Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fire Drill

I had a fire drill at work today. In all honesty, I think that has so far been the most excitement I've had all day. Also, I love how I'm saying "work" as though I'm getting paid to be here. Fine, I'll go by internship. I had a fire drill at my internship today. While we were outside it was decided by someone to take a great big picture of all the people that work here at PBS. I don't know whose idea it was, but it took a while and I was tempted several times to just jump up in the air a bunch of times while they were taking it, but I decided that it wouldn't be professional of me to do so so I passed on the notion.

I bring this up because, well, one, every time a fire drill happens I can't seem to stop thinking about the episode of The Simpsons where the nuclear power plant has a fire drill and everyone races for the door as they fight each other, and Homer gets out first and locks everyone else in, but also because one of my initial reactions to the fire drill was "I thought I was done with fire drills when I graduated,". But of course, this thought just reminds me that one, I'm not REALLY graduated, two, oh shit, I'm, more or less, graduated and three, I'm graduated and still working for free. What's up with that?

I keep reassuring myself that I will find a job. Eventually a position somewhere has to open up that I'm qualified for. At the same time, I guess I still need to actually search and apply for a job in order for me to get one, so that is the next step. Mostly I think that this is telling me that I have to be more active, and I don't mean more active in that I have to work harder or make myself busier, but more active in that I have to stop spending so much time preparing myself for a job and go out and actually find one. Of course, my commitment next month to RA-ing the summer high school program is something this, in my mind, is preventing me from actually following up with those job searches, especially since they all seem to conflict with that program, so no point in going for a job that I'll end up having to turn down anyway.

All I can think of is how I can make my next project or what is my next project going to be. Never mind the fact that I still haven't finished my last projects and that I don't have the funding to continue making another film, my mind wants to be in constant production; I think it's the only way I really feel like I'm doing something with my education. I get out of college and I look at all I learned and all I know and I don't see myself using it nearly as much as I want to nor do I feel prepared to work professionally, I just don't feel that capable, and that's probably why I want to stay in school.

I don't think I talked about this in a previous post, but if I did, I'm sorry, but I'm going to talk about it anyway.

After the third to last night of Andrew Roehm's past shoot I went out with some of the crew members. Ivaylo, a mutual friend of mine and our first AC Fletcher Wolfe, was having his birthday that day and we insisted on celebrating with him by at least buying him a drink or two. Afterwords we went to get some food and from there we all went home. Fletcher, whom I meet working on Bohemibot, and whom intimidated me on said project. Three weeks ago I was given the opportunity to get to know Fletcher a lot better while working with her on Matthew Troy's previously mentioned film in Connecticut, where I learned Fletcher speaks some Mandarin and is a really cool person and not intimidating at all. At any rate, I digress because this post isn't about how I got to know these people.

Anyway, as I made my way back to Nick Feitel's apartment for the night, Fletcher talked to me about even the lower positions or say grip or boom op in what she referred to as "the big leagues," AKA professional union studio shoots that we often simultaneously make fun of and cry about for existing. She described those crews as a "well oiled machine," one that even she has not become a permanent component of, and she's two years older than me with tons more experience in G&E than I even come close to. It's intimidating because even at our level, a level I thought would be good enough to at least do a job such as boom op or gripping, we're not yet close to professional yet.

The realization was shocking at first, terrifying. Thoughts of "why, after four years of film school, am I still not prepared for even the simplest of tasks in the great big machine?" easily floated through my mind. However, as my mind settled a moment later, I came to realize something, "this is a good thing,".

I'm glad that I watched Randy Pausch's Last Lecture because if I learned anything from it, it is that "walls exist to show you how much you want things, they're meant to keep everyone else out,". I think if I exited college and the world was already ready to give me everything that I wanted I would be very disappointed and easily bored with the world and my field. It's become clear to me that I'm going to have to work for what I want; my goal is far from within reach; and I think that's how I would like it to be, at least for now.

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