Wednesday, September 24, 2008

That's me- out there on the fringe...

As I stared at my friendly, helpful bank teller yesterday, I came to the realization that I had no idea if this person was male or female. This is why I love living near Commercial Drive, folks. Even the bank tellers are interesting. Anyway, he/she set me up with an appointment to talk to a very large man about getting a Visa. And I was approved! In 2 weeks or so, I will receive a credit card with my name on it, the first in my 34 years! OK, I scraped in there by the skin of my teeth, but who cares? Now I can join the leagues of people with crushing debt problems! (Actually, I mostly got the card for ID & emergencies, but I'm sure it'll see a teensy bit of use every once in a while.)

It's been a few days of feeling a little... marginalized, I guess the word is. First of all, our Prime Minister, Stephen "Dead-Eyes" Harper, thinks that the funding problems of artists like me, problems his government created, are of no concern to "ordinary people." Listen up, Dead-Eyes. I don't go to fancy galas. I get up every day and try to scrape a decent living together as a musician because it's what I'm good at. To survive, I take on weird little gigs like working in a kite store or being a dancing pumpkin, for god's sake. And I don't really mind because I'd rather have the freedom of my life than be bogged down with a well-paying job that would eat my soul or a mortgage that would eat my savings (savings? ha, what savings?) I chose this lifestyle; I have to make do with the financial hardships that go with it. But don't call me part of the "cultural elite", whoever they are. In this country, I doubt they even exist.

And then this whole thing of getting a Visa: how come it's so easy for an 18 year-old student to get his hands on one but I only get one because I have a few extra bucks padding out my bank account from my grandma's legacy? Of course, I know the answer: the student gets it because credit cards want to get 'em hooked when they're young and broke and foolish; a 34 year-old who's never owed any money is not an appealing customer. That's why it's taken me so long- don't think I haven't tried to get a card before.

Topping it all off, even the theatre companies I work for have no idea what to do with me. I've had to get snarky with the latest one for not budgeting me for their remount rehearsals. Let's look at this: new cast, five songs (most with 2-part harmony) and you're not going to even think of getting a music director in? And then you're going to get super defensive with me when I ask for some respect? I already had this with another company this summer; I'm getting tired of it.

Lastly... I read 2 very good blog entries yesterday about another set of marginalized people: the overweight. Which I am. Gosh, it was hard to complete that last sentence! I often joke that I have the opposite of anorexia, in that I think I'm thin and gorgeous... until I try to squeeze into a pair of jeans at the mall. I have boobs and hips, people. Even if I was at my ideal weight I WOULD HAVE THESE THINGS. Not to mention short legs, at least, if we're going by the average length of jeans these days. Right now I'm in limbo: not big enough for the plus-size section, not comfy in all those narrow clothes.

Sorry. This sounds very complain-y and I don't mean to inflict that on you, dear 2.8 readers of mine. I'm not even in a bad mood today. It's just that I'm surprised, I guess. My life and my job feel so...normal to me. But I guess they are a little "out there". Which I don't mind, as long as I don't start feeling invisible.

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