There are certain things the underemployed may collectively know in our disjointed club – the actors, make-up artists (aka MUA’s), agency folks and writers. We are the multi-tasking extraordinaires!
You know every coffee shop in a ten-mile radius of your apartment. With wi-fi, of course. You wonder if you can write off that croissant. You have your favorite nook and know the quid pro quo “I’ll watch your book if you watch my computer” for bathroom break etiquette. Wired now, I look back fondly on my days as a barista.
1. Too many tax returns.
Someone said if you have fewer than four W-2’s in New York, you weren’t hustling. Well, I somehow made ends meet last year – picking up fun odd jobs here and there! You earn your stripes. Survive and thrive and repeat.
2. Too many tabs.
Distraction is your middle name. When you’re looking at a computer screen all day or night, counterproductivity may ensue. At least you have a good playlist for on-site project downtime.
3. Scheduling woes.
If eating pie at 4 a.m. and pajamas at 3 p.m. sounds familiar, diet starts never. Our work is visual and virtual, and our clocks are out of whack. We don’t know what we’re doing next year, month or week. When it’s slow, it’s slow… When it’s busy, it’s non-stop excitement. So we appreciate friends who understand the non-committal flaking out.
4. Friends think your life is fabulous.
As they say, grass is always greener with so-called freedom that’s not found in a cave of pending deadlines. Instead, we dream of freebies and full-time day jobs. Even when you have something steady-ish, you’re always looking. I’m not trying to mislead you with my social media posts!
5. You have a love-hate relationship with networking.
I mean, we’re in the business of pleasing people. You get away from your laptop to schmooze but it seems the best gigs come unexpectedly from someone you know. At least when you’re out in the real world, you get some color, story ideas and character study. You’re always promoting yourself and self-branding on Instagram.
6. Your main relationship is with your editor-client.
And it’s mostly not IRL → virtual. You can seem too eager. You turn in your work way before deadline and wait for emails and invoices. But when the flow and feedback is good, there’s mutual gratitude.
7. You’re an artist.
At least that’s what you tell yourself! You’re starving and you’ve thought about selling your soul… Constantly learning and evolving, you’re inspired and enthusiastic about our craft. When you’re in the zone, our passion is infectious and we revel in the impact of any production.