On To The Next One

Who: Annie Harold
Age: Early 40s
City: New York, NY
Profession: Actor, professional unemployment person

Annie barley lets me get a word in. She’s got enough energy to provide electricity to a small village. Not conventionally beautiful yet you can’t miss her, with her long, forest-thick hair, that raspy voice, and of course, her mind that just speeds through ideas and thoughts and coincidences and fate and destiny and on and on. I soon learn that unemployment is about to run out for her. I wonder if she deals with anxiety by rattling off the way she’s doing?

I forget the coffee in front of me while I watch Annie dip her buttered Cuban bread into hers. I can’t look away. Annie is single and has a 5 year old son. I learned that the hard way – “I’m not in a relationship! No, no. Who told you that? No, no, I’m single. And sooooo thankful to be, cuz let me tell you something – ” She’s a “well known” actor around town. She doesn’t do much auditioning when it comes to theatre. Readings, workshops and some indie projects fills her days, but not her pocket. Why not, I ask. “I’m lazy. It’s the small stuff that gets actors ahead. I don’t wanna do them. It’s boring,” she laughs and then dips.

“I’m at as many readings as I can be. Gotta support, right? Gotta be seen, haha.” She’s got a point: an actor’s life doesn’t stop once your hired. Jay Z taps into it best, “It’s on to the next / On to the next one / On to the next one.” She’s a real New Yorker, been here her whole life. I ask her if she’s ever experienced living in another city at all. “No, no. What for? I love New York. Shut up with that,” she jokes.

If you’re not going to bother with the small stuff, why bother going half way? I ask nonchalantly. She looks at me for a moment. A long moment in the life of Annie Harold, it seems. I realize the sip I take from my coffee is probably my first in 5 minutes. “Shut up with that,” she says. She nudges me and chuckles loudly.

We sit in silence.