The older I get the more I realize that I am always on a quest. A pursuit of something better. Something better for my soul, my children, my husband, my universe. Our move to Florida was always much more than the weather. My husband had a terrific job opportunity that he could not have gotten in the Northeast. We live in a home we could not have afforded in the Northeast. Theme parks, beaches, water parks and a plethora of other arts and cultural opportunities do not exist on this scale in the Northeast, and cannot be accessed year-round in the Northeast. I LOVE having my children run outside in their bare feet and play every day of the year, after school and on weekends in sunshine. My senses have become so much more finite since I have moved to the south. I spent 38 years living in the Northeast. I experienced winter in all its frozen forms month after month. I had to prepare myself every day from November to March for the dreaded effects of the winter – the treacherous roads, the walking paths, the air as it hits you when you go outside, the sickness, the dry skin. I do not enjoy winter and I never have. It is a preference developed after 38 years of living with it. I have spent the last three years not having that. I won’t apologize for making this choice. It was the best decision for the five of us at the time. The pursuit of something better. But not necessarily forever.
Not being able to access my family as easily as it was in the Northeast is a challenge and it is furstrating. Probably more frustrating than I had originally planned. Since I am not building my business, we don’t have the resources to be able to fly to NY or buy my mother plane tickets as often as I would prefer. It SUCKS that we can’t be together for birthday parties and other celebrations. I am cognizant of the fact that this distance has changed our family’s story, our traditions, and we miss out on things. Are they justifiable sacrifices in the pursuit of something “better?” Does it make us selfish for wanting something “better?” Then again, when you weigh it all up. Is it better?
I am not a 9-5 office-type girl. I have done it before, but that has not meant it has made me happy. I need a certain type of job to be happy and fulfilled and I won’t apologize for that. I have a different mold. I am the kind of person that cannot take a job because it is a job - A place to make money so I can take the money and enjoy life. I need both. My job has to be something that I enjoy doing and I am passionate about.
I’m not saying that when they made me, they broke the mold, but my mold is pretty unique – definitely not the status quo. I don’t fall into a mold of the standard life: college-married-job-kids-travel-retirement-grandchildren-death-done. I have to make a difference. I have to challenge myself. I have to enjoy my life. I have to constantly be in pursuit of something better. As I pursue something better, it is not necessarily a bigger house or a better car than we have now – that kind of “better” doesn’t REALLY matter to me. I don’t care about status symbols. My mini-van is just fine! I need to make a bigger mark, establish that great achievement, and make the dollars so I don’t have to stress and can live life fully.
I have always had this spark. But a spark is only as powerful as the clarity, the focus, the fuel to turn the spark into real fire. My teens were riddled with depression, alcoholism and a bunch of bad choices. In my 20’s my path was almost always headed in the right direction, but again, overshadowed with the fog of alcohol, depression and more bad choices. The fog lifted when I stopped drinking in 1999. It was a re-building process, for sure, but I was able to put my family back together, strengthen my path and start finding that clarity. I mourn for my lost years, I really do. But I am in Pursuit of Something Better.
Well the fun, fun, fun has officially ended. My luxury of not having to be gainfully employed has disappeared and I am now, reluctantly job hunting. It has been a great 6 months of freelancing here and there, spending tons of time with my kids and putting the plans together for In the Limelight. Don't get me wrong, I love working for Orlando Youth Theatre. It is great - but not enough money to survive. No matter what happens, I will still work to keep that position. It is flexible as all get out and is only 15 hours a week. Technically I can do the work in the evenings, remotely from home and on the weekend I could even go in, as Saturday is the busiest day for them.
Now I am in a quandary. In the Limelight has had to be what I would call "middle burnered" not back burnered or front burnered. I am sort of kind of at the point in the business plan process where I have to delve into the money part and it becomes painfully obvious that I don't HAVE any money at the moment. I will get some someday, but at the moment, the well is dry. NOW what the hell am I going to do? I have this stupendous resume with tons of experience and a great skill set. The jobs out there are a big flipping bore. And the fun ones? They probably pay you in quarters, and I think the one I went for today sounded like fun, but could probably be done by any random ding dong. I unfortunately was the ding dong extraordinaire today. Read on.
