Have I boxed myself in?

Monday 16 April 2018

Good morning folks, how was your weekend? Mine was over in a flash, as they always are after a week that seems to take three months to get from Monday to Friday. But let's try not to lament too much on that fact.

I've been thinking a lot about work lately - I'd go so far as to say I've been obsessing over it. And not just in my usual 'I mustn't forget to do this tomorrow' way. In a 'bigger picture/what happens next' kind of way. Why? Because the funding for my current project is coming to an end, and as it currently stands, there's no guarantee that more funding will come.

'But wait Stephie? Didn't you say that just 6 months ago? And 6 months before that? And 6 months before that too?' 

You're right, I did. Welcome folks, to working in the arts. 

I know fine well, that funding dependent positions are not unique to the arts, and job uncertainty is a horrible truth about work in the modern world, but for the sake of this post I'm going to focus on the arts and the position I'm currently in.

I've wanted to work in theatre since I was 9 years old. A fact I've always been incredibly grateful for. I have friends, of all ages, who to this day, have no idea of what they want to do when they grow up. But on some level I always have.

I was the weird kid that stood in her front garden talking to herself, happy in my own little world, while the other kids on the street rode bikes. I was the kid who never wanted to just play normal versions of games but wanted to find ways of changing it up. The kid who had somewhere to go when the world thought she was weird, escaping to her imagination, her books, her make believe world.

I was the one who picked a degree, knowing that it would, one day, directly link to my career, despite what nearly every "sensible" grown up told me. And when I left university I was the one that felt ok taking barely paid internships and landing in crazy scenarios because it was whole heartedly what I WANTED to do.

While I may not have realised it when I was 9, I've had a focus my entire life, and when I turned 21 that focus became a determination. 

Long time readers will know, that it wasn't always easy, but the thing that got me through the difficult times was the fact that I couldn't imagine doing anything else. And when other friends sat at their desks not really sure how they ended up there at least I knew why I was putting up with the crazy.

And eventually it all paid off. I got a job that I love, and it turns out I'm pretty good at. But unfortunately you can't put all that in a funding bid (the character counts* are way too limited) and the fact is - there are hundreds of other people like me who can't possibly imagine doing anything else with their lives either.

They are all passionate, creative, talented and driven, and they far out way the number of jobs and the amount of funding currently available.

So the fact is, that I might know what I want, but people don't always get what they want. And because of rent, and bills, and life I need a job.

And one day, possibly soon, I might have to prioritising needing any job, over just applying for the ones I know for a fact that I want. Jobs outside of the arts.

What then?

Suddenly having one focus my entire life, doesn't seem so great. In fact it seems pretty stupid to have never even considered any other job or career in any serious way. 

Have I boxed myself myself? Could there be something out there that I enjoy doing just as much as what I'm doing now that actually has NOTHING to do with theatre or the arts or culture?


In fact there are probably loads of things I could love and be good at. They are not necessarily any easier to get into than the arts, but they are there.

I don't know whether to feel relieved or terrified by that prospect.

I know I do feel a little bit like I'm cheating on the arts even considering it, but maybe we were too young when we got together? Maybe we are supposed to be together in the end but I need to play the field a little first? Or maybe this is just a rough patch?

I don't have any answers for you, or a tidy little conclusion because I have a lot of thinking to do and I'm only just getting started.

So that's where I'm at right now. How about you? Have you always known what you wanted to do? Do you still have no idea? Or did you fall into something and discovered it was the love of your life?

Let me know x

*yup, a lot of arts funding bids are limited by character count not word count - bye bye good grammar, we were never that close anyway.

Follow me on Twitter | Bloglovin’ | Instagram

Post a Comment


© A Cup Of Creative. Design by FCD.