54| Where I’d Rather Be

So, I haven’t written anything in a while. Somehow I managed to find a job. I know. What? Me? A job? No! Anyway, that’s where I’ve been these past couple of months.

Now, this is a really nice job. The people who I work with are great, I’m not doing exactly the same thing all day everyday, and the clients are (mostly) lovely. The thing about it though, is that it’s not what I want. I’ll be staying here for a while, just to earn more experience, and save some money and things like that, but I can’t see myself staying here for more than a year.

Doing a film degree, and now working in admin has made me start to realise where I want to be. I want to be making things. I want to be working with other people who are also making things, and then we can make things together. I’ve started thinking of ways I could make little videos in my lunch break, but so far I can’t seem to find a way that wouldn’t be embarrassing – I have to wear super corporate clothing and how often do you see a corporately dressed person holding a camera?

That’s another thing as well, I have to stop being afraid of liking the things I do. Ultimately, film is where I want to be, so I need to take charge of my future and all that jazz.

Speaking of film, you should listen to the podcast I do with my friend. It’s called Can We Talk Film, and we talk about films. We’re up to our 11th episode, and so far I think it’s rather good! You can find us here on WordPress, or on Soundcloud.

Anyway, I should be back soon! Now that I’ve gotten into the swing of work life, I can go back to our regular broadcast.

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53 | Walking Through Melbourne

This morning I was somehow 2 hours early for my job. Since it was 7.50am, nothing was really open and the city was still waking up. Seeing as I didn’t really have anything to do, I decided to see how far I could walk in two hours. It turns out that I can walk from Carlton to Flinders Street and back. Then stop for a coffee and pastry on Lygon Street on the way. About 5kms according to Google, so not that far at all.

It was really nice seeing Melbourne that early in the morning. I’ve never really had a reason to be in the city, so I’ve never had the chance to see it wake up. This was before all the business people arrived, so there was lots of food delivery going on – on a strip of Vietnamese, Chinese, Indonesian etc. restaurants, they all had big bags of bean sprouts leaning on their front doors. There were also lots of school children and tourists. So many tourists.

Another thing there was many of was homeless people. If you go to the city during the day you don’t really see these people, but in the morning they were around every corner. This was quite shocking to me because, again, I’ve never seen this side of Melbourne.

Melbourne has a reputation for being one of the world’s most liveable cities, but what about to those who have nowhere to live? Winter has just started and you can definitely feel it already. Today was one of those days where it starts foggy and cold, and then just remains bitter until sundown. Not ideal weather for living on the streets. I mean, no weather is really ideal for living on the streets, but you know what I mean.

I don’t really have a conclusion to this, so I’ll just sum up: girl goes for walk and is shocked by life. Where do all these people go during the day? Why is this something I’ve never thought about before?

52 | Internships and Volunteering and Unpaid Work and So On

I was reading an interesting article on artshub, ‘Unpaid Work Exploiting Women’by Madeleine Dore, and found that it was surprisingly relevant to my current situation. Whilst Dore talks about women in particular, I’m just going to focus on my experiences with volunteering and internships.

As someone who has done her fair share of internships and unpaid volunteer work, it surprised me just how many other people were in the same boat. Whilst a few of my university peers also took on internships, for many these turned out to be fantastic job opportunities. However for me, and many others, these ‘opportunities’ were very one-sided.

Dore says ‘Organisations that see interns as free labour rather than an investment, also come under scrutiny as a generation of young people keen to kickstart their careers are simply viewed as clogs in the wheel.’ I could not agree more. For one internship, we were there as workers, doing the same job as the people actually employed – except not being paid. At another internship, the group of interns were simply there to do all the mundane tasks that no one else wanted to do. One intern had been there for two years. Two. Years. It was only when I left half way through last year that she was finally offered a casual position.

What have I learned from this experience? Nothing. Is it relevant to my field? Barely.

Whilst I’m not against volunteering for internships in any way – I’ve had lots of them for a reason – there comes a point when you realise you’re there as an unpaid worker rather than an intern for an opportunity to learn/get a foot in the door. That last internship I spoke of was in my field, and I was really excited when I found out I’d got it. It was only after my first day did I realise it was not what I thought it would be. ‘Writing press releases’? Yes! Oh, you mean Google some information and put it together in Word? Okay then… ‘Work with industry people’? Um, yaas! Oh, you mean work in the same office as one industry person, but not actually ‘with’ them. Alright…

I understand that some places actually need to have volunteers. I’ve worked quite a few film festivals (and very soon Oz Comic Con!!!!!!!!), and with the sheer amount of people they need, it would be quite impossible to pay them all. However, these positions are only for a few weeks, you get to choose your days, and you get free tickets so it’s not all bad.

