Thursday, August 20, 2009

Smorgasbord or Empty Plate

The life of the Gainfully Unemployed is exciting and unnerving at the same time. We never know if or when an audition, submitted resume, or connection we've made will pay off with a booking or more auditions, or when projects that we're suited for will come to our or our agents' attention. Like an entrepreneur who never knows when a new customer will walk through the door despite great word of mouth, marketing and advertising, we can't do much to control our flow of work.

And when we book a project, we can't bask in the glow very long because it'll provide probably only a day, at most a week of work...and there are 51 other weeks to fill. We can look at all the white space in our calendars and see nary an audition on the horizon. Clingy vines of doubt creep in, distressing and demoralizing. Have my agents forgotten about me? Do I suck? If my last audition didn't go well, would they tell me? Did so-and-so even get my last email? Maybe I should get a "real" job.

These pernicious thoughts can work their way in so deeply I have to untangle and remove each one. I must keep adding irons to the fire. I must fill my mind with positivity. I believe this dry spell will end, and soon. Just be patient. Everything will work out.

Suddenly the phone starts to ring, emails arrive. And I can't ever predict the range of things I'll be called upon to do. There's an audition for a $5000 "upbeat, cool and sincere" TV voiceover. I'm one of a small group selected to be interviewed by a client for a major project. I book a small role as a nurse in a sci fi independent feature that requires me to scream as a guy on roller blades comes at me with a hockey stick and assist with surgery on a patient who has 5 eyes, while hanging out with fun and talented people for a day and a half. And eating tasty Vietnamese food.

The GU also never can tell what interesting situations they'll find themselves in. We filmed in a huge (though hot) abandoned hospital, eerie in a "what happened here, did everyone perish instantly of some plague like on Star Trek" way because all sorts of medical equipment and supplies were left behind, and employees even left pictures on their desks.

I learn that a recent client was so pleased with my recordings of a technical PowerPoint they plan to use me for all of their VOs going forward. (Of course I don't know when/if this will happen or how many projects that means, but who doesn't like to hear that they've done a great job and will probably get more work?)

With all of this good news, the creepers' vivid green fades, the leaves shrivel into dust as shiny hope and satisfaction bloom in their place.

Whew. Despite also receiving a book rejection, this turned out to be a darn good, busy and productive week.

But what about the next one? And the next, which is Labor Day when not much is likely to happen...

1 comment:

EilisFlynn said...

I am so amazed at how upbeat you manage to sound. The life of a freelancer is never easy, and your line of work is even more challenging!