Thursday, April 15, 2010

One Day at a Time

Often it's a challenge for the Gainfully Unemployed to plan ahead.  I'm reluctant to go out of town because experience has shown I'll miss out on direct bookings and/or great auditions (because I wouldn't be available for the audition itself or the day(s) of the shoot/recording).  I never know when the phone might ring with auditions or work, so sometimes I hesitate to take on commitments I may need to reschedule. 

I don't know when I'll get paid for jobs I've done.  This is because agents usually don't want to pay their talent until the client pays them...and often the client must first get paid by his client.  I'm still waiting for checks for 2 VO projects from 2009, though supposedly one will be available soon. 

So though I am by nature a planner who prefers things to go as originally scheduled, I'm learning to live one day at a time.  To accept that many decisions take place at the last minute (see last week's entry, Hurry up and Wait) and adjust accordingly.  To believe that for a day with no auditions or jobs on my calendar, I'll have some by the time the day arrives or have enough other projects to do....and that most of those will be income producing and not merely enjoyable or productive...such as critiquing for a friend under deadline or assigments I've agreed to do for the Chicago Bar Association (like the press release I finished this morning for the CBA Chorus & Symphony's next concert or the FAQs I'm working on for Romance Writers of America). 

I have to believe that because I've chosen to be a freelancer, I can also choose to have the discipline to work a full day each day, and not play hooky because the weather is nice or a friend wants to have a leisurely lunch.  I have to focus on what I'm doing today, and not dwell on negative "what ifs..."  What if the phone doesn't ring this week?  What if I don't book any more jobs this month? 

And if there's a day when the phone doesn't ring, I can't let it get to me...but instead work more on marketing myself.  Realizing that there's often an ebb and flow in this business can be a challenge.  Because as soon as you finish one great gig (like the 3 days I just spent in Las Vegas doing part scripted, part improv corporate shows that were so funny I had a hard time staying in character), it's difficult to just bask in the glow of the attendees' many compliments (and a "very, very happy" client) and not wonder when I'll get the next. 

I've often been told life is about the journey and not the here's to enjoying the journey.  One day at a time.

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