When I packed up my life in Louisiana and moved out to L.A., I didn’t have a job. I got here and immediately started looking for employment on job boards, Craigslist and bugging friends for help. My only rule was that I did not want to work at another restaurant and I refused to apply to any server positions. The problem with this, of course, is that I closed myself off to a lot of opportunities. Eventually, I applied to a restaurant outside of L.A. and managed to snag a job as a server. I was incredibly disappointed to be getting back into that business until an acting coach of mine gave me some advice on working a day job and being an actor.
When I asked him if he had any ideas about what kind of a job I should get, he responded, “Make sure people know you’re here. Don’t hide yourself.” What he meant by this is that if I work in an office or in a cubicle somewhere I won’t have the chance to meet the public. By working at a restaurant, I am exposed to hundreds of people a week that might know someone who knows someone who happens to work for a casting director and is looking for a gal just like me.
Now I know the odds are slim that Heather Locklear (who is just a doll to wait on, by the way) is going to enjoy my service so much that she’ll ask me to play her daughter in her next television venture, but why not try? At the very least, this restaurant has given me the chance to meet and interact with a lot of celebrities and industry big wigs who I otherwise may not have even seen from a distance.
Being a server or working in customer service in general is a thankless job, but I’ve realized I need to make the most of it. I’m a friendly person and have learned that out here, my “Southern hospitality” makes me a bit unique. Los Angeles is a tough place to live and more often than not, people will assume you’re out to get them before you have a chance. My genuine kindness shines through that and helps me stand out. Or so I like to think.
The point is, out here, you have to get noticed. Period. I always say that you never know what the stranger you’re talking to is going through. Well, you also don’t always know who they are or who their sister or father or cousin might be. So be considerate, be present and be aware of who’s around you.