My first Christmas without any regular source of income!!


I love Christmas. The food, the music, the presents, being with family, boxing day sales, more food. However I don't like not working. Actually scrap that. I don't like not earning. Christmas presents, whilst are a pleasure to give, are a considerable drain on the bank account. And to similar extent, Boxing day sales. Oh my. And it was my sister's 18th birthday on Boxing day. December is just expensive in general. Especially as this was my first Christmas without any regular source of income.
So now I'm back at work. And, at the time of writing, my younger sisters are still not back at school. Now that is a kick in the teeth.
But there is no work. Unless you count tidying the studio, Which is unpaid. And its not even my mess.
Before Christmas I was manically, crazily busy. With the Christmas videos for my local youth group. And the Christmas party for the youth group. (It was like a winter wonderland, you have never seen so many fairy lights in one room!)
Hang on. Both of these projects were unpaid. And incredibly time consuming. So in an effort to convince both you and myself that this was worth the time and effort, let’s evaluate, shall we?
Whilst I greatly enjoy editing, I do not claim to be an editor. In the same way that I enjoy baking, but I do not claim to be Nigella Lawson. But I was the one who did the editing on the project of these Christmas videos. Now for those of you who adhere to the mantra of 'never work with children or animals'; I'm telling you, you're missing out. One of the videos had the following storyline:
"Hotdog and I dance. Then I bite Hotdog, and he runs away. Hotdog goes to Santa who tells him off. The Santa and Hotdog become ninjas and 'ninja stuff up'. Then Hotdog hides in a present that I open. And we dance crazily."
A gem, a work of true directorial genius. From whom else would you get such a brief? Sadly not all of the scripts were that descriptive. One was obscene and the other, pretty blank. Ok so it’s not always easy to work with kids. But it’s worth it if 1 out of 3 times you get a gem. And for the more useless scripts, it both strained the limits of my imagination, and gave room for creativity. It certainly furthered my knowledge of Premiere, and encouraged me to think 'outside the box'. Ninja Hotdogs and Santas tend to do that to you.
I like to be organised, and I recognise the value of control. Ok, so I'm bossy. But in a good way. I'm determined, and I like to get things done. Ok, so I'm pushy. But in a good way. And whilst these attributes can be negative and annoying, they certainly come in handy when organising a 2 hour Christmas party for 90 kids.
I'm an absolute sucker for Christmas decorations. Tinsel, fairy lights, lamentta, you name it. In total we had 3 Christmas trees, about 10 meters of paper chains, 20 meters of tinsel, at least 100m of fairy lights. Some we already had, some we borrowed, and some I researched into and bought. I liaised with the volunteers, negotiated budget and got stuck in making snowflakes.
I think the biggest thing I learnt was identifying what was reasonable, what could be done at a push, and what is impossible. As much as I would have loved having a snow machine/igloo/reindeer, it was not going to happen. I spent far too much time contemplating how I was going to construct an igloo. I also learnt to relinquish some control. There was no way I was going to be able to do it all. I had to have faith in my team, and really I needn't have worried. They all did great. Next time I shall make better use of my team and have more faith in their abilities.
So though these projects were unpaid, and technically, not directly linked to my work, I learnt a lot. And thoroughly enjoyed it. Most of the time I don't get to see the end result of what I'm working on, the initial reaction from the audience. But for these projects, I was there. And being able to give 90 kids a great evening, a memorable party, was brilliant.
As always, I really appreciate feedback, comments, suggestions. Feel free to contact me on twitter @emmabeanies

Tags: iss061 | christmas | freelance | N/A
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