Dear Job/Writing Opportunity I Really Want,
I was excited to see your posting for a new [insert job vaguely tangental to my dreams here] and I know I could contribute through many avenues in this position. I have over 10 years of experience working in nonprofit performing arts marketing and administration, two years working with grade school and undergraduate writing education, and am a fiction writer, playwright, and screenwriter who just graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from UC Riverside – so I think this background both in administration and creativity could be an asset to your company.
I guess you want me to explain why? Oh lord, I can’t anymore.
Do you know this is the 200th cover letter I’ve written since July? Jobs, fiction submissions, playwriting submissions, more jobs. And more jobs. I just can’t anymore.
Except I have to. Okay. So. Why? Why should you hire me/give me this opportunity? Why why why…well, I’ve taught in an 8th grade classroom! I’ve taught literature to undergrad science students! I’ve directed actors! I’ve directed MALE actors! I once directed a MALE ACTOR who was ALSO a cardiologist….and I’M A WOMAN! So whatever amount of shit and ego you think you’re going to throw at me, I’ve already been through worse.
[Clearing throat] Anyway.
I’ve worked in small theatres and at universities for over 10 years in Los Angeles, creating marketing plans, branding, graphic design, social media strategy, public relations, website design and upkeep, email campaigns, and building audience for the arts. And I’m tired of it. I really am. I shouldn’t tell you that, but I’ve been having this argument for MORE THAN 10 YEARS – the “WHY should I come see this art show when I could just as easily NOT do that” argument. In the end, there’s one thing I’ve learned about marketing: the BEST way to sell a thing is word of mouth. And to get word of mouth, you have to create something that means something and excites people and that sometimes means taking risks. Which I know you don’t want to because you’re a midsized theatre/corporation/dog walking service and you just want to stick with what you know. Which is cool. Cool cool cool cool.
Sorry. Back on track.
I’ve also organized fundraising events, readings, and new play festivals, so administration, organization, and follow-through are second nature to me. Who is the person that does all the work nobody wants to? Probably me. And remember, when I say I was a “Marketing Director” or “Marketing Manager” what that really means is I did EVERYTHING a team of 10+ people normally would. I’ve left jobs that then replaced me with 6 different people just to function somewhat normally for a while before they hire the 4 other people they need. Did I get paid as if I were a multi-headed goddess of efficiency? No. Probably I was paid like I was half a person who only needed half a room in half an apartment and ate half a burrito while I drove my half car to my second or third job.
I’m off track again. See? I am self-aware and am not afraid to correct course. I’m a self-starter!
I’ve been published! In a few journals that slowly start going defunct. But let’s not talk about that. The New Yorker once gave me a rejection letter when it clearly states on their website that they don’t have time to respond to everyone. So that’s something!
I’ve been produced! But at least one of them was self-produced and the others were with the theater company where I’m an ensemble member so I was also doing marketing and box office and merch and whatever and DEFINITELY CRIED from exhaustion at all the opening nights…And I know I shouldn’t tell you about the self-production stuff. I learned that at a writers conference last year. I was talking with some playwrights about those beautiful exchanges you can have with audience members – and I was telling my story, which began with me selling T-shirts in the lobby before the show. And the playwrights were like…”but why were YOU selling T-shirts.” And that’s when it hit me. Somehow being involved in the production as more than a writer was shameful. Self-producing doesn’t count. I guess? If that’s true then I’m really in the shit hole of my own creation.
Add that to my special skills list!
I hope you don’t look at my resume and think that, just because I seem to have a specific journey of a so-called “career,” that it doesn’t mean I can’t sell books, or walk a dog, or learn how to make a great cup of coffee, or manage your podcast content, or whatever and fucking LOVE it while doing it. But it also doesn’t mean this job is going to be my priority. Sorry to burst your bubble. But to quote Amanda Palmer, I’ve already spent too much time doing things I didn’t want to. I take pride in the work I do, which often leads to me putting the job first before the projects or people I’m passionate about. And enough of that. Will I be a good employee and do the work the best I can? You bet. Will I sign over my soul or promise you this is a career change while also continuing to write on the side and hope that this is all temporary before I’m finally free? Nope.
I’m tired of feeling over-qualified and under-qualified at the same time, all the time.
So interview me and string me along for months. Send me a rejection. Ghost me. Whatever. I’ve got other cover letters to write.
I would love the opportunity to talk with you more about this position. In the meantime, I’m going to try to forget that I sent this to you, because the moment I start really wanting something and throw that energy at it, is the moment I don’t get it.
Thank you for your time and consideration.