Friday, June 4, 2010

When Day Jobs Consume

How long can one work a “day-job” before it becomes who they are?

When January rolls around 2011, I will have been working at my “day-job,” on and off, for 11 years. I started my freshman year of college. I’ve left a few times, but have always come back in just under a year’s time. How long can I stay there before the job defines me?

It’s an ordinary, job-type job, the kind you’d expect to see recently graduated high school kids, college kid or other professionals supplementing their income and benefits working.  Let’s just say I use the phrase “What can I get for you” a lot... I’ve always avoided advancement in order to stay open for my movie making. My schedule is very flexible and I’m able to take long periods of time off and come back pretty easily. However, as I grow older (hell I’ve been working there for a decade and started in college, so you can guess at my age) advancement is starting to sound appealing. I will never give up on my movies and will make them until the day I die, but I am considering putting more into what in the past years as become my primary source of income.

Recently, I changed day-job locations (for personal reasons) but this has opened up advancement opportunities that may have been present before, but were never so “in my face.” My main concern in taking the promotion is that it will impede my movies. I mean, can I handle working full-time and still make my own movies. While the hours will not change for me drastically, the ease with which I take time off or change my schedule around will. Also, the amount of mental energy I expend there will increase. They days of leaving it “all at the door” maybe coming to an end.

I sold my 1st movie in 2005. Since, I’ve written and directed 2 more, am shooting my 4th in August 2010 and have edited or dp’d another 6. I’ve gotten paid for much of that work and consider myself to be a professional filmmaker. However, I’ve not made enough to keep myself afloat financially over extended periods of time (I’ve had good and bad years) and find myself again and again back at the “day-job.”

I find myself responding more and more with the “day-job” response when people ask what I do. I guess this “day-job” is on the verge of consuming me, if it hasn’t already.

Or maybe I'm just being melodramatic.


  1. I promise you, it's not that hard to take time off. Look how often I do it! Just don't have 2 "day jobs." It sucks.