Friday, August 19, 2011

What Do You Do With a BA in English?

I know I'm not the first to use this quote from Avenue Q as a title to a post, and probably not the last, but it sums up so well where my mind is right now.  I know the standard, optimistic answer to that question is "Anything you want! You know how to learn and adapt."  But what it feels like is "Anything you want if you want to go back to school for a few more years" or "Anything you want if the economy improves overnight" or "Anything you want if you know people who do what you want to do and can help you."

I've always loved reading and I found a love for theatre very early and I'm extremely stubborn so I guess it wasn't that surprising that I picked a double major in English and Theatre and stuck with it, and even the times when I think, "I'm a good enough student that I could have been a lawyer or something"  I think again and think "And I would have been awful because I would have been simultaneously bored and belligerent because I hate red tape and stupidity"  which covers most jobs that make lots of money.

Granted I wouldn't have actually made trouble- I hate confrontation- but I wouldn't have done good work.  Which is something I really want to do.  I want to make life better for people in some way.  I would love to do that by performing but the theatre world is, at the most basic, expensive and mean.  You have to either have enough money to be out of work a lot or work at crappy jobs that you don't care about just to be able to audition and you can't care about them because if something good comes along you have to take it.

And I want to do well even at crappy jobs because even though it's a crappy job for me, it means something to the owner or the customer.  That's the reason why I'm having a hard time deciding if I should get a job while I'm looking for a full time job.  If I get a part time job then a) I won't be spending all my time looking for a full time job and b) if I get a full time job shortly after I get the part time job, I would be leaving a job I would have promised to be available for right after I gave my availability.  And I doubt I would get a job if I said that I was hoping to leave at any time.

So what do I do with my BA in English?  Well if I'm not spontaneously discovered by a vacationing record producer who goes to my church, I'm going to keep trying to get into publishing.  I'll explain why next time.  And I'll try to be less boring!  I know how boring I am but it feels great to put my thoughts out there.  Allons-y!

1 comment:

  1. You're an honest, caring woman, but you've gotta toughen up a bit for the real world. There are plenty of people looking for even part-time jobs right now, so I doubt you're going to leave an employer in dire straits. As a matter of fact, in retail jobs, they usually over-hire, leaving the current employees without enough hours to pay the bills. They do this so they don't have to pay full-time benefits and so they're never understaffed. Do they CARE that employees aren't getting enough hours and have no benefits. guess the answer. You should be loyal and dedicated about any job you do, but be realistic.