Tex’n the City: Item No. 2 — Well-paying career

On his march to age 30, Brandon James Singleton continues his quest to check off as many items from his list of achievements as possible. Up this week: A career… or the start of one.

Mike check … 1 … 2. Testing. Test. OK.

Is this thing working?

Good. I’m ready.

“I’ve gathered you all here for an officially announcement that I’m sure will effect you all and even shock some. I. AM. POOR.”

There. I’ve said it. Now, if someone would kindly pass that info along to the bill collectors and those department store clerks who work off of commission, and smell my shopping addiction from a mile away, I’ll be set.

California is considerably more expensive than Texas. That also means it’s time to lock down a job, hopefully in the same industry now that I’ve settled.

I never thought I’d be one of the statistics. You know, single and pregnant. OK, I’m not pregnant, fingers crossed. But I def eat enough for two. Which means I need to be bringing in the bacon for two.

I had almost forgotten how to write a resume. It’s been so long since I had to make one. So, I asked my new neighbor, who ironically used to live in Dallas, for some assistance. Skip ahead with him trying to understand the way the entertainment business works, and we finally managed to make me something I could work with.

Morning of my first interview and I’m a wreck! Why am I so nervous? Oh, that’s right. No job, no money. And no money, no home. And, well, I don’t do homeless very well.

I spend the next week in and out of different offices around Hollywood. Not understanding why these people weren’t just snatching me up before I even left the office. I kept getting offers about interning.

Interning? Really? Um, no thank you. Try again.

I meet up with my friend Dustin for brunch. He had moved out here two years ago from Dallas, for a job, so maybe he’d have some critiques to give me on what I’m doing wrong. Before I even sit down at the table, he realizes the problem and calls me out.

“Brandon, you’re trying to get a job, not auditioning for the Real Housegays of Beverly Hills.”

I’m sure I have no idea what he’s referring to.

But as we eat, he explains how difficult it was for him to relocate. In 30-something years, he had never left lived too far from his family and close friends, so to move out to L.A. just for a job? He had to make that transition of finally taking his work seriously.

It wasn’t always glam. And it wasn’t something you’d always want to show off. But it was a career. Funny enough, he found himself interning at 32 in a strange new city. But a month later, he was given the position he wanted, and has since been promoted again. It was hard, but he was working even harder to set up a successful future for himself.

It was one aspect I never really needed to consider. Or at least, never took the time to. I mean, I just never considered that I wouldn’t be working alongside Kim and Kyle Richards, as I do in my head.

It’s like when you’re in grade school and the teacher asks you what you want to be when you grow up. Everyone would automatically say doctor or lawyer. But thanks to eight seasons of Grey’s Anatomy (still pissed about how Lexie died!), we know that it’s not simple to just become a doctor — that’s only after a lot of hard work, the gratification of knowing you worked your ass off makes it worth it. (Unless you work at Seattle Grace, where it seems the death rate is higher for its doctors than it is for its patients.)

But he was right. It was time to get over myself. So I responded to a few of the internship offers. I accepted one with this entertainment company casting for major networks. If I do well, I’ll have an actual paid position within the month as a casting associate.

Sure, I’m not working alongside Kim and Kyle. But I am casting for their network. That’s only one hop, skip, and diamond-motivated jump away from future BFFs.

Career? Maybe just the beginnings of one. But it’s enough to give me hope.

Peace out.


Follow Brandon on Twistter @The_HugoBoss

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

This week’s takeaways: State Fair edition

Lots of groups are looking to raise some money this weekend, from the Dallas Bears holding a poker tourney that benefits AIN on Saturday at The Brick. to a fundraiser for the Mr. Texas Leather Travel Fund on Sunday at the Dallas Eagle. But you don’t have to do go — in fact, you might wanna get a little naughty.

Trans porn star Buck Angel is one of the guests at this weekend’ Beyond Vanilla, the 22nd weekend of kink. That takes place at the host hotel, Downtown’s Crowne Plaza, this weekend; then starting on Thursday, the hotel turns over but continues to stay gay with the opening of Dallas Southern Pride. It begins with the B/HAP conference and the Ms. Dallas Southern Pride pageant.

For something less kinky but no less edgy, check out the Dallas VideoFest at the Dallas Museum of Art all weekend, which boasts a substantial gay video program, including a documentary about the Beat Generation, including Alan Ginsberg and his lover Peter Orlofsky, pictured.  Or cross the Arts District to see gay choreographer Doug Varone’s new recital at the Winspear, or the final weeks of The Second City Does Dallas at the Wyly.

Of course, the State Fair commences today, but if you can wait until Tuesday, you can also see the opening night of The Addams Family, this year’s State Fair musical. (And this just in: The Lexus Broadway series will include The Book of Mormon for its 2013–14 season; dates will be announced in January.)

Finally, we started a new weekly online-only advice column this week, Tex’n the City. Check it out.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Tex’n the City: The checklist

Editor’s note: This week we launch a new online series, Tex’n the City, by Brandon James Singleton. A combination web diary and advice column, Tex’n the City will track Singleton’s plans to get his life together as he narrows in on his 30th birthday. Enjoy!

 Tex’n the City: The Checklist

by Brandon James Singleton

Do you have a list of things you just knew you’d accomplish by a certain age? Sure you do.

First car by 16 … Study abroad before graduation … Throw the best 21st birthday party ever — or at least one epic enough to make all your friends and enemies jealous …  Get discovered after college walking out of a Starbucks, and become America’s new male Oprah ….

OK, maybe that last one is just me. Point is, everyone can own up to at least one such goal.

Then, reality hits.

No matter how hard you work or how detailed your plans, most things don’t turn out like you expect.

With my next birthday — the big 3-0 — slowly creeping up, I’ve been inspired to try and break the curse I’ve imagined was placed on me by that one kid in elementary school I renamed “Stinky McRoach” in front of the classroom — hey, it kept the heat off me for a bit. I know, kids can be mean! But if you’re the poor, short, gap-teeth pudge with bifocals, in a rich private school filled with mini-Channing Tatums and little Kristen Bell look-alikes, try to grow up blameless. (Way to go, Ryan Murphy, waiting until now to make geeks popular. Where were you when Stinky and I needed you?)

To prep for this new passage in life, I re-read some really, really old journals I managed to find. (Thanks, Myspace.) Imagine my disappointment in realizing not only had I not accepted my fourth Academy Award by 25, I hadn’t been nominated for my first. (Maybe if I worked on a movie first…). Nor am I fighting off the paparazzi who bombard my home in the Hamptons simply to get a shot of me and my fiancé, Tyson Beckford, lounging around our Olympic pool like the one in Toni Braxton’s “Unbreak My Heart” video. I don’t vacation in Florida with Diddy and J-Lo, or spend nights laughing it up around the Hills with the cast of Party of Five.

Strangest of all, I seemed to have misplaced the extra 25 lbs. of sexy greek-god muscle I was to spend ages 26 to 27 putting on for that Spielberg summer blockbuster he would beg me to star in.

Maybe some dreams are just that.

But many others aren’t. I made my list of the top 10 things that truly are achievable, and should be by 30. Call it my Life Timeline Checklist:

—  Arnold Wayne Jones