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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Frugality and Job Hunting

I have internet back for an indeterminate amount of time so I'm going to frantically type out an update of the past few days. It's been the same routine day to day of getting up to jog, then coming back and surfing the internet for jobs when I have a signal, interspersed with forays out into the neighborhood to pick up various things so I'm not stuck inside all day getting frustrated with the computer. Things like a universal remote control for my free DVD player and TV (which was a mess to program), a light bulb to replace one that blew (only to come back and have two more light bulbs blow after realizing that what I had bought was a sub par CF bulb that gives off an eerie blue light), and dish soap. Another time, I ventured up to Verizon at Atlantic Avenue to have my phone reprogrammed to see if I could fix the problems I have been having with dropped calls and low signal in my apartment. It didn't fix the problem. And Karishma came over a few nights ago to hang out and have dinner.

I've realized that these little annoyances (the internet being sporadic, my phone crapping out mid conversation and half my calls not getting through) have been upsetting my daily flow. Of course, it's never a big deal; if the internet is out, I take it as a sign to get out of the house and do something. Whenever my phone calls don't get through I just get the message and call back. When I lose calls, it's never a big deal because I can almost always get back through. I have been getting a little antsy and frustrated over it, though, so ultimately, I finally decided to buy internet. Hence my phone call to Time Warner the other day. Cablevision will be here tomorrow.

With what I'm doing daily, not just job hunting but also sending files to the guy I'm working with on the commercial and other money making efforts that are based on the internet (which I'll tell you about in a second), I can't sit here and wait for someone in the building to leave their computer on so I can access the internet.

As for the phone, Verizon told me I'm eligible for an upgrade on April 17th, so I think I'll hold out until I can get a new phone before I do anything drastic there.

That's been another theme this week: learning how to not spend money when I don't need to. When I can get by without spending money, I've made sure that I don't. The light bulbs are a good example. The light in the kitchen went out and I had one to replace it with already. But then, the bathroom light went out so I felt I had to go get a bulb and did so without thinking. The one I bought didn't fit in the bathroom fixture, though, so I tried putting it out in the kitchen and putting the one in the kitchen in the bathroom. Then I noticed that the new light wasn't bright enough for the kitchen and was giving off an eerie blue glow. Kind of a sub par bulb, it was a CF bulb but must have been older technology before they got the warmth thing right. Anyway, then the bedroom light went out next. Now, I had already gone out and bought one light bulb but, when the bedroom blew, I thought for a second before I went back out to find more not so blue bulbs. There's a floor lamp in my bedroom with two bulbs in it. I took one of those out and put it in the kitchen with the blue light and realized that I never use the overhead light in the bedroom. This saved me having to go out immediately to buy light bulbs. Yes I know bulbs are not that expensive and the CF bulbs last a looooooong time. But the point is, I'm thinking ahead to what I'm going to need to use that money, if I don't get a job in the next few weeks. Frugality is the word. Every time I buy something, I ask myself, "can I eat this?" It's a good rule. I was killing time in Target while waiting for my phone to get programmed and I kept seeing $5 DVDs that I wanted, some of them double features. But I stopped and thought, "can I eat this DVD?" "When I'm out of groceries in a week, am I going to be glad that I have this DVD?" The answer was no.

I know I'm not hard up just yet, but I think it's a good rule when unemployed to think like you're unemployed and you have a finite amount of resources to sustain yourself.

But anyway, speaking of employment, now for the good news: I have an interview at NY 1 next Tuesday! They want to speak to me about a Media Operator position, which is not the one that I applied for but it's very similar; tuning in live satellite shots, making sure the video looks good and working with the assignment editor to organize the feeds, etc. I'm hoping this one pans out but I'm also going to keep on Technicolor about their job. I could get frustrated about the fact that these are part time gigs, both of them, but I decided to look at it as a chance to learn a lot of other things I can do and maybe even try out some unconventional sources of income. Maybe unconventional is the wrong word. Alternative. We'll go with that. No I'm not talking about adult entertainment (that's a joke, mom).

