Reblog: Catch-22

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One of the biggest obstacles I have in being a filmmaker is finding or making the time to do the things that I want to do. Prior to the job that I have now I would have to get up early to drive an hour to work and after working anywhere from 5-9 hours I would drive an hour back home. Sometimes I would work four days in a row, other times eight. It put a real damper on my creative time and wasn’t flexible at all.

Initially when I was hired I was told that I would have time to continue to work in theater as a stage manager and such, this was a lie. My work demanded a lot of my time with little benefits and eventually not even enough to pay the bills. So I got a new job. Is it better? Kind of. Now I usually work fewer days however the hours are longer and I find myself coming home and have such a lack of motivation to where all I want to do is sleep.

So how do I get around this?

Initially I did nothing about it. However I did leave my days off to work solely on what I wanted. Mainly going to the library to get things done. I also had the flexibility to finally get back into theater as well. However that begin to take up a lot of time and I lost focus of building up myself as a filmmaker in the process.

This is where the catch-22 comes in: I needed time to build myself as a writer and a filmmaker working on projects BUT I also need to pay my bills.

A lot of times I would have to choose between a project OR not making enough money to pay a bills and my numerous student loans. There are many projects out there but not a lot that pays or pays enough as it were. With the down turn of our economy prominent positions are hard to come by and competition is high.

So like many other loan laden college grads out there I find myself struggling between my dreams and reality. Are there enough energy drinks out there to keep me awake to work after a long shift? Can I afford to skip a day of work in hopes of getting my name on a big project? Should I branch out and try to leave the old job behind? Or maybe I should figure out a way to turn back time so I wouldn’t have student loans in the first place?

If you got an answer I’d love to hear it. But I will continue to work the grind and look forward to the day when I don’t have to choose one or the other but instead I can have both.

“Image courtesy of bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”
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Quitting is an Option

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When a ship is sinking I’m one of the last ones to get off no matter how bad it’s gotten. I know this. I have done this on many projects. Things go from bad to worse and yet I continue to hang on to the slight sliver of hope that maybe, just maybe, things will turn around. Maybe I’ll stop being stressed out. Maybe this time things will be different.

When I commit to projects I commit whole heartedly with the intention of seeing the finish line. Couple this with the habit of just wanting to help people out and to see them succeed and you have a bad habit of taking on bad projects and not getting out fast enough.

If you are like me then you understand just how hard it is to stop something once you have committed to it.

I once worked on a film project and at the time I was eager to just get some work so I said yes to the project. I also said yes to a lot of other things that were ridiculous and stressed me out until I finally said no, left the project, and breathed fresh air.

So when did I know things were going to be bad?

The second after I committed all these things came to light and I realized things were going to be bad fast. It started with a bad leader, an undeveloped concept, and bad communication and when from there.

But I’m not a quitter so I refused to quit. Sometimes we really do need to quit. The only thing I regret is not quitting sooner.

Sometimes we need to realize when the ship is going down and to get off of it as fast as we can. They say quitting is not an option, but I think is some cases it is the best option. Things that cause us an enormous amount of stress can be good or bad, but you have to decide if the end game is worth it. In my case it was not.

Knowing when to quit is just as important of knowing when to press on.