It’s only when business’ start to use you that exploitation happens. I’ve been in an unpaid position for a year now (Jesus Christ). What have I learned from this experience? Nothing. Is it relevant to my field? Barely. Why am I still there? Because it’s given me skills that look nice on my resume. Handy for when you’re extreme job hunting. My ‘boss’ has said on more than one occasion that he would pay me if he could. That’s nice. He’s also said that he doesn’t know what he’s going to do once I leave, simply because I do so much around the business. I seriously do so much there, and I feel as though I’m getting nothing in return. Well, I know I’m getting nothing in return, but you know.

Some of my friends are still looking for internships so that they can get their foot in the door. We graduated over a year ago, some of us (see: me) still without jobs they care about, with large lists of credits and experience to our names. Why can’t we find jobs?

In the article, Colleen Chen states that the rise of youth unemployment and the lack of entry-level jobs has contributed to unpaid positions. This is especially relevant when you take a look at job listings. Many businesses don’t want to employ multiple people, so they think they can advertise multiple jobs in one. My friend sent me an opening that required the applicant to develop graphic designs, produce short films, photograph and video events, manage website design using WordPress, HTML, CSS, and maintain the business’ servers. They’re looking for a graphic designer, videographer, and IT person, but only want to pay one person. This was for an entry level job as well, which means that they also wanted to pay as little as possible for a maximum amount of work. Urgh.

It’s times like these when I think I should just create a job for myself.

51 | One Month Later

Somehow it’s been a month since I’ve last posted, and quite a bit has happened.

Let’s start off with today. I had a phone interview, exciting. I also received my camera and tripod. They’re only small, but then again so am I. I didn’t want to buy anything fancy for my first camera, just something I could take with me easily and get me started. I also had roti for lunch. So all in all, good day!

Apart from that, my friend and I started a podcast. We’re still working out formatting and everything, but if you want a listen you can find us here.

I’ve also started doing a bit of freelancing for an executive business school here in Melbourne, helping to create videos for an online course they’re going to be starting. It’s been really fun! I’ve been learning a lot from different business owners, and how they never gave up in order to succeed. Also, the place we’re shooting at it absolutely beautiful. The building is on the sea front, and it’s just amazing.

Now that I’ve actually written it down, that doesn’t seem like much at all… But I promise, things have been happening! I’m also going to make more of a concious effort to write here. I’ve been trying but I’ve been too tired after getting back home – but no more!

50 | Get Out Of Bed

I’m currently sitting here at ‘work’ listening to my boss and a client work on a film, not doing anything. I watched a video yesterday about how you can have all the ambition in life, but if you don’t actually work towards realising your dreams, then you’ll never accomplish anything.

I’ve started watching Casey Neistat’s videos recently and I really love them. He’s a filmmaker who lives in NYC, and his attitude to life is something I wish I had. He knows what he can and can’t do, and what he can’t do he works towards achieving. He’s got to where he is today through working hard. In a recent video, he said that free-time is the enemy of progress. This, and then watching that video made me realise that I’m not doing anything with my life.

Last year, I was just sitting around all day waiting for things to come to me. I knew deep down that this would never happen, because I wasn’t putting myself out there. How can anyone find you when you’re laying in bed on your laptop the whole time? This year, I’ve put much more effort into finding a job (as of today, that’s 56 applications in 3 months). I’m getting interviewed, but still no job. But! Something is vastly different today than it was this time last year – I’m actually trying.

Now, even though I’m sitting here in a place that I don’t really want to be, doing something I don’t really want to do, I know that if I keep trying good things will eventually happen. But until that happening happens, I have to put everything into what I’m doing now to get the most out of life.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been shy/scared of putting myself out there for fear of judgement. Now having done a creative degree, I can’t be this way anymore. I’ve got to get myself out there and create. There have been certain family members who have always put me down for pursuing film, and others who have tried to ‘guide’ me to where they think I should be. A couple of weeks ago I had an interview at for a sales position. This was a day-long ‘interview’ where you get to observe the kind of work you’d be doing, and gives an opportunity for your supervisors to question you along the way. After about an hour I knew the work wasn’t for me – it was door-to-door sales, but the application and the people who worked there had built it up to be something completely different. After about 3 hours I decided to leave, telling them ‘thanks for the opportunity, but this isn’t for me’. I told my parents, who were happy for me that I’d decided to leave. However, when the rest of my family found out they asked why I didn’t just stick it out. A job’s a job’s a job.

I understand that I could have gotten a job there. I would have been earning lots of money (something that the supervisors were keen to let me know), and I know it’s a job, but that’s not the point. At this moment of my life, I know I could easily get a job like that, but I’m still young. I want to work somewhere I love, and am happy to go to everyday knowing that the work I do is important and contributing to the creative community. And whilst I’m still looking for this amazing position to come round the corner so I can pounce on it (ok, maybe not pounce, but walk towards politely), I have to be doing things that help me grow as a create person. Because after all, if you never try you’ll never know, and I want to know!

