Show business in never going to be a stable job. You are up and you are down and the perception is never the reality. People see your name in the paper and assume that publicity is comparable to income. Popularity and prosperity are not the same thing.
I can never remember a time when I came into a new year knowing exactly how much I would make, where I would be or when I could plan a vacation. There was one year I thought I knew, there was enough work on the books that I didn't have to be concerned about the monthly nut. However, by March of that year my entire calendar had changed and the tour I thought was a certain, cancelled. It was a year to punt and scramble.
The Broadway opening of my show was postponed three times, triggering a fire drill to make up for the jobs I turned down in anticipation. There was no way to make them up, I just hoped that there would be others.
During the SOAP days we were always 13 weeks from cancellation. After the fourth year of uncertainty we all began to settle in and made plans to return in the fall, that May they canceled the show.
But at the end of each year I realize that some how we made it. Somehow the jobs were there and it didn't matter if they were not booked so far ahead. But economic memory is very short and the lesson that prosperity is a state of mind not a balance sheet is hard to hold onto.
The last time the drain backed up I remember calling the plumber and thinking, "here is a job that wasn't on his calendar this morning." Doesn't he sit around and hope that there will be enough leaks and clogs to make his mortgage. Rarely to people schedule a pipe break. In that way I feel rather like a plumber, with one huge exception. The prospects of a pipe leaking or a drain clogging are greater than someone waking up saying, "We need a show, call a ventriloquist and see if you can get him out here this morning."
I hope that 2010 is better than 2009, as I hoped 2009 was better than 2008, etc. etc.... and I am sure I am not alone. Maybe there is something we can all do to make it so, and if you figure out what that is... let me know.
Happy New Years Eve,