I had an interview at 11 am at Universal Studios today. Good god - what a disaster that was. So here is the story. I spend the morning furiously analyzing careerbuilder, getting resumes up, and trying to complete the application process for UCF. I could easily work in their development department AND get free tuition. I have looked into this route before, as I would really love to go back to school, but the application process was taking HOURS to complete. So I look at the clock and I am running late. I rush like a maniac to get showered and dressed and perfected and leave the house at 10:50. Stupid move, as the interview at Universal is at 11 and quite frankly, I know better. I take the worng turn, get in the worng entrance, finally find my way and go to the main HR building by 11:07. I tell the person at the desk who I am and where I am going and she directs me down the sidewalk to gate 2. I get there and there is a woman standing there outside the security hut - about 45 or so, skinny, nervous. No clue what her bag is. I approach the security guard and introduce myself and tell him I have an appointment with "Mike" (the appointment was made over the phone and a last name was never given) for the Television Audience Recruitment position at 11 and I am sorry I am late (at this point it is 11:10). Security man has no clue what the hell I am talking about and tells me the skinny, nervous chick is in the same boat. He is not as helpful as I would like. He tells me he will make a call and find out the scoop. The chick approaches me, sees my file folder with my resume and references and says "You brought a resume?" I said "Yes." (Duh - WTF do you think is in the folder, Miss Nosy Nosemary?) She said "Mine is in the car." Then security man says "Do you have a cell phone?" I say "yes." He says, "call Mike at this number - it is his cell phone." Miss Nosemary says "I have a cell phone too, but I left it in the car." Apparently she has left quite a few things in the car. She says "My name is Miranda, what is yours?" I tell her and I call the number Mr. Security man writes on a NAPKIN (hello?) and get a voicemail for a guy named Mike. I leave a message "Hello Mike, this is Katie Corrie calling and I have an appointment scheduled with you at 11:00 am for the Television Audience Recruiter Job. I am here with another candidate for the position, Miranda, and we are at security gate 2 outside of the wardrobe building. We hope to see you soon as the security guard is unable to contact you directly. Please call back on my cell." Then Miranda the skinny chick says, "Why don't you try calling Mike at the number I called to make the appointment? She shows me her car keys, and on the remote door opener, she has taped the job ad to it. Wacky - but at least she has the number - she obviously travels light. I call that number (which apparently Mr. Security man does not have) and a woman answers the phone. I explain the situation to her. She says, "What are your names? You are not on the list. Mike waited for you until 11:10 and then brought everyone up here." Silence. WTF? If we are not on the list, how could he have waited for people not on the list? And what's up with the silence? She then said she would come down to get us. Great. I then tell her where we are. I am glad I did, because she said "What are you doing outside of the Wardrobe building at gate 2?" I explain that the woman at the Main HR building told us to come here and that is why we are here. Now it gets good... 5 minutes later this big, shabby looking dude in desperate need for a haircut and a clean shirt appears with a "Mike" name tag on, but a different last name from the dude I left the voicemail for - oops - Mr. Security man effed that one up and now I look like a tool to the other Mike. He says "What are your names?" (v. rude) I tell mine, skinny tells hers. He looks at a scraggly looking piece of paper in his hand and tells us we are not on the list. We both explain how we each talked to him directly on Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning and he told us to come at 11 am on Thursday. He says "You'll have to forgive me, I have interviewed 40 people in the last two days for this job and it gets a bit overwhelming, ya know?" Then he looks skinny Miranda in the eye and says "Do you care to tell me why you are late?" JUST like a 7th grade gym teacher. She buckles like a child and explains she could not find a parking space and was 3 minutes late and she is so sorry. THEN he looks at me and says "And what's your excuse?" It took every fiber of my being NOT to say, "You know what dude? You F!@ked up by telling us the wrong place to come, did not write our names down, and do you know who you are talking to? I am NOT one these degenerate ding-dongs that sell churros to tourists in 150 degree heat all day long, I am the queen of children's theatre, a goddess of marketing, the wonderkid of fundraising and a damn good teacher. I don't have to take your shit! BUT - I bit my tongue and said, "I'm sorry, Mike. I went into the wrong driveway and got confused. I am very sorry." He then says "If either of you do end up getting hired you need to be on time or early EVERY day." We both nod and agree with Mike we will both be good little girls and be there on time. Then he says he needs our drivers license so we can get a nametag. I rifle through my purse and my heart sinks. In my rush to get out of the house, I visualize my wallet sitting next to my desktop at home where I needed my license to fill out the UCF application, and I indeed, have no ID - and apparently, no interview. Skinny, who has been COMPLETELY unprepared to this point has hers in her POCKET. I say in my most witty, upbeat manner "I am batting zero today, Mike! I changed purses and do not have my wallet." He says, "Sorry, no photo ID you can't come in. If you still want to be considered, I will be scheduling another round of interviews for next week." Skinny Miranda, feeling sorry for me at that point says "What about her car registration? Will that work." I smile and say thank you, but that's fine, "Take care!" and walk away like the loser I am. For a brief moment I felt like a 19 year old college kid being booted out the door of the bar for trying to pass off a library card for an ID (Which incidentally, the Copper Penny Pub on State Street in Albany used to accept library cards!). I get in my van, call my husband and say "I really blew that one baby." Oh well! It was not meant to be!!
So....have been trying to come up with a name. Last time it was Corrie Arts & Theatre School, which was great. Said exactly what it was and became C.A.T.S. Now that the parties are going to be such an important part and it won't exclusively be a school, it needs something shorter and GREAT. Robin Wiley, my pal who does corporate development for Proctor's gave me the answer I needed - In the Limelight. She likes Limelight on its own and I completely agree, BUT there are a string of nightclubs around the world with scantily clad women running around them in called simply Limelight. I started playing with what the word would say in logo - I like perform (a little star graphic) party (A little star graphic) play and them below it In the Limelight. That is something to get inspired and excited about. It says a lot about the draw of the place, and of course parents will indeed call it "Limelight" for short. A little lightbulb went off and that is always a good thing. Barring any unforeseen complications, I think it may be a keeper.
Now I need to get a domain. Inthelimelight.com, .net etc. are all taken and could cost as much as $15K. Scratch that. Inthelimelightonline.com, partyinthelimelight.com, and performinthelimelight.com are all available. I of course own thecorrieschool.com, but that probably won't work. Decisions, decisions...
Perform « Party « Play
In the Limelight