Unemployment - Get Used to the Idea

Part of life working in the film business is accepting that there will be times when you will NOT be working in the film business.  Film jobs only last so long, and most often there will be down-time in between shows.  So there are two things you must do: 1) save some of your hard-earned money, and 2) relax, and consider this time your "vacation".

I am on such a vacation now, and have been for 3 months, so this seemed the most likely topic to begin my blog with.  Am I stressed-out?  Not too much, but we always stress a little when the phone hasn't rung for a while...  The first week off is always blissful - its like that feeling of the last day of school when you get released for the summer - "I'm FREE!!" - it also helps when you know you have one more paycheck coming.  Its a good idea to have at least 6 months worth of savings for just these times.  I definitely do not like seeing my savings disappear, and certainly hope that I won't be off-work for THAT long, but I accept that that's what its for - my peace of mind when I'm unemployed.

Film work can be such a pleasure, and such a pain.  It is often stressful, and unfolds at an unrelenting pace.  The unfortunate trend these days is that we are given less time, less money, and less personnel to accomplish our tasks (as it is in many fields).  And we teach production the wrong lesson every time - that we can do it.  No one wants to fail - to not have a set ready, or present something that doesn't look good.  So we do what it takes, and it can be quite a trial for all involved.  There's a saying we often use: You can have your sets cheap, quick, or fabulous - pick any two.   

So after another long show I will enjoy my unemployment - I will sleep-in, see family and friends, get back to hobbies and projects halted mid-stream, get things done around the house that have been sorely neglected, pamper myself with good food and a few spa treatments, and maybe take a trip.  BTW - that phone will usually wait to ring with a job offer until you've bought tickets to go somewhere...  So you might as well do it - the call will come.  Get used to the idea.