Conflict of Interests

January 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m not generally the kind of person who regrets.

This is not to say I don’t do and say regrettable things, but as a general rule my regrets tend to do with people I have interacted with, rather than life decisions I have made for myself. When it comes to my personal road more-or-less traveled, I always seem to find just as many irreplaceable experiences, lessons, and relationships that occurred because of what I chose as what I might have chosen. That said, I seem to have drawn myself to a fork in the ole life-road. I mentioned that I’ve been accepted at my dream-with-an-asterisk-cause-y’all-know-how-I-roll school, which also happens to reside across the country and be SUPER expensive. I’ve mentioned that I’m perpetually broke no matter what, and that I hate it. I may not have mentioned but you can probably surmise that I still kind of want to keep my education options open, because as much as I love Southern California and salivate at the idea of being back in a classroom, 12-23 months is a long time to leave my life, career, and loved ones.

The hardest part about this decision is, oddly, that I am confident that I will be happy no matter what. Like I said, I don’t generally spend a lot of time regretting*. If I go to L.A., I’ll be warm year-round, get to hang out with my brother and friends from middle school, meet awesome new people, and learn amazing things about my craft from a school that makes a habit of throwing you directly into the business. If I go to New York, I’ll be able to cross “lived in New York” off my life list, get to hang out with friends from high school, college, and the film I just finished, be only a 4 hour bus ride from Mr. B, make awesome new friends, and learn amazing things about my craft**. If I stay in DC, I’ll get to continue to live with Mr. B, hang out with my best friends in the world so who needs new friends, be close to my parents, and establish myself as a designer and a business. Not to mention the fact that DC is the only place of the three that has an actual owner of a design company who wants to hand her business over to me. The question there is whether going to school will help or hurt this endeavor.

So yeah there’s that. And so I’ve decided, in true B style, that I’m just going to work my ass off and let the cards fall where they may. I have landed three weekly part time jobs since I started this blog post over a week ago***, and I’m doing pretty well (IF-I-do-say-so-myself) at scheduling them properly so I don’t get all crazy and lose track of everything and never get anything actually done like last time (and this time, as long as we’re being honest here.) Doing this film, blowing all my money in California****, and getting into school really changed my perspective. I’m ready to move to the next step, and no matter what that step is, the first step is getting my finances in order.

I’m tired of being broke, y’all. RENT is a lie… you can’t be an awesome artist with no money (and imagine the medication bills!). That’s what I’ve learned in the three years of recession since graduating. You can’t be an awesome artist with no money… but you also can’t be an awesome artist with no time. I have no regrets about quitting my terrible tech writing job, because I never would have gotten the film, and I never would have pursued school so doggedly, and I never would have had the awesome revelation I’m laying out to you now.

I need money, and I want to go to school, so at this moment in time I’m putting my head down and slamming through this business we call freelancing. I officially have an unofficial financial advisor, who, as a freelancer herself and also one of my best friends, I find exactly qualified to explain to my poor little artist brain what a CD is and why I should have one. (Also, what savings are, because let’s get something straight right now. I am awesome in many ways, but I do not do math, and I do not deal well with money.) I have exactly the right amount of regular freelancing work, and good amount of promise for sporatic-but-well-paying work, to really think I can do this without 1) running myself into the ground or 2) killing Mr. B’s soul.

I’ll actually stick to my 2011 statement of not taking work that can’t pay for itself (ie. no $200 paychecks for two months’ worth of work… if you don’t work in theater, I’m sorry to shock you. If you do work in theater, represent! We deserve to be paid what we’re worth*****.) No big vacations until after everything is all said and done and I know what will be happening this fall, and exponentially fewer slips of the cash here and there for dinner, drinks, and the like. You know, all the really clear, obvious stuff that you probably already knew and maybe even told me about but I just figured out.

Most important though, I need to figure out how to do symbols other than asterisks, because five in a row-plus-sneaking-some-parenthetical-statements-in is just too many.

*Unless you count being embarrassed that I said or did something ridiculous or uncalled for in front of other humans. In that case I spend a lot of time regretting.
**Also, fabric stores out the hoo-ha!
***I know, I know, and I’m sorry. But it’s just something that is going to happen a lot.
****Did I tell you that’s where I went? I went to California immediately after Christmas, which was immediately after the film wrapped, to be the MOH in a wedding, hang out with some awesome old friends, and then hang out with my awesome brother and interview at The School In Question before coming back broke, jobless, and without a plan.
*****I know most companies have to sacrifice and scrape by in the beginning, but I just can’t afford to spend money to work anymore. Also I have yet to ever be rehired by the same company for more money; all my best paying jobs have been my best paying jobs from the start, so now try to tell my I just have to pay my dues.

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