Consume · film · theatre · travel

Dear Orlando, Please Let Me Live In You

I need a change. A big one. I’m now a college graduate (since April 2014) and I’m still working at the same job I had when I was going to school. Not for lack of trying either. I have applied for countless positions, I have gone on many interviews, I’ve even made it to the top couple of applicants before I was not offered the job. About six months or so, I started to think that maybe Knoxville is not the place for me anymore.

I don’t hate Knoxville, but I don’t love it either. I work as a graphic designer but I’ve really been aching to head my career towards more production design and art direction for video, film and theatre. And those jobs don’t exist here. There are many filmmakers in town, but they don’t have any money. Only a handful of production designers for video projects exist in the Knoxville area, most of whom have to do other work to survive. And the theatre is almost all non-profit, unless you work for UT-Knoxville.

So I started looking around at some places where I could thrive and Orlando seemed the best fit. It’s still in the south (which I love) and it’s an entertainment town (which I really love.) This past week I went down to explore. Just so happens I had a couple of interviews while I was there.

I drove down, which took me about 10 or so hours, listening to the great Isaac Morehouse podcast on the way (check it out here – so inspiring!) I got in at about 3 AM and fell right to sleep. My first interview was the following day at 3 PM so the next morning I slept in a little then got myself all prettied up.

The set and play program of Dancing Lessons at Orlando Shakespeare Theatre.
Dancing Lessons at Orlando Shakespeare Theatre

Interview went well (I may be overqualified for this one) and afterwards I headed to the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre to see Dancing Lessons. Oh, my, what a show. A character study about an injured dancer who may never dance again and her neighbor, a science professor with Asperger’s, this show was a delight from start to finish. The characters were charming and lovable and I was a complete crying mess by the end.

Spanish Baked Chicken with rice, beans, sweet plantains and green salad from Black Bean Deli in Orlando, FL.
Spanish Baked Chicken from Black Bean Deli.

The next day was an exploring day. I drove around looking at different apartments that were in my price range and had fun seeing what the area was like. I found a few pretty great places, had lunch at the Black Bean Deli which was amazing, and ended the night at the Mad Cow Theatre to watch their production of Art. Ok show, great acting. Really cool theatre that I look forward to patronizing quite a bit when I move.

Outside of Enzian Theater in Orlando, FL.
Enzian Theater

The next morning came extremely early for an interview that also went well (I feel under qualified for this position, honestly) and then some more exploring and back to the hotel for a nap. That evening I saw the strange little film Anomalisa at the Enzian Theater, which was a super cool place that I can’t wait to get back to. Awesome food and a cool movie to round off the trip. I drove back the next morning.

I’ve got a few more applications out and I’m applying to more every day, but now, I wait. And wait. And it wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t snowing in Knoxville right now.

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