I’ve managed to cobble some kind of decent living as a freelancer/self employed artist. Last week I had a gig from Monday to Friday doing video training with Indigenous youth from all over Ontario. It was sometimes fun and sometimes challenging and in the interests of being hired again I am not going to get into specifics. BUT I did get to fly a drone for the first time, which was so fucking fun. I didn’t fly it outside, just in this ballroom where we took the training. The instructor got us to fly in boxes with it and do take off and landing and then take a selfie. So because it was so damned cute, here is me with the drone taking a selfie of myself.
Anyway, these youth got to take home video tech to their communities to make more videos, including a drone, 4K camera, lapel mics, Macbooks, editing software (the entire Adobe Suite), and iPhones. I mean holy shit those youth are so damned lucky. It’s good tho because none of them live in centres that have artist run production centres which is where I first got access to video making technology. I think more stuff needs to happen like that, just giving youth and others access to equipment to use anytime.
BUT I am a disabled pup, so it was kind of hard hours on me. We had breakfast at 8:30am and worked often until 6. And sometimes longer. And I managed to sustain it but fuck by the time Friday rolled around I was ready to go to bed and sleep for hours and hours. I usually work from home, so work comes in short bursts with breaks to snack and walk the dogs and even sometimes have a nap and an orgasm. But like I do work almost everyday otherwise. Just in a very specific almost lazy looking way. I’m always on my laptop, or else watching movies for work. It’s disability freelancing so I get my work done but it’s in a certain way. So usually these workshops aren’t as long. But this one was intense. And took a lot out of me. It’s okay I’ll be fine. It just confirmed for me again that I am not designed to do the Monday to Friday 9-5 thing. Like for a week, yes! But as a permanent job? Nay!
It’s funny because someone sent me a link to apply to Emily Carr to become an Indigenous faculty member. And like I didn’t even wonder if it was possible, I was just like NOPE! For one thing, the above mentioned reasons of having a disability. I just can’t have a full time job like that. And the other reason is I already HAVE a job which is being a full time artist. And I have all kinds of gigs and things that I don’t talk about here because some of it is secret stuff. But mostly I am busy and working. Once I was talking to a friend after I had just finished doing a weekend workshop that paid $3000. And she had a sessional gig that was paying her maybe 5-6 thousand for four months of intense work, WAY more work than it had been to do a weekend workshop for me. I’m not saying I didn’t work hard. I’m just saying proportionally I get paid more for doing these workshops and things than people get paid for doing these “legit” academic jobs. Which says something profound about the lack of respect and care these Institutions have for their contract employees. Like actually if I was a sessional I would be making less money than I am now.
So I’m not sure why people keep sending me jobs in universities. I know I have a masters degree and originally I had wanted to teach. But it’s not worth it right now to go down that route. Maybe in the future sessionals will be paid decently. But not right now, so they won’t get my labour.
ALSO just the fact that Emily Carr is in another city. I don’t want to move. Vancouver depresses me. And no one else was hiring me when I was there but call centres, so if I had to quit this teaching job I’d probably be back in a call centre trying to survive. And my career is better here for a bunch of reasons. BUT THE MAIN REASON I don’t plan to move is because I live in a co-op. I have rent geared to income, which is something not a lot of people have. It’s practically a luxury and it’s a nice co-op in a nice area close to downtown. I don’t have tons of space, but also it’s not like most of my income is getting sucked into rent right now. And I can apply for a bigger unit when I get a partner and family and stuff. So I really want to hang on to it. My portable air conditioner is not great and I might have to buy a new one. But that’s my only real complaint about this place. Which is not a big deal.
ALSO FUCK my eggs are here! ha ha omg. But it’s true! I have frozen eggs down at the fertility clinic and I don’t know how I would move those to Vancouver. It sounds like a hassle.