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For those of us in the film industry, getting fired is something that usually happens several times a year. Unless you’re on a really long show, in which case it may only happen once a year. It’s not as dramatic, personal, or bad as it sounds and is just what happens when a show comes to its natural end. For those who like to know when and where their next paycheck will come from or what they will be doing a year from now, this is not the life for you.
It’s a world caught somewhere between freelancing and self employment with the added security of being the member of a union. Though a production may find my name by looking at the union roster, much more frequently I get hired by word of mouth and called by people who know people I’ve worked with. And it is then up to me to accept the job or not. It frequently ends up feeling like a big chess game, trying to make moves that will be personally beneficial without burning any bridges which could be useful in the future.
The key is then to be able to enjoy the time off that naturally occurs between jobs. I know many people who jump from job to job because the in between time is too uncomfortable and others who are never really able to enjoy it because they are too worried about when they’ll be employed again. I understand both of these but do my best to both take time off and to enjoy it. It’s the only way I’m able to balance the crazy.
It’s been years since I’ve been able to see down the road for any length of time and think I knew what lay ahead. I’ve chosen a life full of curves but maybe that’s a blessing, causing me to live more in the present than I otherwise might. After all, who ever really knows what lies ahead, even when the road appears straight?
In a way I think it’s all a big exercise in faith. Faith that if you’re on the right road it will all work out, the calls will come, the jobs will follow and in the meantime, why not visit some friends, landscape your yard, and take a nap?