It must be nice working in the entertainment industry. I was at a cocktail party in Carnegie Hill a few months ago and I bumped into an actor. What an easy life he has! None of the stress of my life at all. I told him I was an investment banker, and asked him what he did for a living. It seems that while I'm busy worrying over what advice to give my clients, he earns his living by dressing up as a pirate and singing songs. He was in the chorus in a production of “The Pirates of Penzance,” playing to hundreds each night! It's all right for some.
I tried to talk more with him but he said he had to get back to work, people needed their glasses refilled. His job was apparently so easy that he took on others just to fill up his time. I feel I never stop working, and here he was able to take a second job to earn even more money. I wish I had the time to earn more money, but I have to work in the stressful world of investment banking! I asked him to bring me another glass of cava, and a few salmon sandwiches.
The entertainment industry is wonderful compared to banking–my colleagues tell me its completely recession-proof. People will buy tickets to go and see shows even if they don't have the money to buy them! When a recession comes there's no stress for the actors, none at all. But think about me! Last time there was a recession and our profits went down a bit, there was endless talk of cutting our bonuses. Endless it was. I had months of worry, I put off so many essential purchases. I even had to forgo my planned two week vacation in the Bahamas for a few months till the bonuses were finally paid.
My actor friend tells me he only sings certain types of song, ones that are written for his type of voice, and he is only good at a few types of dancing.
I met my actor friend (I never did get his name) some weeks later on the street, and stopped for a chat. It seems his show had been cancelled due to poor ticket sales. But get this, he had immediately found another job in a theatre on the other side of town! He was performing to scores of people every night! I asked him to count and he said he'd had nine jobs in the past two years. Nice work if you can get it. It must be great to just walk out of one job and straight into another. I don't know what I'd do if I lost my job, I reckon it wouldn't be as easy for me to find work as it is for the actors of the world. I've had to stick this same job for twelve years!
My actor friend gets to change to a new theatre every so often? I wouldn't mind a change of scenery now and then, but I have had to settle for the same office for nearly four years now. Trying to change anything can be incredibly difficult and stressful. Just the other week I wanted a new leather sofa for my office and, you probably won't believe this, my secretary had to send three emails before the finance people agreed to pay for it. Three! Then, what a hassle she had trying to get the maintenance people to bring it up and take away the old one. It caused me no end of worry.
I've been thinking for a while about becoming an actor myself. I reckon it must be much easier to get into than my line of work. My actor friend tells me that he had four “auditions” and got a “part” within a month of leaving college (auditions are what they call job interviews in the acting world, and parts are jobs). When I left college it must have taken me two months to get my first interview. I think I managed to get three in six months, and I never got any of the jobs. Investment banking is a tough industry to get into. You have to work and work and work to persuade people to give you that first chance. My father tells me it took him a month to convince the rest of the board to hire me.
I reckon acting is also fairly easy compared to what I do. As well as acting itself you might have to sing and dance but that's it. My actor friend tells me he only sings certain types of song, ones that are written for his type of voice, and he is only good at a few types of dancing. You can be selective in the acting world, but in the investment banking world you can't pick and choose which parts you will do and which parts you won't. Oh no, that might get you fired! You have to learn how to make money when the markets are doing well AND when the markets are falling. And you have to know which way things are going to make the best decisions.
Despite the advantages of the acting world, I do ultimately think I will stick with investment banking. It has its downsides, but I can't get over the feeling that it isn't wise to change career at a time when you need a new yacht.