Monday, May 18, 2015

Don't Quit Your Day Job, But Plan to Lose Some Sleep

"No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of spring: no man can, at the same time, fill his cup from the source and from the mouth of the Nile." - Nekayah, The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia by Samuel Johnson

I recently found my quote binder, and I've decided that I could put it to more use by having a quote here so that's going to be a new thing.  I've also decided that rather than update you on random happenings in the past month or two, I would tackle another subject: juggling burlesque with a full-time day job and a second hobby-job (more on what that is later).  Although it is completely possible to do burlesque full-time (i.e. perform, teach, costume, and all things related), that is not an easy path and not one of my choosing.  Even if sometimes I do want to drop everything else for burlesque.
Somehow I manage to throw cosplay and cons in mix too.
I'm a little beat here because this was panel #5
Sunday morning at All-con.
As the title of this blog indicates, I work in a research lab.  Part of why I elected to not get a Ph.D. is because I want to have the time to have my two hobby-jobs: burlesque and blogging for a couple of sites.  Not saying that you can't do burlesque and grad school, but that's beyond my personal capabilities.  Due to professional concerns, I don't want to reveal too much about the blogging.  Let's just say get to write about things I like and cover fun events.  I call blogging and burlesque "hobby-jobs" because while I am doing them for fun and not income, I still have responsibilities that I can't ignore (see Dangrrr Doll's latest Burlesque Beat article, "8 Tips for Fostering Professionalism in Our Scene").

I don't mind being busy.  When experiments stressing me out, I can go home and work on a blog post or go to dance class and let the endorphins take over.  Recently I experienced a lot of frustrations with an event I had to cover.  There was a burlesque show after it, and I decided to go and be Hana Li for an hour.  I needed that break and seeing inspiring performances re-energized me.

I also got to meet Dangrrr Doll and Stella Chuu
at the aforementioned event and see Tifa Tittlywinks again.

On the flipside, trying to coordinate different deadlines is tough, and when something goes awry, everything can come crashing down.  Sometimes I'm not as focused during rehearsals because I have lab meeting or I have 100 photos to edit.  Other times, I'm rushing to get a costume finished that I end up late for work.  An extreme example would be my finger injury from two months back.  While carrying boxes in lab, I shut the door all the way on my hand.  No fingers were broken, but there was a lot of internal bleeding.  As a result I had trouble typing out a post and almost couldn't stage kitten for the Rocky show.  It's actually caused me to change a glove peel in a routine I've been working on because even now, my middle finger is still bruised and a little swollen.

Further complicating time management is the troupe factor.  I wasn't sure about being two troupes because of my schedule and dependence on public transport (which is yet another factor).  However, I'm trying my best and am grateful for understanding instructors and helpful troupemates. 

Life would be so much easier if I had a Time Turner, but I imagine that wouldn't get rid of the physical toll.  I have had to say "no" a lot during the past couple of months for both troupe and solo gigs.  It always pains me to do so because I never want to let people down.  However, as annoying as it is, the day job takes precedent, and before that comes my physical and mental health.  That's why I have to constantly remind myself to slow down and enjoy something completely unrelated like watching action sports or reading.  I should probably add "sleep" to the list of break activities, but hey, I'm still figuring this time management thing out.