You all know Johnny Depp, right? A famous actor who has played in several movies. Edward ScissorHands, Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, Sweeny Todd and many more. Let me tell you an amazing true story of how Johnny Depp saved my life.
As you all know I am an orphan. My mother died when I was 15 and I never met my father. So when times are tough I can't just borrow money from mom or dad. I can't move back in with them. I gotta work. I was about 23 years old. I was working two jobs. delivering pizza in the morning and popping popcorn at night. I was still living in the dormitories at Northeastern State university. I was trying to save up so I could get my first apartment. I knew my scholarship wouldn't pay for another year of me living in the dorms. May came around and I was just about to move into my apartment when the owner of the movie theater I worked at wanted me to only work for them. Usually I worked at the pizza place on Fridays but the movie theater wanted me to work for them only or they would fire me. I had to pick the movie theater. It was the better paying job. The owner of the pizza place let me go. Sadly enough the movie theater did not give me enough hours to make up for the other job. I had to choose between food or electricity. It was summer time so I knew I wouldn't freeze so I lived all summer without power. I had no bed. I slept on the floor. I still barely had enough food to eat.
Finally in August a friend gave me her bed. Several times I would go to work irritable from not eating enough food. I wrote a letter to the owner of the movie theater explaining my situation. That I am an orphan, I live alone, I have been living without power for half a year and there is no one to borrow money from to get electricity or food. My aunt sent some money to start the electricity but I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with the payments. I have to use it for food.
Everyday I was working at the register in concession. I would see the ushers sitting on benches talking. I wasn't allowed to leave concession or sit. Winter was coming and I knew I had to get electricity soon. Then Pirates of the Caribbean 2 came to the theater. It sold out every single set for four days straight and of course I had to be in concession on register the whole time. But I was paid overtime as a result. I usually earned $400 a month but that month I got $1,000 and was able to get electricity for the winter. I also applied for food stamps and got $100 worth of food a month. It felt so nice waking up in the morning knowing that I was taken care of. In the midst of Johnny Depps acting career little did he know that he was helping feed and shelter an orphan.
That winter was a very harsh winter too. Ice covered the branches of the trees. Limbs fell and broke though students windshields. But I had a warm home. After Pirates of the Caribbean had finished playing in the theater, the ushers took down the poster but they were too lazy to take it back up stairs to the projection room. Instead they left it in concession. A kind family would always visit each weekend. The father saw the poster sitting in concession and asked if he could have it. Usually when I customer wants a poster we have them write down their number and say we will call them back. But I have seen the manager just throw away the posters. I figured why not just give him the poster. The movie theater workers are allowed to take just about any poster home that they want. It is illegal to sell them. So I handed him the poster. The owner of the theater saw what I had done and told the man to give it back.
About a year later the owner of the theater went on vacation in August. She paid us early since she would be out of town. But as a result the dates on my check stubs were not bi-weekly. I had to show the check stubs to DHS so I could keep getting food stamps. They didn't understand why the check stubs were dated incorrectly even though I explained that the owner went on vacation and paid us early. Since the check stubs were not counted it showed that I was earning too much even though we were not working summer theater hours anymore. I went from earning $100 a month in food stamps for $14. I barely had anything to eat during the month of September 2007. I was very irritable. I remember eating food off the floor that people had brought in and left behind.
One night it was time to clean up concession after the last show. The ushers were still sitting on benches talking while I was cleaning. I accidentally dropped a salt shaker over the counter and it broke. The ushers said I threw it and sat on the benches while I went out into the lobby to clean it up.
The next day I was called into the office and fired without notice.
Each day after that I worked so hard to find another job as fast as I could. I was supposed to report my unemployment to DHS to stop my food stamps but I had to keep the $14 I was getting in order to eat. I few weeks past I was about to move into my car because I didn't have enough to pay rent.
One day as I was walking home from class I saw a postman sitting in his mail truck in the parking lot where I lived. It was the father of the kind family I had tried to give the Pirates of the Caribbean poster to. He asked how I was doing. I told him what had happened. He gave me $10. It was enough to feed me for a week. And at the end of that week I got a new job. I got the best boss I have ever had at Campus police. he was very understanding and hardworking. My first day at work was on Halloween. I kept that job until I graduated.
Thanks so much to those who have made a difference and helped me. Thank you for understanding. It was probably one of the hardest times of my life. And thanks to Johnny Depp for being a great actor and selling out. Make sure to go see Johnny's new move Alice in Wonderland in theaters March 5, 2010.