Redemption

Feeling much better now, thanks to a hot shower, Skyping with Star and doing a photoshoot for a friend’s cirque troupe. Everything’s gonna work out. Getting a steady gig for a month would be nice and all, but it’d just distract me from developing my own business and projects which is what I really need to do.

For a little bit there I was feeling like my never going to film school was a handicap. I missed out on learning certain things, missed out on assignments that would ultimately fill out my reel, missed out on connections, but really in this day and age I can do all of that on my own. For instance, anything I would have learned in film school I can now learn from websites like Vimeo Film School or Free Photography Tutorials. I have the gear I need to make movies, and I can volunteer or work on sets to get experience with more professional gear (though my stint with IATSE 212 provided me with plenty of experience compared to most film school grads).

Really I just need to work on projects that excite and inspire me. That’s the objective for this summer. The rest will follow in due course.

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Rainy Day…

While rain is about cleansing, rejuvenation and new life, its also wet, cold, grey and dreary. That’s the part that I’m feeling right now. I have been underemployed for the past year, ever since I took a buyout package from the airline I used to work for that allows me to travel for next to nothing for three years. It seemed too good to pass up, and yet I’m kind of regretting it right now. Things looked so great just a few short days ago. My business website is nearly complete, I have a photography gig for a friend’s circus troupe tomorrow, I was going to spend a week at a condo in Lake Tahoe in exchange for making a real-estate video for the owner, I was going to get a job working on a film for a month, there’s even plans to make a music video for a great Montreal band. So why so blue?

Well for one it doesn’t look like the film work in May is going to pan out. Because I live in Quebec working on a film in Ontario might screw up their tax credits with the province and so they’re hesitant to work with me. That blows. The guy who I’m supposed to film the condo for hasn’t responded to my last two emails. The band I’m supposed to do the music video for is too busy to work on it right now. The photography gig is paying less than I originally thought. All the other photography/video jobs I’ve applied for recently – some that I felt genuinely excited about and qualified for have hence given me no word, not even a “thanks for applying but we’ve gone with someone else.”

I can’t help but feel like this is the way its always been. I’m smart, capable, creative and a hard worker (when I want/need to be) but I never seem to land the good jobs. I always seem to end up in some demeaning customer service or manual labour job where I’m made to do menial brainless work, am not allowed to think independently and get paid in chicken skat. I know I’m being negative here but its hard not to right now. When things look like they’re finally turning around and then they don’t its very frustrating.

A lot of my friends are successfully making their way in the world of work. They have good jobs, they make good money, they have responsibilities and freedoms that I’ve never experienced in a paid context. Part of me feels that I missed the train. Part of me feels like I must be fundamentally unworthy and that all my intelligence, creativity and wit doesn’t really amount to anything. Other times I feel like the system is just fucked. I’ve never been good with authority or jumping through arbitrary unnecessary hoops.

Ultimately it looks as though running my own business is the way to go, but its hard with all of this residual rejection weighing on my shoulders to feel up to the task. Running a business is hard work and while the potential rewards are high I can’t stop thinking about the accounting, the legal fu-fa, the dealing with the government and slacker clients. The biggest thing that scares me is getting started. Approaching those first few clients and telling them that A) they need my service and B) they need to pay me well for it. It scares me. And I know that as I do it I’ll develop a workflow that makes it easier and I’ll just get used to it and automate the shitty parts and focus on the good parts.

I just don’t understand why I can’t get a job in the meantime to help pay off my debts and secure a lifestyle that I’m happy with. I don’t need much, but I need more than I have now.

I just needed to get all of that off of my chest. Maybe I can get on with my day now…