I am getting really good at saying goodbye. TWO YEARS ago today I arrived in California after leaving the only home I’ve ever known in New York. I said goodbye to my parents and my sister and my post college life of uncertainty and moved 3,000 miles across the country. It doesn’t feel like that was two years ago. It feels like two lifetimes ago. So much has changed in those two years; I have a different roommate than the one I moved out here with and a new apartment and have had at least 20 new jobs. That’s what happens when you work freelance. You say yes to everything everything, you say hello for a little while, and then you say goodbye. It happens, you get used to it, you move on.
Except this August I broke the rules. Like a whore who falls in love I took a job that wasn’t a one day gig or an award show with an end in sight. I started working on a talk show. Now, talk shows can be, for some, the holy grail of freelancing . For the most part the subject matter is light and fun, they are usually off in the summer which allows for freedom and ability to travel, and they can last for years which means stable work. Unless your show gets canceled. Or in my show’s case, not renewed for a second season. Then that’s a whole other story. This story.
Now, my show wasn’t canceled right away. It was canceled at a date in the future and we had to continue working on it until then #BecauseTelevision. It’s basically like being a lame duck president, you know that nothing you do can change the inevitable end, but you’re not just going to sit there. So you continue to make awesome TV and have crazy ideas and be inspired by the badass people around you because (almost) everyone is going down with the show like the band on the Titanic.
So now my show has ended. I made it through to the very end. I am so proud that I got to be a part of it and the work I got to do. This is the reason I moved to California two years ago: to make television, to work at a studio. For the first time in my career I wasn’t driving to a new set everyday and trying to remember everyone’s name, I was seeing the same familiar faces everyday and driving onto a lot with a stage and a desk. My desk.
And I wasn’t just emptying trashes or refilling the refrigerator with diet cokes (although that’s arguably one of the most important jobs on any set), I was casting and doing research and updating budgets and ordering props and attending meetings and rehearsals and learning from everyone around me. For a person like me (I’m really starting to think I’m a Ravenclaw, but that’s a post for another day), a job where I can use my brain and have actual responsibilities is the dream. I love the feeling of accomplishment and that the work I did actually contributed to the show in some way.
And then I had to say goodbye. This goodbye was tough because it wasn’t, “That was a hard day, we’ll call you if we need you next week” kind of goodbye. It was a, “We’ve celebrated birthdays and Christmas and firings and the ratings roller coaster and now it’s all over” kind of goodbye. It’s goodbye to my longest and most fulfilling job thus far with some of the hardest working, coolest people I have met.
But again, I’m getting used to goodbyes. Yes, I cried and yes I am sad and yes have NO idea what I’m doing next, but what else is new. No show lasts forever. Not even Oprah. Every show I have worked on has been an experience, a step towards where I want to be, a lesson in saying goodbye. And I am thankful.
Now it’s time for the next one.
Oh since I usually end these posts with a song, here’s one thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda and Hamilton.