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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, May 26, 2011

Many hats...

I'm sitting at one of my favorite coffee shops in the village right now (The West Village) killing time between working Technicolor this morning and working at NY1 this afternoon, drinking mate and charging my phone. Yes, I can do all these things and type a blog. I'm pretty sure I just saw Keri Russell on the street on the way here too. Which is weird because she was in August Rush and one of the films I screened this morning at Technicolor had Freddie Highmore in it who was also in August Rush. Weird coincidence. She had a very floppy hat on to hide her face but I saw it was her.

Speaking of hats, (kick ass segue I just thought up) I've always worn many hats in my professional life. Currently, I'm a projectionist, broadcast media operator, composer, performer and voice recording artist (I used to joke that I was like Tyler Durden from Fight Club because of the multiple jobs and that one of them was a projectionist job). I am all these things to varying degrees. Because I can't be them all at 100% I've recently realized. I was starting to get a little overwhelmed last night in fact, which somewhat prompted me to write this blog. Last night, despite being sleep deprived from the night before and having to switch my sleep schedule around so that I was waking up when I usually get off work, I couldn't sleep. Juggling so many of these things, having a professional career, a side career, music as a hobby and then trying to have a social life as well can be daunting. So, in a moment of clarity, I thought it might be a good idea, instead of tossing and turning, to do a little exercise in compartmentalization. Dividing my life into five categories seemed to be the way to go.

1. Professional Career, i.e. day job.
2. Side Career, i.e. voice over and composition
3. Music as a hobby, i.e. performing with Lacy and singing with the choir, as well as working on my own live music projects
4. Social life, including dating
5. My health.

The reason I put health up here is that it's important to me that I remain healthy and if my focus is taken up by too many of these things my health will suffer, no doubt. Not only from lack of sleep, negative effects of stress could really put a damper on things quickly. It becomes necessary to put all these things in an order of priority then for this exercise to have any real effect on my life. Of course, health is always going to be in slot number 1 or 2 because of how important it is to me to remain healthy. It is also necessary to point out that if one of these "hats" is lower in ranking it doesn't necessarily mean I don't work on it or that I neglect it entirely. It merely means that I work on it next, after I finish working on those things that are higher ranking. Or if there's a day where I have a limited amount of time, items that are lower in ranking just might not get worked on. On any given day (well, day of my work week), my day job will of course be in slot 1 or 2. And all the other things will fall somewhere else on the scale. Health will always waver between 1 and 2, likelier to be in slot 1 on days when I'm not feeling myself.

This system, now that I've worked it out, should keep me slightly more sane, in theory, because I won't be hassling myself if I don't get to work on a particular project on a given day. And I will be making sure that I keep things in perspective. And that alone should reduce stress significantly. Particularly the kind of stress that makes me toss and turn when I know in my mind that I should be tired enough to fall right off to sleep.

At the moment, for example, here is my current ranking: 1. Health, 2. Professional Career 3. Social Life 4. Side Career 5. Music as a hobby. The reasons: health is 1 because I'm feeling a little off today from lack of sleep. Professional Career because first, I'm working extra shifts and freelance at Technicolor this week, and second because I'm job hunting…shhhhhh. Social Life is 3 because I've started seeing someone and I have a few friends that are moving away or leaving town soon. 4. Side Career should be two sub-categories, music and voice over separately. Right now, I've put VO on a small hiatus while I save up for some more seminars and coaching session. I'm figuring out if I want to do a new demo for audio books or commercial work as well. Music is on an even smaller hiatus because Mohammad and I are meeting today to talk about the first bit of music I've submitted to him (sans oud) and then we have to wait until we can finish anything else because, while I have finally come by an oud, it will be a few weeks before it is in my hands. My choir director has to get his oud from his parents' house in NJ. And then I might need to re-string it. 5. Music as a hobby is on a small hiatus because Lacy and I won't rehearse until next week and I'm skipping choir Sunday to help a friend move, a friend that helped me move in back in 2009. A move that involved three very scrawny people heaving a piano up 4 steps and down a short hallway. I think I owe this friend.

Anyway, things may change with that list in a few days, but I like the idea now of having a priority list like that. It means I can more easily tell myself that it's okay that I'm not doing everything. It acknowledges that I simply can't. And I should be okay with that.

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