I'm talking about doing more freelance work and using the internet to my advantage. I started looking into getting a job as an extra on a few sets. I explored Talent 6 first, but they don't seem to be very focused toward what I want to do. They go on about how it's a good way to break into the industry as an actor, and I keep saying, I don't want to be an actor, I just want to make some extra money. Then their casting calls are so incredibly diverse and the list massive yet, if you search for just the keyword "extras," you only get about 10 in your area that aren't already expired and most of those aren't paid. So Talent 6 is a dud. The deal is they make you pay a monthly fee after 2 weeks to gain access to their list of casting calls...but then they post them all on craigslist anyway. But they tell you you can't apply to them unless you're listed on their site. So I get listed and I find out that not only are there not enough casting calls up there now that are paying (sue me, I'm only in it for the money), they also have a pretty user-un-friendly interface. You can't attach a resume to any of your submissions. You just fill out your profile but you have limited space. How is that going to get me a job on one of these shoots if half of them explicitly ask for a resume? So I'm fed up with that and am going to quit their directory and try another casting agency.

I'm also looking into being a guide for Cha Cha. One of the Emilys got me into the idea of doing it but I'm only now getting set up to do it. People text in any kind of question to the web site and it's your job to look up the answer on the internet and send it to them and they receive it as a text message. Mobile answers. Sounds like fun, right? Just a couple hours a night of doing that, I'll make a decent little chunk of change.

Beyond that, there was, of course, the Shutterstock thing which I'm going to back burner for a while, but also, the idea of doing some voice over work occurred to me because there were a few casting calls up on Talent 6 for voice work. I can't count the number of times someone has said to me that I should do voice over or radio. So, I've been reading through this, a document about getting started in the voice over industry and thinking about recording a demo of some sort.

Beyond that even, is the Sittercity.com site that lists you as a pet sitter (or babysitter for that matter) which is free and you can get money for recommending parents and pet owners. I haven't seen many hits on it. I suppose a lot of people aren't using it yet for pet sitting services. So, I may have to back burner that one for a while even. But, eventually, I may pursue other avenues of finding people in need of pet sitters.

I know, the interesting thing about this list of schemes is that none of it seems to be music related. While I am doing music gigs now on the side, for no pay, everything that I've been exploring for actual sources of income are not music related. Is this because I'm too insecure to go for paying gigs right now? No. I'm still applying for those but I'm being realistic here. I'm spreading myself out a little and I may find out that I'm spreading myself out too much, that my ambitions are too diverse and that my head might explode trying to juggle all of this stuff. Well, hopefully, it won't get that far. I think I need to do all of this to really get a sense for what kind of day job will sustain me while I work on the music career. I need time to hone my craft, no matter what anyone says. Even if there's someone out there who might pay me for my work, I still feel I have work to do. And perhaps I will start getting paid soon.

I've just finished reading this horoscope that set my mind at ease about a lot of things. Never mind the fact that it was incredibly eerie how right on point this horoscope was. Usually, they're fairly vague and I only read them for recreation and amusement. But I've been getting daily mailings from a site called Daily OM. It's great for lovers of eastern thought. This horoscope was talking about being frustrated about the pace of things. And here I am reading it just as I was sitting here getting so frustrated that I can't get out of my apartment when I get antsy because I don't know enough people here to go out with and I can't justify going out whenever I feel like it because I don't have a job yet. And here I am being assured by a horoscope about something that should be obvious. But that's what I'm going through right now, if you want the raw truth. I'm constantly wanting things to start happening here but then realizing that it's going to take time. Here's a quote from the end of the horoscope:

"It may be that we are less concerned with our relative pace, and more interested in bypassing those challenges that frighten us most. Yet it may be that these are a vital element of our development and necessary to our ongoing growth. To skip over them would serve us little, and our lives would be irrevocably changed as a result."

No kidding. I'll leave you with another quote from Walden, that I giggled at the other night, that seems strangely pertinent tonight:

"It is impossible to kill time without injuring eternity."

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