Thursday, October 28, 2010

No One Wants To Play With Me.

Sometimes I feel like I don't belong anywhere.

These days, I've been lucky enough to land all these awesome gigs that are bigger in every way than the shows I've been used to. But being the "new kid" and all, I haven't exactly been accepted by all the guys I've been working with. I'm a stranger to them. They don't know my very well yet, and I get the feeling that many of them would like to keep it that way.

But since I've been primarily ditching my low budget peeps in favor of those "better" gigs, when I do return to the more familiar territory of shows that offer long hours for little pay, I sometimes get the feeling that I don't quite belong here either. The vibe is somewhat... different. They've found a way to make things work without me, and in a way, I feel like my return might be throwing a wrench in their system.

I feel like I was finally "in" a crew tribe or two, which was something I worked so hard for over the years. And at a time where I feel like I should be advancing, I get kind of pushed out into the cold.

I don't quite belong here and I don't quite belong there either.

I'm a woman without a crew.


Niall said...

That's the situation I find my self in as well right now. Doing all the Union level work I've been given the chance to do, and then returning to the lower depths of indie poverty. I feel out of place and just under valued.

It takes a few years of working with these guys showing them that your capable and just aged enough to be accepted. Keep with it and soon you'll be just one of guys.

Michael Taylor said...

Niall is right -- it just takes time, and when you're young, that time seems like forever. The one thing you can count on is that change will keep happening no matter what your situation is, forcing you to adapt to new realities on a regular basis.

This is a tribal business, which means you need to find your tribe. Once you find that tribe (and you will, in time), it won't stop there. Change is constant -- gaffers become cameramen, best boys become gaffers, and juicers become best boys. The equation never remains stable for long. I've gone through at least five major tribal changes in my career -- meaning I had to find a new tribe after the old one blew apart for one reason or another. I had to do it all over again in the past five years, and it wasn't easy. You just have to put your head down, do the work as best you can, and keep your eyes and ears open. Eventually a slot will open on a crew, and you'll make a good fit.

I realize there's nothing more infuriating for a young person than to hear some old fart say "just be patient" -- hey, I was young once too, and felt the same choking rage at hearing those tired cliches -- but cliches don't become cliches without a good reason.

Keep pushing hard and doing your best, and things will work out for you. You'll find your place, if only for a while.

It just takes time...

A.J. said...

Niall - "Out of place and under valued." That's exactly how I feel when I return to the low budget world.

Michael - I don't feel a "choking rage" when I hear those cliches. But I guess I do get a bit frustrated. Part of it might be because we're so focused on the "now" and there's no guarantee that the "eventually" and the "someday" will even come.

Niall said...

It's also weird to return to the low budget world and not have the little things you have in the bigger world like disposable foam core, brand new globes for you HMI's, or my favorite a truck with an honest to god gate. The other fun part is getting the essential stuff you need with out fighting tooth and nail for it.

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