October 29, 2016

I’m Back!

And man, I've got some work to do.


Hi! I missed you guys. If you thought I disappeared sometime around mid-July, you're right. I took on a project that I don't usually do: I agreed to be the key makeup artist on a feature film. Most times, I either help out on the bigger days (think a wedding scene) on a movie and help with background actors, or I work projects that begin and end in less than a week. Five weeks for me is like an eternity.

For those of you who aren't familiar with movie work: it's not a 9-5 job. it's more like a 5 AM to 10 PM job. On Monday, anyway. By Friday, we've slid into a 4PM to 7 AM schedule. We're on location, often outside or in cramped quarters. We sweat our balls off in the summer and freeze in the winter. And we have to lug a good portion of our equipment with us to make changes if the director requests. (“I don't have it” is not an acceptable answer, so it better be in our set bags.) That's the bad stuff. The good stuff is that it gives me the creativity and variety I need, I have more time off between projects, and I'd rather do this than a traditional job. I can't do a traditional job. I'm like a bull in a china shop.

The movie shot close to home, so I was able to keep up with finishing Ties That Bind and getting the Not Exactly A Stepbrother Romance books ready for prime time.

Then I got asked to do another one.

The obvious answer was yes. Money, benefits (I earn health insurance and retirement benefits by the day worked)…but what about my books?

I made it work once, I could do it again. Right? But this movie filmed north of Boston, which added a killer commute to the 14-16 hour working day. Some nights I couldn't even come home, I was too tired for the drive. It wasn't the drive home that I was worried about, it was the ride there, through rush hour traffic. It takes many coffees for me to wake up.

On the weekends I was so braindead all I could manage was a couple of loads of laundry and a little bit of food buying. Maybe a couple hundred words, if I was lucky. If you look at my social media, you'll notice things seem to die off at the end of August. That's when I started movie #2.

I'll need to figure out how to balance both worlds the next time I take on a bigger project.

If I was working a more normal job, like a 9-5 in an office sort of job, then managing projects would be so much easier. I am always reading about project management software (more info here) which makes organizing, planning and tracking projects very simple. If only I were able to add the sort of projects I do into something like that.

But in the meantime, I'm back to what I've always done, smaller projects and lots of writing. I'll be catching up on all the things I missed while I was in movie land.

I've got some exciting new projects coming, as well as some changes to how I do things.

It's going to be a great winter, and I'm glad you're here with me.