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I am a singer, actress and saxophonist by trade.

I have not always had the luxury of doing only that. Being in the performing arts means to survive, you may have to take a lot of jobs along the way that you never put on your resume.

And, until last year I have accepted every job ever offered to me.

On my resume and website now are some amazing videos, photos and recording of me that are looked at by people other than family and friends, and I’ve played some incredible venues and for some pretty famous people.

However.

Here are the jobs I never listed on my resume.

This is my confession on what you may have to do along the way.

For months I was hired as a Ninja Turtle. This involved the donning of a big sweaty suit and travelling by helicopter to shopping centres. Upon arrival, small children would eagerly kick me in the shins to see if “I was real!”. To my credit, I only kicked back once.

Although I swore in the green helmet quite a lot.

After one particularly bad landing, all of the Ninja turtle characters had to walk through the car park. Some passed out from dehydration and heat exhaustion. I learned from that,  and began to carry rehydrate powder in my sweaty knickers, so if I felt dizzy I could just go into a clothes shop (they had change rooms so I could remove my “head”) ask for a glass of water and take the medication.

The Ninja jobs paid my rent and my bus ticket for the month. Two bookings and I had everything paid for, as well as money to get blind drunk.

This of course meant  I didn’t have to think about my career as an actress and singer being a couple of childrens’ theatre productions and the highlight at that point, Donatello the Ninja Turtle.

Then came the casting as a Snuggibear ( also a big outfit soaked in the previous guys sweat). This booking was more physical, involving running up and down Turffontein racecourse. Unfortunately on the day of that booking I had  gastroenteritis in a crowd of three thousand people with only porta potties available. Won’t go into more detail than that except that a dancer called Craig Long to this day has my friendship cause he helped me get in and out of that costume to get to the loo.

Only after he begged me not to shit in the costume.
Then there was Playpuppies sidekick.I got the job because I could play more than 3 chords on the guitar. Nothing to do with my overwhelming acting and vocal talent.Up to 5 shows a day singing and performing for pre school kids with the total attention span amongst them of 7.6 minutes. The shows were 45 mins long.

I also made a foray into what I believed would be radio.  I entered a competition where the prize was to audition to be a presenter on what was sold to me as “Radio Makro”.It turned out to be announcing dog food specials on the in house speakers. I bumped into several ex boyfriends, musicians, and basically anyone who ever looked at me and said “Shame, she’s sweet, but she will never get anywhere” with a knowing look in their eye. I saw the contract through, and hid in soft furnishings and garden tools as much as I could.

So, why am I telling you this?

Because being a Ninja turtle has taught me how to appreciate my job now. I get to play in beautiful venues and stadiums with glamorous costumes and great make up.

But if I’d never been a Ninja Turtle, I wouldn’t have followed through with any of the other hard slog that got me to where I am today.

http://www.annemarieclulow.com