You absolutely need a hobby if you are unemployed. I think it’s probably useful to have a hobby if you have a job, too, but you especially need one if you are jobless.

I have several hobbies, and actually, a lot of my hobbies are pretty functional. I love baking and cooking (baking more than cooking, but I don’t always want my results…. I like baking cake more than I like eating it), so we have a homecooked dinner most nights, in addition to snacks and various other treats. Additionally, I love crafting. Knitting, sewing, decoupage… and pastie-making.

That’s right, pasties. Because my main hobby, the one that keeps me sane, drives me insane, and fills my heart with joy, is burlesque. I’ve been doing it for a year, and I started before I became unemployed. (Or, “got fired,” as the kids are saying.) Burlesque is probably not what you think. It’s artful and creative. The people who do burlesque are some of the most intelligent and beautiful individuals I’ve had the privilege to meet.

Doing this bold and scary thing has gotten me a lot of flack. You might not approve, and that’s okay, as long as you realize that my choice of hobby, my choice of self-expression, has nothing to do with the fundamental quality of my character. I am a good person! I’m fun and weird, and I like to make people smile. In my routines, I’m goofy as can be–I’m not one of those classic statuesque beauties with gloves and a boa. That’s not my style, but I respect and love people who embody it. Burlesque is not for the faint of heart; I have a tendency to be a wimp. This past year has taught me more about myself than any other experience. The combination of being unemployed and doing burlesque is pretty powerful.

So that’s my mysterious hobby that takes me to bars and theaters late at night, and forces me to be around lots and lots of (sometimes inebriated) people. I love it. It’s one of the things that’s keeping me level.



  1. I don’t know if you’ve communed with Sarah Mostov on this one yet. She and I had the pleasure of sharing a room in Manhattan for the past several months (a result of the dynamic nature of our own employment). She’s been doing an incredible act that combines her training in opera with burlesque… and the results are not something you want to bring a date to. She is too hot! What a wonderful form of self-expression, and a fun evening for everyone else. Awesome.

  2. Burlesque is such a dynamic art form now! I do a lot of weird, goofy stuff in my numbers, like obsess over Justin Timberlake and twirl a hobo bindlestiff like a colorguard flag. :)

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