Saturday, June 20, 2009

Unemployment Benefits

Yesterday at 7pm was the start of the Seattle wing of the 48 hour Film Project, so I was up until midnight last night waiting to hear what my role would be in our local "team juice box" attempt, and then spent another half hour putting together "secretarial clothes" before going to bed.

Of course, by morning, the script had changed... well, perhaps I should explain. Here's how it works: at 7pm on Friday teams are given a common character, dialog line, and prop, and each team draws a genre from a hat. At that point they have 48 hours to make about a 5 minute movie in that genre with the character, dialog line, and prop that was assigned to everyone.

At any rate, the genre we drew was Superhero, so morning found us gathering at the now defunct printing presses for our local paper (economies have forced them to get their printing done elsewhere) to generate a movie about a would-be super hero.

The good news is I did not have to be a secretary after all; I got to be one of the guys running the presses. The good news also includes the fact that they needed more "burly press guys" so my husband was "pressed" into service, and, in fact, got to deliver the opening line of the movie -- which, appropriately enough, given that he was in software testing and security for much of his career, was to shout "ERROR!!!" at the top of his lungs.

The bad news -- if there was any -- was that making movies turns out to be pretty tedious business: you mostly sit around and wait for your shots. And, in this case, we were standing around, as there were no chairs on the press floor. So we would, like this plate on the side of one of the presses, get short runs and then long periods of being stopped. That said, it was an incredible space, fun to photograph, and many of the actors were unfamiliar to me, so I got in some great conversations.

I'm pretty sure my husband enjoyed himself as well -- and I definitely loved having him there. He'd never have gone on a normal weekend; there would always have been some project at work that was keeping him busy. Which is part of the fun of being unemployed -- he's free to follow wherever life takes him -- which is good, because it takes him to some interesting places. Tomorrow, for example, he's going for a lovely long motorcycle ride. Yes, it's Fathers' Day, but his daughters aren't around, and since he's been telling me for years that it was not his job to celebrate Mothers' Day with me, I decided it wasn't My job to celebrate Fathers' Day with him!

Hmm. This is not a particularly spiritual post... which may because I didn't get to meditate this morning, and I'm exhausted from standing around all day (how does that happen?) -- I literally keep dozing off at the keyboard here. But I did want to point out that though unemployment is kind of scary, there are good parts. Who knows -- he might discover a new career as an actor, or an animal handler. But the first step is just simply to explore, to be willing to greet the new opportunities that rise up to meet you. You might even discover you don't miss work at all!

(Now. If we could only figure out a way not to miss the PAYCHECK!)

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