Unbelievably, in less than 3 days, we will be living in the year 2011.
This year had several ups and several downs, but stirring in just enough of the right ingredients seems to keep things going strong. We have been in a holding pattern for quite some time, with freelance opportunities and side projects here and there, but our patience has paid off and now I have at least 6 months of employment to look forward to with SpeakeasyFX! Season 2 of "Abby's Flying Fairy School" begins!!!
The last two weeks were spent as a layout supervisor there, putting together layouts and assisting in composition and creative direction for the first episode. It's fantastic to be back. Not everyone has returned yet, but we're only days away from full production and I am super excited that I'll be returning as an animator as of January 3, and get to see all my SEFX friends again.
Since the studio was closed this week (for Christmas through New Years), I've been taking it easy at home, cleaning and making turkey-egg-and-cheese breakfast sandwiches to freeze for myself during the workweek. Despite the massive snowstorm that hit the northeast, I did get to travel "home" to Wisconsin (and back, without incident!) to see most of my family. We arrived on the afternoon of Christmas Eve and stayed through Monday, visiting my dad's mother and some family, as well as mostly my mom's side (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins), went to church for vigil mass and Holy Family Sunday, and enjoyed tons of excellent home cooking and bakery, games like Apples to Apples, and quality family time. Now that I'm back in New Jersey, my attention is back to getting to work on another Sesame Street project, which everyone asked about over the holidays and triggered further excitement!
This year has been tough, though. I've learned that if I want to be happy in this line of work, I have to prepare for more seamless transitions between jobs. I absolutely love animating in a creative studio of folks, all working together toward something bigger than a project I'm merely kicking around at home. It's taken me a while to decide that if you are a project hire, it isn't disloyal to spot new opportunities and take them. If I am willing to do that, I am being loyal to myself, and frankly it makes me feel more saught after, which is rewarding when it happens. Until a place puts you on staff, you have to keep the ball in play at all times, sending reels out and applying places where you feel you can make a positive difference in the product, and also to be happy and make others happy during production.
January is a great time to get hired, and it is also a good time to develop and finish side projects, deciding whether they are reel-worthy, and put that development cycle on a continuous loop, rather than to expect so much from a single project. You shouldn't be developing for a reel, you have to develop the talent. Gotta take the blinders off and make broad improvements.
That said, may it be a Happy New Year to all -- a year of relentless strength, proactive perseverance, marked improvement, open-mindedness, calculation, and confidence. And be happy!!!!!