Songwriting Team Jacob Yandura and Rebekah Melocik Recall Their Worst Survival Jobs
February 13th, 2015
by Yandura & Melocik
The stars will be performing selections from three upcoming Yandura and Melocik musicals (The Last Queen of Canaan, Feral & Wringer); it’s a big deal. So as the duo preps to enjoy a career high, they don’t forget the bumpy road that led them here. Below, Jacob Yandura and Rebekah Melocik share with BroadwayBox the worst/most bizarre jobs they’ve suffered through leading up to their big 54 debut.
One of my most recent jobs—like a year ago—was as a catering temp at a law firm; it was totally corporate America. They had this kitchen where I had to put refreshments on a cart for the various meetings, and one day it was just me in the kitchen; Rebekah had sent me a new lyric to work on, and I thought, ‘Maybe I should work on this while I do the dishes.’ So I just started singing on the top of my lungs in the kitchen (it had great acoustics). Then I got a call from the receptionist saying, ‘Hi. The partners can hear some singing going on in the kitchen and it’s disrupting the meeting, so can you please stop.’ But we wrote a good song out of it.
I had a job briefly writing profiles for Match.com. When people sign up for the dating service, you have the option of paying an extra $40 and someone will write your profile for you. So I would get their questionnaire and I would write their page instead. I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement; it was crazy! Some of the profiles were sweet and sad, and there were some people I felt wrong making them sound better.
In college, I worked at Abercrombie & Fitch in Columbus, which is the home office, and one day during the summer I was asked to go to the corporate office where they would hire shirtless models to play football on the front lawn. Now anyone who knows me knows I cannot play football; I didn’t even know how to throw a football, so I had to learn that day. That was a very, very strange scenario.
There were a lot of strange things I did as one-offs to make money, and right before I moved to New York, my friend who is a casting agent for MTV in Los Angeles had me come in for a reality dating show where the parents are supposed to choose the person their son or daughter goes on a date with [Date My Mom]. She gave me a hundred bucks and said, ‘Be as weird as you possibly can.’ (I wasn't going to be the girl the parents chose.) So I went into this thing and I somehow steered the on-camera interview to how I think it’s weird that people drink other mammals' milk and that we are the only animals that do that, and how I think people should drink people milk. And I saw the episode and I’m quoted saying people should drink people milk.
My worst job was catering a formal dinner for 10 or 12 gay men and it was understaffed. It had one chef and I had to serve everything and be the bartender. So it gets to the later part of the evening and they learn that I’m a composer, and they have a grand piano right there and they would not stop bothering me. They basically forced me to play at the end. So I would finish one song and then someone would ask for another drink and then another song. I was like a three-in-one party host. It was the worst night; it was so demanding. And I thought I would get a great tip and I didn't even get a tip. I felt so taken advantage of. It was the worst job I ever worked.
This is my actual worst job ever. You know when you go to a concert or county fair and there are those poor people who try to get you to buy a time-share? I did that for a summer and it was the most demeaning, horrible job I’ve ever had. Constant rejection and you feel like a snake oil salesman. Then what made it worse was that whole summer I had chronic bronchitis, and I’d go to a Dodgers game and I’d have these horrible coughing fits while trying to get strangers to trust me. It was a beautiful day when I finally quit that job.
See Jacob Yandura and Rebekah Melocik do the job they’re meant to do at 54 Below on February 16.