Sunday, February 8, 2009

If you want me to re-enact the pottery scene from "Ghost", it will cost you extra.

I'm looking for a "real" job these days as my sales are way down and my inventory is way up. I've sent my resume off to a few interesting job prospects: 1) a dog toy factory looking for a customer service rep and 2) a funeral home seeking a funeral planner. The second one really captivated my imagination as it looks like a job that would have real meaning and it could be a satisfying thing to do for a living. I have a feeling I would be good at helping grieving people and it would be fascinating to have such a radical career change at this stage in my life. But neither of these potential employers have called back, so my life has yet to go off on a different tangent. Perhaps it's just as well.

A number of people have suggested that I teach pottery lessons and this is a good idea, of course, because I have the skills and the studio for this type of business venture. But I've always had an aversion to the thought of teaching people how to throw pots and I finally figured out why. On a recent episode of NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" the panelists were joking about a news story about British music teachers having to don protective ear muffs to save themselves from the sound of loud, poorly performed music. Host Peter Sagal quipped, "It's like forcing an animal lover to work in a slaughterhouse." This is exactly why I don't relish the thought of filling my kiln with a lot of beginning potters' work. I really love well-crafted pots and I think it would be tough to be involved in a money making venture where the physical byproduct is mediocre pottery. Call me a prima donna, but that's how I feel about it. I just don't have the passion to teach pottery.

The other problem with being a pottery teacher is the fact that most people's impression of throwing on the wheel is shaped by one movie alone: "Ghost". That sizzling scene with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze is still the image that most people conjure up when they think of my line of work. I suppose this could be a hook that I could use to make some real money. I could charge extra for the the "Ghost" experience... light some candles and play the right music. If I'm going to prostitute myself, I might as well do it right.


Alline Anderson said...

God, I HATED that movie. Just in case your funeral industry job wasn't tongue in cheek, you MUST check out Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial (Paperback)
by Mark Harris. Actually, check it out either way. Absolutely stunning, eye-opening, and yes, it will change your life (and death, too, for that matter!)

Tom Edwards said...

I wasn't joking Alline. That line of work sounds really intriguing to me and it would be a real challenge to do. But I never got a call back from the funeral folks so that path in my life probably won't happen. I haven't read his book, but I did hear Mark Harris interviewed on "Fresh Air" and his book sounds fascinating. Thanks!