• scottwguthrie

Pass face


Are you what you do?


A big question for me the past few years.


Context-I am an actor by choice. It's my first love. I haven't been able to make a living solely as an actor, so I've picked up a few job titles along the way to sustain myself.


I am a singer. Paid usually on the weekends. Also, not enough to make a living off of just this job, but I would consider it my number 2.


I am a director. I don't know anyone who is in the top tier of directing, which I can only guess is the level you have to be at to make a living at just being a director. I'd say it's job number 3.


Directing parlays into teaching and coaching. This is what I aspire to, one day fully utilizing my master's degree.


Outside of my career passion, I have jobs. Bill payers. Opportunities to use skills I've picked up along the way. I have had many of these, actually. Just to name a few:


Dancer

Supernumerary

Audition Reader/Monitor

Temp

Barista

Career Consultant

Bartender

Server

Manager

Catering Captain

Bar Program Designer

Bar Menu Designer

Focus Group Member

Product Specialist

Narrator

Host

MC

Published Author


These were jobs that used the gifts I have from the previous column of career aspirations and applied them as real world skills. Communicating. The ability to read the room. Delegation. Problem solving. Multi tasking. All part of my acting toolbox. And apparantly, somewhat lucrative.


What I have been curious about lately is what type of person those jobs make me.


I notice I am a different person as a full time actor than I am as a full time director than I am as a full time caterer.


Acting makes me think, makes me calculate, makes me very articulate. Directing makes me active with my whole brain and imagination, makes me very aware, makes me very sensitive. Catering makes me functional, operating at premium efficiency but minimum personality at times.


Hence, pass face.


I used to play a game when I was a caterer. We'd have to pass hors d'oeuvres to huge rooms of people. Usually there were about a dozen of us and we'd have to do this for hours. Passing the same thing over and over. You hit one group of people, offer it to them, move on to the next, and so on until your tray is empty. Only to go back, reload your tray, and repeat ad nauseam. What I started to notice was that I, and all my fellow caterers, had a pass face.


Pass face is what your face does in between those groups of people, when you basically go to neutral. I could watch my friends' faces go from animated to slack over and over. It entertained me to no end. So naturally, as a mimic, I learned everyone's pass face and would do them for people when we had down time or needed a laugh.


One particularly grueling gig, I was passing for hours at the late Roseland. Back and forth, all night, to people who could care less. A friend of mine caught my eye at one point. We walked towards each other, trays of canapés in hand. She looked at me and said, "You know you've been walking around, looking like you want to kill everyone here for the last hour, right?"


And that's when I figured out MY pass face.

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