From AMW to CFO

Raise your hand if you’re an AMW.

I found out about this term when I first came to Los Angeles. A new acquaintance casually called me an “AMW” and even though I’d been one half my life, I was deflated to find out there was this derogatory acronym used to describe my life’s purpose.

AMW = Actress, Model, WHATEVER.

At that time I was actively pursuing my career as a screenwriter, and even though the model/actress part was true about me, I felt so indignant about the “whatever” part because after all, I had a clear, passionate dedication to writing. I’d spent YEARS working every day on my craft. I had producers interested in my scripts. It was the reason I came to Los Angeles. I scoffed at my new acquaintance. How dare they lump me in that category. I was an Actress, Model, WRITER.

Eight years later in Los Angeles …  how much money have I made from screenwriting? … Zero.

There have been a lot of hard times during my career as an AMW. A LOT. One of my greatest pieces of advice for young girls who want to be an AMW is to always have something else you do that makes money so you can keep yourself going during tough times. That way you won’t have to resort to having a sugar daddy like a lot of the AMWs (not me) do, and you won’t be desperate to book jobs (me). I gave that advise out sensibly for years, but I myself didn’t have any skills that paid the bills. That drove me bananas. I had a lot of dreams: woodworking, tiling, gardening … but who did I think I was? Some kind of Jesus cum Martha Stewart? I’d never made a craft in my life! I tried a lot of crazy part timers: DJ’ing, personal assisting, weed delivery telephone operator, dog walker … but those occupations were more “whatever’s.” I wanted a solid skill.

During one of my stints as a personal assistant, I was given the opportunity to do some bookkeeping. It was challenging, but I liked it, and the more I did, the more people asked for my services. Soon I became a QuickBooks wizard. I had so much work, I couldn’t handle it all.

Last year my husband started a bar service business for private events called The Grand Bevy and guess who is the CFO?

Finally, an acronym I can be proud of!


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