: Actress
But I forgot to double check my side job schedule. I didn’t have anything written in my calendar, but we did have a gig that I’d already agreed to. My side job was rather unusual. I was an actress in a traveling dinner theatre. The work was sporadic, fun, and I loved it. I emailed my director to let her know my vacation schedule.
We had a show the weekend I booked the trip to Phoenix. A big show. My director really wanted me to do the performance. She was my understudy, but she needed to be available to keep the client happy during this particular gig.
So I incurred the costs to change the tickets. My cheap tickets were no longer that cheap, but that was okay because I was still going to Arizona during the winter. Good-bye winter blahs!
“Okay, I changed the tickets February, ” I told my director, via the telephone.
“Natalie, the big show is the February show. I can cover the January show, but I really need you to be in town for the February show,” she said.
“I thought you said the January show was the big show and the February show was the small one I could miss,” I said.
“No,” she said. “The February show is the large one.”
I hung up the phone and I cried. I cried right there at my desk.
I hung up the phone and I cried. I cried right there at my desk at work. Thank goodness it was lunchtime and no one was around to notice. It was so stupid and I did not want to explain to anyone why I was upset.
I was angry. I was sad. I was embarrassed. I was also out $400 and I didn’t have enough to book another flight anywhere for awhile. I was angry that I had misunderstood my director the first time we spoke. I was angry at myself for not double checking before switching those tickets. I also became a little resentful of acting. Acting takes up time and if you aren’t in the big time, it’s a labor of love. Actually, even if you are trying for the big time, it’s a huge sacrifice for little to no pay. The pay at the dinner theatre wasn’t enough to live on, but it made me feel good that I was “using” my theatre degree.
After the Tears For Phoenix
It became clear that I need to be more direct and assertive in my life, which is a slow process (and I’m still working on it over a decade later). It was not my director’s fault that I didn’t check my schedule with her before I booked my flight(s). I was aware of my responsibility. I didn’t have my ducks in a row. Lesson: Get your ducks in a row! I was able to do that a year or two later on my Seattle/Bellingham trip.
What’s the most ridiculous mistake you’ve made while traveling? Have you ever been unable to go on a planned trip?