It’s a good thing I haven’t locked the door and closed myself off from opportunities just yet, because a bunch of them have decided to knock, Love Shack style. Nothing lucrative just yet, but things with potential to lead me further down the road I want to walk. I’ve often said in these pages that settling myself has taken far longer than I’d imagined. I’ve bristled at the idea of working without pay in order to get where I need to, but the fact is that my lack of contacts or proven Canadian experience count against me in most cases. Because of this, I’ve done a variety of seemingly random jobs to keep that rent check coming.
There have been the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health research subject roles (all as a healthy, baseline participant). I’ve been introduced to Transcranial Magnetic Simulation, EEG caps and a variety of interesting medical testing devices. I’ve spent hours on end staring straight ahead, concentrating on not concentrating on anything, or counting hundreds of numbers while my brainwaves are measured. It’s actually been pretty fun. I’ve done market research surveys and audience measurement testing, taking advantage of marketing firms’ deep pockets and my spare time. I’m now gonna be an electoral attendant on polling day, helping to ensure that electors can exercise their right to kind of almost affect what happens in this vibrant city. It’s gonna be a long day, but an easy job and well paying too. How could I resist my civic duties with that on the line?
A project that’s been stalled for quite some time is my desire to get into voiceover work. A family friend is an agent that’ll be happy to put out my demo reel once I’ve got one composed. That was supposed to be done months ago. I had some intro work going at one of the student radio stations, which fizzled out and I couldn’t get a hold of my voicing samples. There was another radio project that never panned out. It still might, but I’m not holding out hope. If it does, I’m calling that one a bonus. There’s another voiceover service that I’m submitting a demo to. Hopefully I can bank on the boon of my rare (outside New Zealand and British Columbia) accent. The service has a few Aussies, but I could be quite the commodity if the market demands it. Let’s hope it comes calling. Even if I don’t get much work, even if the pay isn’t exceptional, I could use the end product as material for this inevitable skite tape.
Another card in my stacked house is a food based writing position. It’s unpaid as far as monetary gain, but I’ll reap free restaurant meals and a chance to put out some actual professional writing. Much as I’ve put a ton of words out at this point, very few of them function as examples of focused, marketable pieces. If I’m into the idea of doing something productive with my work here, I should really find ways to make evidence of my skills accessible for potential employers. It doesn’t hurt that one of my first assignments involves a free double pass for The Girlfriend and I to a weekend music festival featuring Interpol and Broken Social Scene. Did I mention the allowance to cover the edible fare on display (actually the prime reason we’re being sent)? Why would I need to get paid for something I’d willingly spend all of my money doing? How could a job get better than this? Isn’t this why I gravitated towards media work in the first place?
So things are bubbling away in the pot, still waiting for that al dente touch. When they’re ready I can put together something delectable, but until then it’s best if I take it slow. No point in rushing before things are at their prime. As I was taught, in any position you should make yourself indispensable. Become the go-to person in any department you’re a part of. If you keep it up, people will have no choice but to notice and commend you. If I keep my head down and concentrate on the quality of my output, who knows how far I’ll travel? So I’m best to keep my nose to the grindstone and door wide open.