Right now, although I am 26 and I am still living with my parents (my mom and my stepdad), I am just trying to stay positive and productive. I know there are those that have it a lot worse than I do right now so I try not to complain as much. I take cold/Scottish showers and try to drink a lot of water to get me through these months. I was working as a teacher aid at a local elementary school from November 2019 to mid-March of this year. Before the teacher aid position, I worked as a busboy and dishwasher at a family-owned restaurant for four years from 2015 to 2019. I was relieved when I got the new job, which meant better pay, having off weekends and holiday breaks, and working more hours even if it meant waking up every weekday morning at 5 AM. Plus, it was about time I got out of that restaurant job anyway. Four months into my new job, the pandemic hit and my work at the school district curtailed. Despite being in quarantine, I was getting paid until the end of June as I was under contract. Now, with the rise in COVID-19 cases and fall approaching, I fear what will happen if and when I return to work. I fear catching the virus but, then again, my parents are still working and they are still here. I haven’t gotten tested for the virus yet and I know I need to at some point. Unfortunately, I haven’t been paid in a month and I am clinging on to the money remaining in my checking account for now until the pandemic subsides and I can return to work again.
Having Aspergers and being without a license, I have barely left the house as it is. I feel like s**t not having my license at 26 when my two younger siblings drive as it is. Having a disability, I feel, has held me down in a lot of ways. I want to eventually move out, get a better job with my own place but right now, with the coronavirus on top of the disability, I feel stuck. Both of my parents work a lot and I don’t have a lot of friends.
To cope, since mid-March, I took a four-week online musical theatre intensive with a Broadway/TV actor. It was a great experience and I am glad I took the course. I’m an aspiring actor but I’ve done only done community theatre, a couple college productions, and some short and student films so far. I even worked as an extra for Guillermo del Toro’s new movie “Nightmare Alley” in Buffalo in late-February. I was there on the film set literally two weeks before everything closed down such as film productions that include, you guessed it, “Nightmare Alley.”
As something to fall back on for now, I got started on a YouTube channel that I had wanted to do for a while before the pandemic even began. Being at home a lot gave me the opportunity to get this channel finally up and running. In addition, I am planning on eventually completing a script for a one-person play that I want to perform someday. Being an aspiring actor from a working-class background, I could use all of the help in the world but know all I have to rely on is myself.
Recently, I’ve watched some good Netflix shows. I am watching some good movies on the Criterion Channel. I am revisiting and working my way through the filmography of one of my favorite movie directors, Ingmar Bergman. In addition, I am learning German through the Babbel app and I am liking it a lot. I’ve always wanted to learn a foreign language (other than Spanish) for so long and with Babbel, it’s quite a bargain. I can’t argue there. I would love to be multilingual plus, I feel, it would boost my marketing appeal and look good on my resume. Other than German, I have always wanted to learn French, Italian, and maybe Russian and Swedish.
Ironically, as much as I feel stuck here in my parents’ house in Upstate/Western New York, I am probably in the best place to be right now with all of the coronavirus spiking, police brutality, and recent rioting. My life could be a William Inge play. Plus, New York State is doing much better off than other states so that helps.
I apologize for this novel-length post. I’m new here so if you got through this entire reply, thanks for reading.