Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oh No, I Didn't (Oh Yes, I Did)...

I think I may have just broken the cardinal rule of working low budget indies: I passed up a better gig for a shitty one.

And not just an, "eh, one was a little bit better, but I already promised I'd do the suckier one" either. Nor was it in favor of a friend's "passion project." The job I gave up was miles above the one I'm sticking to in terms of money, benefits, production value, prestige, etc.

So what does this suckier, lower paying, going no-where job has that the swanky, better one doesn't?


When faced with the decision of choosing between the two jobs, I decided that I could use a break from constantly having to defend myself against an unfamiliar crew and I kinda missed the camaraderie I got from my low budget peeps. I guess you could say I was homesick and in a way, my decision was kind of like going home for a visit after a tough week of finals in college.

Sure, when faced with the two options, my head was screaming, "WTF are you doing?? It's a no-brainer! Of course you should go with the bigger show!!!" And part of it still is. Especially the part about the money since I still very much remember the work drought of '09, '08... and '07.

But another part of me feels like giving up the bigger job, for just a little while, is the right thing to do if I want to stay sane and not blow a gasket in front of a big name Gaffer. Despite the job itself being kinda sucky, I feel like it'll do me good to surround myself with people I know and am familiar with. People who love me and don't feel the need to question every little thing I do. I need a couple of days where I'm not being watched like a hawk by co-workers who don't trust that I know how to do my job. Or someone quizzing me to see if I know what a double is.

In short, I need a few days of shitty work with good people before I can go back to another day of easy work and shitty people.


Michael Taylor said...

It's important to know when to trust your instincts in the free-lance life. Bigger is not always better, and given all you've been through lately -- and had to put up with -- I think you made the right call.

Life in Hollywood is seldom an uninterrupted climb up the golden ladder of success. It's not unusual to take two steps forward immediately followed by three steps back. The next few steps might take you sideways for a while until -- finally -- you make another step forward. But every step in each direction represents something learned, and thus progress, even though it might not feel like that at the time. Just keep your eyes on the prize, as they say, and you'll stay on track to where you want to go.

A.J. said...

Michael - That's excellent advice. Based on the way things are going and the decisions that I've been making recently, I kind of feel like I'm taking a huge leap forward, followed by a few steps back, sideways, left, right, and in a clockwise circle. But I still feel like I'm making the right choices and I feel good about them. Though I may not know which direction I'm headed now, I still feel like I will eventually get to where I need to go.

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