As an independent contractor, if I don’t book work, I don’t eat. Yet, at the same time, I could easily apply for a ‘normal’ job. I’ve done normal jobs. They don’t satiate my spirit. At every ‘corporate’ place of employment I have worked, something happened that pushed me away as if to tell me that I do not belong there. Whether it was being fired because I wouldn’t sleep with the guy that hired me or too black for the position. Or being called a distraction when I worked at the front desk because though in polo shirts and khaki pants, the Marketing Director said, “Too many people come up and talk to her. She draws too much attention. We don’t want her there.” (Isn’t that what the front desk is supposed to provide? A happy welcoming face providing information to all whom enter?)
Or threatened with termination on days when the daycares were closed due to inclement whether conditions, but I (the disposable one) was expected to come in and cover someone else’s shift that was also afraid to drive 20 miles away on black ice.
Risking everything for $9/hour…
My soul is driven toward purpose. Working in entertainment has been what I have done the longest amount of time. And now though I still have administrative, human resources, payroll, delivery courier, bartender, and collections agent skills… MY HEART IS IN THE ARTS.
To my fellow artists and independent contractors, I understand. I am fighting the fight with you. Below is a quote that pulls me back to my version of reality and reminds me to PUSH THROUGH. Life is meant to be lived, by YOUR definition- NOT SOCIETY.
If God gave you a gift, share it.
By all means, do what is necessary for survival, but stay encouraged.
Stay creative. Take action.
“Artists are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime…. Every day, artists face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they’ll never work again. Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. With every role, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life – the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because artists are willing to give their entire lives to a moment – to that line, that laugh, that gesture, or that interpretation that will stir the audience’s soul. Artists are beings who have tasted life’s nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another’s heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.” – David Ackert