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  • Writer's pictureBrian Martin

Sell it!

Jan 23, 2020:

I never was much of a salesman. I learned that life lesson the hard way (which, as it would seem, is how I learn most everything in life). When I was in my twenties, I took a leave of absence from my cargo handling job at Air Canada so I could work for a travel agency in downtown Vancouver peddling corporate travel packages. Minimum wage pay and no benefits (I must have been desperate), but there was a legitimate opportunity to make good commission off of whatever I sold. Sounded fairly promising, but as I quickly found out, I couldn’t sell a life jacket to a drowning man.

Cold calling on a large corporation that was no doubt already represented by a travel agency was pretty intimidating stuff, especially for a young adult. I could barely get through the front door to say hi to the secretary (that’s what they were called back in those days so don’t shoot the messenger) without tripping over my own shoelaces, and if I couldn’t even get past the front line I was dead in the water. So, there’s me, floating down the river.

Now, I never really gave this a whole lot of thought (not entirely true), but I think it’s quite possible that I might be crazy, because here I am, once again, trying to sell. Only this time it’s not corporate travel, it’s my acting abilities. As Clint Eastwood once said in Magnum Force, “A man has got to know his limitations”. I guess I haven’t found mine yet, but I’m certainly not beyond seeking help in the endeavour, which is why I’m on the hunt for an agent.

As far as I can tell agents are partners in crime. They don’t make money unless you make money. I don’t have a problem with that at all, but now I have to instill the belief into one of them (so that they will represent me) that I’m going to be the next Brad Pitt (okay, maybe instead, the next Captain Obvious). As I’m finding out though, agencies are quite heavy in Captain Obviouses.

Fortunately, I’m in training and I just spent the other night in my Foundations class selling myself as a homeless fisherman with a shoulder injury (more on the injury later). Over the last two weeks I've been following various people and jotting down notes in order to develop this character. As it turned out, it came in handy (read below).

The next day I drove out to BCIT for an audition. I was looking to play the role of a dead father (how hard can that be right?). The director had me do three silent (no talking) improv scenes. One, pretend I dropped my wife’s birthday cake and then try and piece it back together. Two, pretend I’m on a long-haul flight with a howling baby two aisles down, and finally three, pretend I’m a fisherman (see, came in handy), and that I was battling a big fish I had on the hook which instead turned out to be just a saturated log. If you can imagine, I’m doing this in front of a couple of college students. The audition took 10 minutes in total and cost me $3.50 in parking. The commute, including two collisions on the Alex Fraser Bridge (not mine) took one and a half hours. Like I said, I think I might be crazy.

I’ve been rehabbing my shoulder (which is still whack), but somehow, I managed to really re-strain it again while playing the twelve string the other day (a little Poison. Every rose…), but I just can’t help myself. These babies’ task me while they sit their seductively perched on their stands begging for me to play them (they’re doing it right now). I know I shouldn’t because it’s not helping my shoulder any, but much like going to the gym, if you don’t stay with it you lose your momentum. I may have to move them to a less inviting spot, like maybe the closet (not gonna).

This injury though has become a real son of a bitch. I feel like I’m back to square one with the intolerable pain (even with the drugs) and I’m still waiting for my late February ortho appointment. My biggest fear is that when I finally see the specialist he's going to say “Yup, needs surgery. Let’s schedule for the fall.” I’m going to have to sell him on an earlier date.

Until next time.

P.S. If you like what you’re reading please click the like button and if you’re on FB please share. I would appreciate it and you never know I might introduce you to somebody famous one day. Like me. :) Cheers.

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