The Story of Zippy

June, July, August, and September.  2009.


It started in June. I was in my final weeks left of my year contract with Dateline NBC and the year was up on June 30th.  As unemployment inched its way forward, the more appealing a few weeks off started to seem.  That’s right, a few weeks off to bask in the hot July sun.  I could certainly use a few weeks off. I’d be refreshed, energized, and able to happily march into a new job by August.  It would only be for a few weeks.

August arrived.  I was in the midst of several interviews for a job that I wasn’t particularly keen on, but I totally thought I’d get it.  Hands down.  I began to stress that I wouldn’t be able to go on vacation with my family, to my favorite place on earth – Annisquam, Mass.  Obviously I wouldn’t be able to ask for any time off that early in to a new job.  I’d have to miss out this year.  Shucks.

Didn’t get the job.  Went away for a week. Continued the job search while staring out into the Atlantic.

September came.  It was unwelcome.  Stupid September. Stress and anxiety took over and I was uncomfortable in my own skin.  I was calm and focused one minute, and in the next I was spiraling into a deep depression.  I began googling, “bi polar disorder” and, “quarter life crisis.”  I diagnosed myself with things I couldn’t even pronounce.

My boyfriend at the time moved back to his home in Chicago.  As bummed as I was, I thought the old “Sex And The City” theory would prove true.  You know the one – “In New York you can have three things – a great apt, a great companion, and a great job…but never at the same time.”  You either don’t have one at all, or one or more are a little off.  So while I was terribly sad for him to leave New York, I found solace in knowing that his replacement would come in the form of employment.  It would be a matter of days….because it would be really coincidental like that.




Weeks passed.  By October I had interviewed for another job, and it went really great.  I worked furiously to create impressive pitch packets of genius story ideas.  They loved it!  But (there’s obviously a but) it turned out that it wouldn’t begin until well into the New Year. Great. Thanks, but I’ll have a job by then.


Every morning I had the same routine.  I would shower (because if I didn’t first thing, I never would), get dressed (because if I didn’t first thing, I never would), pour myself a cup of freshly brewed coffee, and watch the 9am hour of The TODAY Show.  By the time Hoda and Kathy Lee were on, I’d be on my second cup of coffee and the laptop would be out.  It would begin. Day. After. Day. The line-up:,,,, ABC, CBS, and then scour through Cynopsis and Media Bistro. I’d annoy the endless list of Marist alum and NBC Page alum to see if they had “heard anything” and tackle any leads that might have come my way. I had just recently added to the list, as they often have really neat jobs in theatre production that really interested me.  More often, though, it was casting calls and I’d fantasize about attending the dance auditions, tap shoes in hand.  One particular late October morning however, a certain ad caught my eye.  “Macy’s Santaland Elves.” A smile crept across my face.  Awwww.  But, as soon as sugarplum fairies started dancing in my head, I clicked out.  Come on, this is no time for fun and games.

An hour later I brought up the page again.  I applied.

Two hours later I had an interview.  It was an automated message, but it gave you three different time slots to choose for an interview.  Wait, am I really considering this?  I closed my eyes and clicked one of the time slots.  Seconds later I received an e-mail with my interview confirmation.  Wow, that was fast – considering since by that point I had applied for over 50+ jobs and hadn’t heard anything.

I told my mom.  “Be serious” was her reaction. Whatever, Mom! (Pretending I didn’t tell myself the same thing just a few hours prior)

A few days passed and I mentioned it to some friends and roommates and was met with the same exact response from each: “OMGGGGGG you’d be the BEST ELF EVER, I could sooooooooo see that you HAVE to do it!!!!”  Hearing their over the top enthusiastic reactions made me think it wasn’t such a bad idea.  Hmmm.  What IF?

The night before the interview I was really considering not showing up.  Like, when am I going to get a real job?  What am I doing with my life? Who am I?   Being an elf didn’t seem to answer any of these questions, and I didn’t want to waste my time or theirs.  Plus, what if I didn’t get it.  To be denied as an Elf…. I’d jump out a window for sure. Yeah, not going.

Woke up.  Journeyed to Herald Square. My interview was at 8am and sitting in the Starbucks across the street at quarter of I was still playing around with the idea of not actually going in.

Yada yada yada, the interview went well!  When they asked why I wanted to be an Elf I said something like, “I can’t think of a better way to spend December in New York! I love Christmas! I love Macy’s! Wooo!”


Later that day, I got a call.  I was an Elf.



November started off knowing that I had the Elf gig for December if all else failed.  I worked for a few days with the NBC Specials Unit constructing exit poll graphics for the November 4th election.  It was a small but great group of people and it felt really good to be back in 30 Rock, and feeling like I actually had a purpose.  I craved to get back into the working world.

November brought the job situation to an all time high but then came crashing down when I interviewed for a job I was soooooo excited about, only to get my heart drop kicked once again upon realizing I wasn’t eligible after all due to a scorcher of a 6 month clause in between contracts with NBC.  Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

So that was that.  It was Monday, November 16th and after the interview I cried my eyes out all day long and swore I’d never leave my bed ever. Eventually though, (when I regained my appetite), I picked myself up and tried to slowly move on.

The facts were straight.  It was mid November, and everyone knows December is not notorious for hiring.  It didn’t look promising that I’d be employed before the New Year after all.

What’s a girl to do?

I made up my mind. While I wouldn’t put a halt on the job search, I had to be realistic.  If I could just make it through December, I’d be able to look forward to a VERY bright 2010.   I had to make the best of things.  And that would involve grabbing a hold of the Christmas spirit, and taking on Santaland.


I would Elf my way through December. Spreading Christmas cheer for all to hear


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