Freelancing, the progress report

by Roy Danger on October 7, 2011

So I was forcibly reminded today of my former life as an IBMer in the most unexpected way.

My improv troupe, Parallelogramophonograph, has had a bank account with Chase since 2007. Not that we keep much in it. But it’s been a convenient way to accept money from theaters, festivals, and the like, in the rare instances that we’re paid to do something. We then cover expenses from the account, and occasionally pay the four of us in the troupe whatever money is left over.

So in a given month there can be anywhere from a couple thousand dollars to 15 cents in the account. Normally the latter. Just a couple of months ago, Chase started charging 15 dollars a month for the privilege of having an account. Unacceptable!

So today I went  to the Amplify Credit Union, which is two doors down from The Hideout, to open up a new account.

When they put my social security number in the system, they said “Hey, wait a minute. You’re already in the system. You must have had an account here before.”

It turns out that I DID have an account there before… back when it was called the IBM Credit Union.

I CANNOT ESCAPE IBM.

So how has life post-IBM been? The answer has to be mixed.

I am certainly much much happier on a day-to-day basis than I was at IBM. I am working on more interesting projects, setting my own hours, and learning new skills (web programming, yay!). Plus, if I need to take off on an improv trip, or do theatre work during the day, I can! And that’s exciting.

My biggest problem, though, is that I don’t work enough. I think I could get the work if I really wanted. But what I *really* want to do is work on the theater more, and so that’s what I do. And that’s fine. As I say elsewhere on this website, I want to pursue my passions, and also program computers, and do it my way.

But hand in hand with all that is the fact that I am making less money than before. I have more debt than before. My health insurance just expired.

And meanwhile the theater continues to do better. Classes are filling. Shows are filling. And I have high hopes that the theater will begin paying me more in the way of profits. Despite all that goodness, the day when I can live off the theater is a long way off.

So it’s a challenge. I feel like I’m reaching a crossroads. I’m going to have to buckle down and work more regularly. I have to manage my time better, and make the most of my time.

I really hope I can figure out a way to keep freelancing. It suits my life so much more than the corporate life. And going back to that would feel like a step backwards at this point.

I’ll keep you posted!

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