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Sunday, July 24, 2005

I need a vacation

I’m sorry, I know your birthday is next Friday, but I will be working out of town until Sunday. Oh, also, that vacation we had planned? It sounds like I might have to stay in town because of a job I am on, so I will not be able to do that either…

This is my life, and nobody outside of the entertainment world understands it. The last time I took a planned vacation with several other people that we bought tickets for weeks in advance was a year ago. Those of us who work freelance have a all-encompassing fear that the moment we leave town for any reason, the greatest job of our lives will call and ask us to show up the next day. Hell, that has happened to me. Several times. Six months ago I went home to visit my parents for a week, and sure enough, the moment I get off the bus, my phone starts ringing. Are you available? We kind of need someone, well, tomorrow.

I am scheduled, at the moment, to drive across the country with my best friend to take her to grad school next month. I am not sure if I will be able to go yet, and it is not an easy thing to explain to her. She has a normal job, with sick days and vacation time. She knows exactly where she will be in two weeks time. I could be anywhere. It is incredible frustrating, most of all because I really desperately need a vacation. Also because this is a trip we have talked about for years, and now because of my stupid job choices, I may have to back out.

Job insecurity is both the blessing and the curse of freelance work. I love the idea that I can take off when I want. Apartment hunting last month was considerably easier for me, being able to take a week off to do it, than it was for others I know. However, there is really very little freedom in it. Every time I take a job that lasts longer than a week, I immediately get commitment phobic about, but what if something better comes along during that time? Do I really want to commit myself for that long to something? And as a sidebar, yes, this sort of attitude does seem to spill over into my personal life. So anyway, I can go for two weeks without a peep from jobs, and at the end of which, I will go away for two days, and without fail I will hear from three people who needed me to start work for them that day. Supposedly, at a certain point, you get enough of a money cushion that having to turn down work because of personal time will not be a problem. I wonder when that time is….


At 8:40 PM, Anonymous said...

is there such a thing as a "money cushion" if you're living in NYC as a freelancer?


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