Tag Archives: arts

What I Wish I Knew in 2001

In 2001 I had secured offers to four out of the five colleges I applied to for costume design. Had I selected any other program my life would be entirely different today. However, the major factor which shifted my life was my sheer naivety regarding how art itself could have become a viable career for a person with a creative soul like myself, vs running from it so haphazardly because I didn’t want to get caught up in a field so superficial untied to a career.

Maybe I made the wrong choice. I don’t know. What I didn’t know then was that 10 years later I’d be working in enterprise software. That instead of leveraging my creativity to launch my own fashion line or show my work in galleries, I’m ghostwriting copy for reports that ultimately matter only so much as they gain the attention of prospective buyers. I could die tomorrow and nothing I’ve created in the past 10 years of my life would matter at all. In fact, most of it already doesn’t. Continue reading

Holiday. Celebrate. It’s All Right.

For that record, that song is way too perky for me. That said, I’m looking forward to this three-day weekend in the States to memorialize people who fought for this country and/or just sleep as much as I actually should be sleeping every night.

My boyfriend and I are celebrating our anniversary this weekend and off on our annual getaway to a state park nearby. I used to think it was silly to pay for a hotel in an area that’s less than two hours from your house, but now I like the idea of it. When you spend so much time working it’s nice to have a little getaway, even if you could have just gotten up early and returned the next morning from home Continue reading

It All Fades Away in the End

This blog isn’t just about money, it’s about how money is so tied into the life we lead, our morals, our contentment, our journeys. I write a lot about investing and income here, but also, I like to write about the meaning of life. Perhaps that’s because my grandfather was a Rabbi, and it’s hard for me to isolate talk of earning from my own philosophizing. Nothing ties the two together more than art, an expensive hobby as both participant and viewer.

A good work of art moves you once, a great work of art continues to move you long after you’ve parted ways with its formal presence. Musicals are unique in that while the storyline might not stick with you, a great score in its own right can slither into your thoughts for a long time to come.

Too many musicals these days are designed to purely entertain and not get you to that cathartic state that art is all about. But, as I wrote the other day, my recent entanglement with Bridges of Madison County (which closed today, WTF is wrong with people) left me reflecting on numerous themes posed throughout the piece and how they related to my life. Because I’m so vain. Or, that’s how art is supposed to work.

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No More Voice Lessons… For Now

My voice teacher just emailed me and asked me about scheduling January lessons. I’ve been going to lessons twice a month for the last year, which cost me $170 a month. Given that I’m now spending $200 a month for group therapy, it is important to pull back somewhere. It’s a tough decision to say no to lessons, but it’s something I need to do right now. I recently started dance class once a week which is $60 / month, and I feel like this is an area I need more work on anyway in terms of auditions. I’d love if I could afford all of the above, but I really can’t. (Well, not if I want to save $20,000 next year.)

I feel bad about telling my voice teacher I can’t afford lessons right now. It’s tough being self employed, and even though I’m sure my $170 a month won’t break her budget, it’s much easier to cancel a subscription than voice lessons with a woman who I respect and actually want to pay.

That said, I need to take care of my mental health issues right now. And that’s costing me a small fortune. When I got hired full time I sought out voice lessons as a reward to myself. I do think I’ve improved a bit, but I’ll never be a great singer. It’s more or less a hobby of mine. But at this point in my life it’s just not worth investing in. My sanity, however, is.

For the Love of Theatre

Sorry I haven’t updated in a while, guys. I’ve been extremely busy casting a play that I’m directing at a local community theater. Rehearsals start next week, so every moment I’m not working on one of my freelance projects, I’m figuring out things like blocking, character intention, etc.

The good news is that I’m getting paid $500 to direct this play. Most fo that will go to gas money and gifts for the actors and such, but I might even end up with a small profit I can pocket in the end.

Theater has an interesting relationship with my life. Admittedly, it holds me back from my career at times. Most jobs require that you have a flexible schedule, with evenings free for occasional long hours or overnight trips. Even my current job, which if it were full time, would be 60 hours per week, would require me to give up theater.

Every time I have to make my passion versus job decision, I cannot. Given my inability to make such a compromise, things have turned out quite well – at least for the time being. As a freelance writer with a fairly-stable part-time writing gig, I have the flexibility to direct a show in the evenings and work… during the day and in the even later evenings.

I’ve often thought about returning to graduate school for theater directing. But those $100k three-year programs seems like a terrible idea, at least financially. I was hoping my mutual fund and stocks would somehow add some of those funds to my account, but given the dismal performance of the stock market I’m actually losing money right now. Lots of it. Well, about $1035 of it to date, and most of that’s from my mutual fund.

My goal in the back of my mind is still to save up $100k by the time I turn 30 (which is in only 5.5 years, omg) and then apply to grad school for directing *OR* buy a house. If I can even save that much, that will be a tough decision to make. And as you’ve already learned from this entry, I’m no good at making decisions!