Friday, July 12, 2013

Gigology in the Age of Obama by Odilia Rivera-Santos

By Odilia Rivera-Santos

When Obama was elected, there was a sense of possibility and freedom, as if people of color, nerds, slim-limbed non-athletic boys and women could become Superman. Yes, there was a sense of being freed to  pursue unconventional dreams. 
And then, The Freelancer's Bible was published and we says to ourselves "We've been put on the map! We can come out of the closet!"

The truth is that a freelancer's life is one requiring a lot of adjustment; the guaranteed paycheck of a teaching gig isn't there and you find yourself creating work out of thin air. In-between gigs, because you went to college for too long, you have the luxury of sitting around to enjoy a long bout of thinking.
Thinking is a great hobby of mine. After you fill your brain with classical texts, stand-up comedy, minutiae about the history of Hip Hop and Warner Brothers cartoons, deep philosophical tomes and plenty of odd conversations with friends and strangers, you have to dilute the mass of information with the water of inactivity, the water of doing a lot less. My Chinese herbalist would feel my pulse and tell me to stop thinking so much. I did follow her advice after a couple of years. And, now, I've even made it a point to call people and ask questions instead of researching something I'm not interested in studying. This is something I learned from a very successful artist wrangler I know. 

Gigology, freelancin' and not biting your nails
The freelancer life is like one of those musicals where they put on a show in a barn, with no equipment, and everybody's excited to work with a full face of makeup, not sweating and wearing overalls -- except the freelancer is alone. You think of all the ways you can prove you have faith such as not biting your nails or checking your email every five minutes.

My summer has been great. I just landed a nice writing gig where I will attend cultural events, go to restaurants and write reviews for a magazine. And I continue to teach dance classes, and submit writing to magazines. The new writing gig os definitely the cherry on top -- It's always great to be paid to meander, wander and explicate. 

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