I attended a seminar last weekend with Jessica Sitomer, The Greenlight coach. Yes, I have talked about her before. Her seminars are worth going to and, yes, I will be there again next year so I will probably often be spouting her wisdom. After all… learning lessons from others is my main reason for writing this blog, ne pas?
She talked about the ‘spiral-down’ effect that we can go into when we are out of work. Funnily enough I had been sitting on the grass chatting with some costumers the other day, and one of the things that came up was the set funk that comes at the end of every show. This lead me to thinking about the last day of shooting on my previous show when everybody was getting all misty and saying how great the show was and they were sad it was ending.
Some shows hit you worse than others. It could have been a fabulous show to work on, or a crazy show with a fabulous wardrobe crew… whichever, it is always hard to leave.
Working on a show is like summer camp! (Bad example for me; I didn’t like summer camp. I misunderstood and thought I was getting a week off from my life to read and relax, sort of a spa for kids. Wrong.) Crikey! They want us to play hide and seek, do scavenger hunts and dress up like crazy people! Being on set is not like that at all. Well, wait a minute… now that I am thinking of it: that does kind-a explain my job in a nutshell. Hummm!
However you feel about the project you’re on, the funk that sets in at the end of it is a crazy but real thing. One of the costumers I was talking to thought she was the only person that felt like that. The other hoped that the end-of-show postpartum blah would get better the longer she worked in this industry. Sorry to say; if you are like me, it doesn’t get easier. You are not alone; we all go through this in some way.
Most people not in the industry can expect to be laid off maybe 2 times in their entire career. We, as film workers, can be laid off from 2 – 10 times a year depending on the length of the projects we are doing. Fact: getting laid off is one of life’s most stressful experiences. This being so, it is little wonder that we can go into that ‘downward spiral’ at the end of our shoots.
The feeling comes on around about the time everybody starts to ask, “What show are you going onto next?” If you haven’t heard about a new job… the stress starts to build. We all ask ourselves the same questions, “Why haven’t I received any calls… what should I do… should I (heaven forbid!) call people?”
Keeping up with people who could potentially hire you is something that you should just do. We all know that our shows are not long. Unless you have plans to stay with the same group and move on from show to show together, you should always be keeping in touch with others. This can be done through and email, a phone call, by Facebook, or even by text. Letting people know when you are finishing is a great way of keeping you in their minds for future projects.
But if you haven’t heard about a new show it is time to start making some calls… really, waiting by the phone never works! Pick that sucker up and start dialling.
Don’t make the panic call, “I need a job!”
Instead, let people know that you are coming available, ask what you can do to help them out. Remember; working on day-calls, day checks or as a day player… it is a different description everywhere… is a great way of getting to know new people and new crews.
When your show does end and you find yourself with a bit of time off before your next fabulous endeavour… take care of yourself… settle back into the rhythm of life. Try to give your self a break. You’ve been working very long hours for the last few weeks, maybe even months. Your body and mind are tired and need a little TLC.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Have you had much? I know I never get 8 hours a night. Relish in what it feels like to lie in comfort with no alarm going off. Roll in the delight of tangled bed sheets, and dream of soft sunlit moments of peace!
Hey, the gym is great. I love it there and the treadmill or stepper is a fabulous place to watch TedTalks. I laugh at the funny ones like I’ve gone crazy sometimes… always keeps the people around me wondering! Also the Sea Wall here is a great place to meet people that are in the industry… exercise, meeting people and hearing what’s up… can’t think of anything better!
Talk to People
Have coffee with friends, I am sure you haven’t seen them in a while. Go out with your honey and hang out with all the creatively passionate people that make your mind run to wonderful things.
Oh, I love the cookbooks… all the fun things I now have time to whip up! And back to those meet-ups with friends and co-workers (that are, of course, going through the same thing!)… eat, laugh and share your stories about your past shows!
Being proactive with your career is about keeping yourself healthy, happy and positive! Keep your resume and portfolio up-to-date and tell people what you are up to: nobody will know you are available if you don’t let them know!