It has just happened to me again, prompting me to write the story of how I managed to get a home loan, even as a free lance actor, improviser and play maker. I was scrolling through twitter now and I saw an ad for a job, with the headline Theatre Unit Manager, and I was, oh amazing, a legitimate job for a theatre person, and I randomly clicked on it, trying to imagine what part of the theatre would have a unit to manage. Was it a box office thing? A backstage thing? And of course, the minute it came up I realised this was the medical and health kind of theatre, and it was a unit of that.
Almost 10 years ago, Big Friendly and I decided to try and buy a house, after being superb tenants for our whole lives. We found a tiny house in (a very less gentrified and very much cheaper than today) Woodstock, put in an offer (with all the naive, hysterical fear of first time home buyers, both of whom were free-lancers) and didn’t really believe we would be able to raise a bond. We were cavalier and cheeky about it, since we couldn’t see how it would be possible that even the filthy crook banks would give us the money to buy the house. But Standard Bank did. And the interest they gave us wasn’t the most terrible either. We were shocked and delighted. We had enough cash to pay for the transfer fees and all the legalities, and we went to sign all the papers at the special lawyer.
And that was when we realised what had happened. In our bond application we had very honestly described our fields of expertise. To make me more of a ‘Jack of all trades’ kind of person, I had put down my profession (it was very PC at the time) as ‘Theatre Practitioner’. All the correspondence was made out to Dr Megan Furniss. They had thought I had meant the medical and health theatre, assumed I was a doctor and had given us a bond because of it. It is important to note that the other banks had not been duped. They had not given us a bond.
There is no rest of the story. We got the bond. We have paid it off monthly, religiously, through thick and thin. I still think I could be bust as the other theatre kind of somebody.