Saturday, January 30, 2010

Reading the phone book

I had a "phone audition" yesterday to read a narrative for what I think is a consumer research agency. It's a gig through a friend.

I had to read a paragraph about one lady's church-going experience in a slow and reflective way. I did it from my car parked outside the gym in between the elliptical machine and the pool. When I finished the lady said, "That was just perfect," and now I'll get paid a decent wage for an hour's worth of reading.

I'm not flattering myself that my performance was actually "perfect." This is a non-union thing, they don't need a pro. But I can give them what they need, and they're paying me in one hour what I might expect to make in a full day of babysitting.

In high school, people used to tell me they would pay to hear me read the phone book. It's one of those hyperbolic things people say when you're in private school and everything you do is supported and the sky is the limit. And I knew that then, but when people would say it, it still gave me a sense of security, like, "well, I have this one thing people like." I actually pictured myself sitting in front of a microphone reading names and numbers, like that might be one way I would survive my adult life.

I'm not making a ton of money right now. I'm afraid of filling up my schedule with part-time jobs and never finishing my book, so when a gig like this comes up it's kind of a big deal to my wallet.

And it feels a lot like getting paid to read the phone book -- which is kind of magic.

4 comments:

Miss Sweetheart said...

hi I like your style of writing its very interesting how you describe things :) and you have nice stories

If you have time, Check out my blog: perfectedwords.blogspot.com :)

Rachel Wilson said...

Thanks! I see you're a writer too. Very cool!

Varian Johnson said...

Yay! Anything that fattens up the wallet is nice!

Paula - 53 said...

The sound of some people's voices make me high. I often wonder why that is. Good luck with your writing. I share your dream.