Back Again

July 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Oh hey, remember me? No? Ok, yeah, I get that.

So hi.  On Sunday afternoon, around 7pm, I stepped off the roller coaster that has been my life since April, and took a moment to look around. Colors were brighter, sounds were clearer, the air felt still.  I had not only survived the summer of insanity, but I had done well. I felt like I had gotten away with something.

On May 2, the date of my last entry, I had no idea that I was about to get a call that would set in motion the frenetic, creative, explosive pace of the summer.  On May 3 I went on a day trip to New York with the sewing design studio, on May 4 my temp job was very abruptly ended, and on May 5 I went to my best friend’s birthday party for a couple hours before I drove through the night to get to the Jersey Shore, where I spent the next month working 12-17 hour days shooting a feature, then on the way home an extra couple of days in Philly shooting a pilot. And then I was home,  back at the studio, and barreling straight into designing three more projects: wigs for an opera, and costumes for two Fringe shows. And then the opera ended just in time for me to design and crew wigs and makeup for a second opera, finish the Fringe shows, sleep very very little, and… then… it was Sunday, 7/22, at 7pm, and I was done.  Not a one of these projects did I get more than a couple weeks (some a couple days) before go time, and not a one of them do I regret.  This summer I was stretched artistically, emotionally, and physically, and I feel like I’m finally getting in running shape.

Next month will be my one year anniversary of quitting my job and attempting for the second time to be a full time artist.  As of today I have not had to seek out or take a non-industry job in three months.  Knock-on-keyboard, I’m hoping I won’t have to take any in the near future.

This year my birthday was spent in New Jersey with strangers who were soon to become friends, throwing me a (rockin’ if I do say so myself) party after a 17 hour workday.  According to my director, working on your birthday is good luck because it means you’ll get work all year, and so far he wasn’t wrong.  I am 26 years old, I am engaged to my best friend*, I am working full time** as an artist, and I can pay my bills.  For being the year that I hit rock bottom financially and decided to get all my ish together, one thing at a time, I feel like 2012 has been pretty good to me so far.

Now if I could just get ahold of some health insurance, I would be A-Okay.

*who, as it happens, is just as crazy busy as me so who will actually plan this wedding is anyone’s guess

**plus overtime, if artists got things like overtime

I FINISHED SOMETHING Y’ALL

January 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Seriously this is huge.

Mr. B and I had a very serious talk the other night about the fact that I am jobless and not doing much about it, and it struck me that the only thing I can actually remember finishing of my own accord that no one forced me to finish* was a frame I painted last year in my lofty and, clearly unfinished, goal of finishing all my unfinished projects. So yeah, that was a bad feeling.

So I’ve been riding that wave of guilt and energy and white-knuckled desperation stemming from the moths in my wallet for the past two days, and damn if I don’t have something to show for it. I’ve applied to jobs, applied for scholarships, and upcycled a whole dress! Take THAT future etsy shop that doesn’t exist yet!

Now I just… have an entire closet** more to go.

*ie teacher for a class, best friend who will only be pregnant for so long so I damn well better finish that maternity dress, etc. etc…
**I just spent a lot of time trying to make my phone camera picture pretty enough to show you, but it just made me sad about my stolen camera. Next time, when I’m feeling stronger…

Vacation!

December 4, 2011 § 2 Comments

Sooo I had eight days off and was very productive in that still-feels-like vacation-because-I’m-doing-what-I-want-to-do way, but pretty much immediately fell back into my old night creature ways.  And then we had two days back on set, and now I am enjoying the first half of our last two day weekend til we wrap. Right, also, I hung out with the crew last night and ultimately waltzed in my front door at about the time I would usually be waking up on a shoot day.

Basically, my body hates me right now but my heart is happy.

I’m making friends, which is good. Friends make me invested in a work place, so I end up wanting to do better and be well-liked for my work and my craft, which motivates me to push myself more to do well.  I’m not much of a self-motivator, but I know what it takes to get me excited about something.  If I’m happy and want to be around the people I work with, I’ll work all the time, striving to do something amazing and produce a result I’m really proud of. If I’m unhappy or overwhelmed and dislike or don’t respect the people I work with, I’m there for the paycheck and out of there three seconds after the closing bell with no intentions of putting whatever I’m doing on my resume.  In my head I know that every experience is a learning experience and a way to prove my worth and carve my place as an artist, but my heart just isn’t in it if I can’t connect with people.

I see very little point in creating art in a vacuum, and that idea spills over into my regular life.  Aaand now that I’ve written that down I’m conflicted about it.

Thanks, blog. I have to think about stuff now.

Always a Draft, Never a Published

November 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Remember that time when I was supposed to be writing about my freelancing and then I got an insane job through my freelancing and never blogged again? Yeah, I know. To my credit, I have a handful of draft posts that I started but never published because I’m great at starting things but terrible at ending them.

That said, I’m still not going to tell you about my kickass crazy life because I’m currently in Georgia to see one of my oldest and dearest get herself hitched. Just wanted to let you know I’m still alive and I love you. 🙂

Oh, also, Mr. B and I both survived food poisoning. Our trashcan in the 2nd bathroom, however, did not.

I’m Bad at Being Anonymous

October 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

I'm Bad at Being Anonymous

If you’re in the DC area, come see my show*. It’s awesome.

