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  • Ollie Horsfall

Why No-one Will Hire Me...

Photo by Daria Shmalts

So as you may or may not know, I've been job hunting. I decided long ago that working in an office wasn't for me because it usually involves a lot of bureaucracy that results in most people being shit on, and the only people who are given an umbrella are the higher-ups.

I have friends who are successfully working as actors as well. Called often to castings, getting roles in shows and succeeding because they are good at what they do. Maybe if I focused purely on TV and Film work I'd have achieved far more than going to three castings last year, only one of which resulted in a job 5 months later, where I wasn't treated very well and heard the director say to the AD 'Well, that was a waste of 30,000czk' in regards to me. In ear-shot. At the time, it felt par for the course, but I wonder if that's not a reflection of me as a whole.

I decided to fall in love with theatre and my heart lies there: in the words, the lights, the set design, and the thrill of live performance. I'm from England and yet, I live in Prague, a place where people adore theatre but don't take risks with it (that is slowly starting to change, mind you), however it's basically impossible to get opportunities here to direct etc. unless you create them for yourself. I have been. I have also tried to focus on my initial goal of creating opportunities for other people, and have done, in doing so spawning new adoration for the craft. This I like. If I was still in England, I don't doubt I would be directing as a career and potentially acting on the side. Pretty much all of my education lies in the arts, all of my skills as a producer, mostly self-taught, but well practiced at this stage are coming to feel useless, even though I am using them.

I don't quantify success by how much money I'm making, but Jeebs it would be nice to be making something. I have recently been applying to jobs, all over the spectrum of my skills, ranging from things I'm vastly overqualified for and other things I'm definitely qualified for: marketing, writing, customer service, event planning, editing, teaching... The disheartening part is that no-one is even responding. How am I supposed to find a job if no-one will even give me the time of day to say 'thanks, but no thanks'? It's exhausting.

I AM GOOD AT WORKING HARD. I study. I plan. I get my shit done! So what's the problem...? Damned if I know. People often look at me with some pity when I explain I'm unsuccessfully job hunting. I can't even get an interview. That's CRAZY to me. I reduced my CV to be something more akin to a HR person's dream: black and white, simple, small flash of personality, without appearing overbearing. Nothing.

Who knows, maybe they go straight to this site, read about my mental health and think 'Nah, liability.'? Maybe they see the fact I have my own theatre company and think 'he wouldn't have time for us.'? Honestly, though, what's the point of lying about DonkeyDrop, or my continual battle with mental illness? Both of these things make me incredibly strong and offer me skills many other people lack from empathy to charisma to some simple fucking administration skills like proposing budgets, building relationships etc.

It's tiring. It's frustrating. It's about time someone said 'Hey, we'll give you a shot.' The last time I actively job hunted I had three interviews in two days, two job offers by the 3rd and a job by the 7th day. This time I've been actively hunting since November.

If you asked what my dream job was right now, it would be travelling and directing shows for the stage. My own shows or someone else's shows, Shakespeare (adore him) to modern avant-garde stuff. If I get to perform too, nice, but not important. I'm ready now and I'm damn good at it!

Then again, maybe I've gotten too big for my boots. I know how I present myself. I deny I'm arrogant anymore, I used to wear that word as a badge of honour, but now I don't. I'm self-confident and I have worked hard to be: body, mind and soul. 2019 may have sucked for many people, but for me it was self-discovery, tinged with learning truths about others that, though necessary, weren't easy pills to swallow. I know what I'm good at, that shouldn't be a bad thing.

Just need a chance to do something. I'm definitely worth more now than I was two years ago, and will only continue on the path, BUT it's starting to drain me.