49 | On Days Like These

Today in beautiful Melbourne it’s freaking freezing. I say ‘freezing’ but it’s actually 14C. It’s the bitterly cold southerly wind that makes it feel like winter. Just a couple of days ago it was so hot I was wearing shorts and now I’m wrapped up in a blanket with a thick jumper on. What is happening?

Anywho, it’s on days like this that I like to do things. I feel as though I can be more productive when the weather outside forces me to stay in. That being said, there’s still TV, films, embroidery to be watched/done otherwise. However, I’m not going to procrastinate! I have jobs to apply for, budgets to make, embroidery to be done…

I’ve recently started doing a bit of embroidery hoop ‘art’ I guess you could call it. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I enjoy sewing and stitching and all that kind of stuff. I have an etsy store for some canvas art that I did last year, but there’s only a couple of pieces on there at the moment and the overall presentation of the store is a bit meh – I need a banner. I should make one. I’m planning to add these hoops to the store as well once I’ve finished backing them and have taken pictures and stuff.

My sister and I have also started making a zine! We only have two more pages to go and then we can start editing and seeing if everything fits together nicely. My sister’s doing the artwork for it, because she’s arty like that, and I’m writing little things to go on each page. At the moment it’s looking very minimalistic and I like it!

I also need to apply for jobs. I went for a job interview on Monday, but was told that I didn’t have enough experience (I knew I didn’t have enough experience anyway, but if you never try you never know!), but that they’ll keep my resume on file in case anything comes up. I don’t know what it is about media people, but they’re so nice. This is the second time someone has said that they’ll keep me in mind for the future, and the way that they are still in contact makes me think that they weren’t lying…

So, I’m off to write a few applications and scan in a few images and thread some needles. I hope you’re staying warm (or cool) and that all’s well!

48 | Unlocking the Mind!

This is my Day 1 piece for Writing 101. I know it’s a couple of days late, but oh well! So, Easter is over and not much happened. I mean, a lot of eating, drinking and laughing happened, but apart from that not much.

I somehow ended up going to a comedy show though? On Sunday, after an absolutely giant lunch, my cousins, sister and I decided to go into the city just to bum around and see what there was to do. The Melbourne Comedy Festival is currently on, so we thought we’d see if any shows were on. There was, and we saw it. We ended up seeing Arj Barker. I’ve seen a couple of his shows on the internet before, but I’ve never been to a comedy show in real life. I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy it, because I wasn’t really in the mood (it was cold and windy, and that tends to put a damper on anyone’s spirits), but I actually had a really good time.

And now I’m just sitting here looking up who to see next. We were looking at Nina Conti, but we managed to miss her show by that much. I might take my brother and sister to see her, because why not ya know!

My sister and I are now trying to put together an art zine. She’s really good at drawing and art and that sort of stuff, so again, why now ya know! It’s going to end up really hipstery kind of art, but that’s always fun, and isn’t art about expressing yourself anyway? I might do some writing in it, who knows. The only thing is that the kind of writing that would suit that kind of style is poetry, which I absolutely cannot write.

There’s something about poetry that I don’t understand. I’ve never really liked it. I know that all books are forms of poetry, but actual written poetry in stanzas and all that I really don’t like. I’m going to put this down to having to study it so intensely in school. You know how when you’re in school and you have to study a certain book, and then for the rest of your life you absolutely cannot stand that book because you had to read it over and over again? It’s like that, but with all poetry.

There’s a book called ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy that’s written like this. I’d bought it after having read the synopsis and thought ‘yeah, that sounds good’. Little did I know, it would be one of the hardest books I’ve ever read. Dun dun dun! I really struggled with it, purely because I found the poetry so difficult to read.

I’m going to stop talking about poetry now. I read my first bit of Poe the other day. Penguin have released really little books with short stories for $2, and I bought myself one called ‘The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe. There are other stories in it as well, but that’s the only one that I’ve read so far. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to read some of his stuff, but I really enjoyed his writing style and even though the story was only a 8 pages long, I found myself really engrossed in it and disappointed that it had finished.

Speaking of short stories, by collection of graphic novels is slowly but surely growing. How exciting! I think I may have mentioned this before, but when I begin to like something, I really really like it. I was really into stamp collecting at one point, so now I have a large volume with stamps from all over the world. When I was younger I suddenly decided that I would collect crystals, so now I have two crystals on my bookshelf (that was one of the shorter lived obsessions). I’ve always liked collecting books, and I’ve always had them around me. And now that I have space to collect them, I will!

In England I lived in the smallest room in the house. My room was the length of my single bed, and about 1.5 times the width. Really teeny tiny. But, that was the norm for where I lived. Terraced houses were just a part of the town that I lived in, and whenever I visited any of my friends houses I would be absolutely amazed at the amount of space they had! Anywho, this tiny room meant that my collection was always small. I mean it still is small, but now at least I have the freedom if I so wanted to expand.

I honestly don’t know what I’m rambling about, and it’s only been 14 minutes. I may just stop here because who knows what else will come out if I continue. I also noticed that this is a rather large piece… See you tomorrow!