Thursday, January 12, 2012


Despite today’s sophisticated technology, weathermen can’t always accurately predict the forecast. With many factors coming into play, Mother Nature is often unpredictable.

So far, today’s Chicago snowstorm is on track with posted weather advisories. But will the bulk of the snow really fall during the afternoon rush hour, and at the rate of one inch per hour? Will winds gust up to 35mph and the wind chill plummet to zero? Time will tell.

There are no models or programs or a Farmer’s Almanac to help us predict the future of our day to day lives. Freelancers rarely know when the phone will ring, or if a scheduled project will show up on time. We can’t be sure that just because last January was busy, this one will be, too. We can run through “what if” scenarios, but we can’t know which, if any, will come to pass. Which makes putting things on the calendar and setting schedules very challenging, especially for a planner like me.

No one can be sure any new venture will work out, whether it’s a new position or getting married. We evaluate decisions based on the information we have.

Often I’ll audition for something that records on, say, the 17th or 18th. Sometimes the shoot date is TBA. Or I’m asked to give my availability for the entire week. As I audition for a couple or even several projects that may shoot or record on the same day or days, I can’t know if I’ll book one or more, or what dates. I might get put on first refusal (meaning if I book another job I have to let the first one know before accepting it) or on ice/on hold (meaning I need to keep that day open), and then not know when I’ll know if I did or didn’t get the job.

At times I still think about what might happen, for example if I book a job that isn’t as good when I might also book another at the same time. Or if I don’t get anything after many auditions in a row.  Usually I can go with the flow, knowing as things change I can make adjustments to others. If I book a job for a day I’d told someone I was available, I can call and say now I’m not. But then that person has to contact whomever he/she gave my availability to, and perhaps that person has to contact others....

As I watch the snow stream past the window, falling harder and heavier, accumlating in the streets below, I'm glad that I don't have to be out in the storm.  Another day, I might.  And the weather might be better or worse than expected.

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