*If you actually want to see it and don’t know who I am already, let me know and I will give you the info 🙂

Anonymous(?) and Networking(!)

October 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m a bit at a loss as to whether or not I should remain anonymous on this blog. My instinct is to keep it this way, but then I’m reluctant to talk too in-depth about what I’m doing and where I’m working for fear of outing myself, which is kind of the whole point of the thing. But if I’m totally out, maybe I’ll get in trouble for what I say here in the mind-bendingly small community that is art and entertainment.

It’s a conundrum.

I think, for the moment, I’m going to refrain from using proper nouns and see how far that gets me. If you guess who I am and which companies I’m talking about, so be it. I don’t think I’ll die. Probably, anyway. I guess we’ll see.

So now that I’ve gotten that sorted out, I can tell you my awesome news. I got a gig assisting a costume designer for a tv miniseries being shot in West Virginia.

Ahem. Excuse me, let me rephrase to show my true feelings on this subject a bit more clearly. HOLY CRAP I GOT A GIG ASSISTING A DESIGNER FOR A FREAKING TV MINISERIES OMG OMG OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING THIS IS MY LIFE.

So yeah. I’m excited. It’s basically my dream foot-in-the-door job*. And the way I came about it still makes my head spin because honestly, even three years in the business, I had my doubts about the efficacy of “networking.” Mainly because if I’m cognizant of the fact that I am at that moment supposed to be schmoozing, I suddenly become a hulking, painfully awkward nuisance who is more than likely standing creepily at the edge of a group and laughing at all the jokes but not actually introducing herself or looking anyone in the eye for more than an apologetic/also creepy glance.

That said, if I just think I’m catching up with old friends/coworkers I’m totally fine and only as awkward as usual**. So thankfully a week or so ago I remained in the latter category when I ran into a director I have worked with a few times over the past few years at the fundraiser for my show that opens in a week***. My renewed career as a freelancer came up, and I asked her to keep me in mind if she heard of any jobs floating around. That night she emailed me the post for this gig, the next day I emailed the designer in question, and the day after that she emailed me saying she would love to work with me.

And just like that, I got the best/best paying gig I’ve ever had.

This is the gig I was talking about a few posts ago when I said I had to burn every bridge I had forged this fall, and just hope that I would not be blacklisted from DC/Baltimore/DelMarVa theater****. So now I’m about to go on this wild ride and I’m not remotely ready, physically, emotionally, or spiritually. But it’s a thing that is about to happen, and I guess I’ll find out once and for all if I’m cut out for film.

*Ok well, one of them. I have a lot of dreams for a lot of jobs. I plan on living a very full and ever-changing life.
**Which is to say, mainly in realm of “funny/quirky,” and only crossing the line to inappropriate or weird in a weird way a socially acceptable number of times.
***Having trouble not advertising for this right now because I think it’s going to be AWESOME and want everyone to see it. Maybe this whole anonymity thing is the pits after all.
****So far so good. Also, four asterisks is just too many.

The Youth, the Youth, the Youth are on Fire

October 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

As I was driving home from a soul-uplifting (and you know cheap) dinner date in Georgetown, I was privy to this story on NPR about me. And by me I of course mean all the mes in this country from the age of 17-32 who are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore.

What struck me the most was the story after story of callers who are stuck in dead end jobs that don’t pay well, or can’t find work to begin with, coupled with when the conversation steered toward whether or not this generation was harmed by the “do what feels good” mantra of our 90s childhoods.

I was underpaid at a dead end job that I couldn’t stand. I didn’t have to struggle to make ends meet financially, but I wasn’t going anywhere within the company and I was constantly struggling to balance the 40-50 hour work week with the generally small-time theater gigs I could manage with the schedule I had. NPR was becoming grimmer and grimmer and the House was doing everything in its power to make the rest of the country hate us DelMarVans even more, and I had begun to think I was never going to get out.

That was when I realized that this economic and political climate might last for the next decade. I might be 35 by the time anything begins to settle down, barring a full-on Hunger Games/Wizard War/other YA novel-envisioned apocalypse and dystopian future. I can’t spend my youth waiting for the world to change, John Mayer. I need to do my shiz now and do it the way I want, lest I set myself on a rocket aimed straight for midlife crisis.

In this story they touch on the “optimism” of this generation, which apparently covers over two decades of births and has a whole hell of a lot of people in it, where we emerged from all our extra super* higher educations all bright eyed and bushy tailed, full of creativity and spunk and new ideas, and the world pulled a great big EFF YOU GUYS and punched us in the face for about four years. But now I guess we’re starting to realize that just hanging out and waiting for the world to get tired of punching us in the face isn’t really working, and that we should maybe use that optimism in a more proactive way than, “well I mean it was awesome when we were kids so it’ll get awesome again probably…”

It has been really encouraging to see positive stories about my generation finally coming to light. This newscast, stories of protesters, a book I’m reading**. Finally, to see that there is hope and we’re not all doomed, specifically because this generation is different. I like the idea that we actually could be the hope of the future someday maybe***.

It’s just, I don’t know, comforting.

*read: expensive
**Grown Up Digital by Don Tapscott. Y’all should give it a read, and big ups to my friend Carrie for shoving it in my hands and recommending it so enthusiastically.
***though possibly in a galaxy far far away

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