Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's the Weirdest Place You've Worked?

I've been really, really busy lately. On top of a burgeoning freelance business--work has really picked up for me in the last few weeks--I'm finally starting to make some progress in acting (I originally started my freelancing business to have a flexible day job that would let me go to auditions--trying to earn a living while having an acting career can be brutal). I've been on a lot of auditions, photo shoots, and film shoots that have cut into the time I need to get freelancing work done. When I do have uninterrupted time at home, I have to fit in noveling too--I'm working hard to get one of my novels ready for agents this year.

So I've found myself having to snatch back work time when I can get it. Here are just a few strange places where I've managed to get work done in the past few months.

On the subway. If you live in New York, you know how much of a time suck the subway is. Depending on where you live, you might spend 45 minutes or more on the subway getting to your lunch date or dinner plans or meeting or whatever. That's valuable time you could use to be doing something productive. Believe it or not, I've actually gotten freelance writing projects done on the subway before--nothing complicated that requires a huge amount of concentration, but anything easy that doesn't require an internet connection.

In the doctor's waiting room. I saw a post on The Urban Muse the other day about working doctors' appointments around your freelancing. I take it a step farther: I work in the waiting room when I'm waiting for my appointment. Then I'm not fuming because of a twenty-minute wait--I'm still getting my work done.

At the park. My favorite place in Manhattan to while away that random three hours between my morning audition and my late-afternoon audition is Bryant Park. It's beautiful and sunny there, there are plenty of places to sit, and you can even pick up wireless internet in the park. I've heard of people renting office space for this type of day--when you have lots of appointments in the city and need to use the few hours between them productively--but I think Bryant Park is the best option, if the weather is nice--and there have been a couple of days in the city recently where it has been. If it isn't, the New York Public Library is right next door and it has quiet, Internet-connected reading rooms.

On a film shoot. Film shoots are kind of like war: 90% waiting and boredom, 10% excitement. Last one I did, I took my laptop with me. When the crew was setting up lights for the next scene or filming a scene I wasn't in, I went and found a quiet corner to work in.

What's the strangest place where you've gotten freelance work done?


Kimberly Ben said...

I have 4 kids under 12 years old, so name a place and chances are I've whipped out my laptop to get some work done: doctor/dentist offices, my car while waiting in line to get the kids from school, the automotive shop while waiting for my care to be serviced/repaired, Emergency room (that's a pretty much guaranteed 3-5 hours of work time), the park - I'm pretty shameless about asking about WiFi availability when I'm on deadline.

BTW - congrats on your recent increase in acting gigs!

Susan Johnston Taylor said...

I once rented a ZipCar so I'd have a quiet to conduct an interview on my lunch break at an on-site gig. I didn't want coworkers to see me doing work for another client even though I was on lunch, so I ducked out into the parking lot with my laptop and called a source. Never even started the ignition on the car but it was worth the cost of the rental so I could get the interview done with a minimal amount of stress.

Jennifer Williamson said...

Ha! I've worked in the car too and even used it as an "office" for an interview before. I've found that I have to be really careful only to take work with me that doesn't need an Internet connection most of the time--because not having it when you really need it is such a nightmare. And re: acting gigs--thanks, Kimberly!