Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My fundamental problem

Yesterday I finally called a local school that has a certificate program in Industrial Design. This is my non-fundamental problem. I want to be an Industrial Designer or, at any rate I want to design stuff and have factories make it and be paid for it by working for a company that already has marketing and sales departments (as opposed to designing stuff, taking out a massive loan to have a factory manufacture it, or make it myself, and then ALSO have to go out and drum up orders for said stuff). I want to be Philippe Starck. I want to design useful, pretty things. I have lots of ideas for both useful/pretty things and useless/clever things. What I don't have is a degree in Industrial Design. So I called this school. I've had the catalog telling me about the program since LAST SUMMER. Making the call made me physically sick to my stomach. I did it at work and I thought I was going to have to go into an empty office and lay down. I reached a machine, of course. Today a guy called me back with basic information. The deadline to apply for the fall is April 1st. I probably could have guessed that, and that's probably why (sub-consciously) I haven't called before now. The deadline to apply for next spring is November. Now I'm running through all the reasons why this isn't the program for me. And I'm back where I started.

Now, obviously I do things on a day-to-day basis. I am not disfunctional. I pay my bills on time. I call about problems with bills. I call numbers and get design work. I go on auditions and when cast do a show or a commercial, or whatever. When I do the design work, I do it in a timely fashion. Why then am I crippled by this? When I sit down at the computer to look for a better program I also become sick. I want to lie down and never get up. Over two years ago I wanted to go to Britain to study. I still do. I even got friends (who had hired me as a set/costume designer) to write letters of recommendation. What I did not manage to do was put together a good portfolio. I put together part of a portfolio. I thought of all kinds of good ideas for a great portfolio. I felt sick. I lay down. I stopped working on it and only poked it with the tip of my mental tongue, like a sore tooth FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS! I'd be done by now if I'd managed to do it. I ticked off the friends. I understand that. I'd be ticked too.

I feel nearly as sick when I try to find a script for a voice over tape, but mainly I feel overwhelmed. There are SO many people out there looking for work. Who do I think I am to try this? Do I really think I'll get anything, and then I'll have put out that money for nothing. I got headshots in 1999. I've probably just about paid for them in the work I've gotten since (well, maybe better than that--but add in classes and reprints, and money I've lost doing shows in gas and parking tickets, etc.--you get the picture).

And all the while I continue to get older. My non-retirement looms closer. And opportunities close around me.

I keep trying to figure out why I'm so afraid it makes me sick. That's part of why I went through that course of Behavioral Therapy. When I got sick yesterday I went through the list my therapist gave me about analysing a feeling. Things like "What's the worse that could happen? What does this say about me? What memories does this bring up?" I'm still working on the answers.

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