So, if you haven't been watching my constant status changes on Facebook, then you have no clue what's been happening in my life. Is it sad that the only way to keep informed in though a social media device instead of in person? Well, anyways, back to me (:D). This blog entry is gonna bring you up to speed on what's been happening thus far. We're only going back a couple of years cuz really, my life was pretty awesome until then. As we all know, the recession has hit everyone really hard. We film folk (I was an Assistant Director [AD] in the TV/Film industry not too long ago) were not exempt from it. In fact, if you weren't working like a dog, you didn't work at all. I was part of the latter group. Sadly, I was in a bit (to the tune of 12G's) of consumer debt (new condo=new furniture). I didn't worry too much about it, because, hey, I'd worked consistently in my field for my whole career. Why would a little thing like the biggest recession since the Great Depression (ooo, rhymes, haha) have any affect on me? Well, I didn't get a showcall for a couple of years. My savings dwindled, I lived off of my credit cards/credit line, I had Employment Insurance (EI) to fall back on. The first year (2008), I spent money like I always did, kept my standard of living, and got deeper into debt. Every time I tried to pay down my debt, things got in the way: car repairs, Guild dues, property taxes, utility bill (they don't tell you about the last two when you buy a condo!). I got really frustrated with the world kicking me down, when all I wanted to was to get back up on my feet. Every time I tried to help myself (refinance my mortgage, lower my credit card interest rates), something would happen, and bam! I was face down on the ground again.
I have a philosophy in my life and it is that you have to keep moving forward and learning. To make the most of your time instead of letting it slip away with books, movies, and sleeping in. So, I started focusing on my future: I have a few passions in my life. 1. Directing, 2. Performing (I can act, sing, and dance. I'm a triple threat baby!), and 3. Money.
Let's start with money. I began my love affair with money out of college and had to pay back that stupid student loan that let me get my edumacation (a Diploma in Theatre). I hated paying more to the government than I had to, so I learnt all I could about money, which I did mostly through books. I used my knowledge wisely; paid back my student loan within a year and a half, and built a solid foundation. And then I bought a condo(= furniture = consumer debt) and we're all caught up again. So then a friend of mine, let's call her Selena, was in this thing called Primerica. She said "Hey, why don't you try this while waiting for things to pick up?" I said "Why not?" Primerica is a financial company with a focus on insurance, consolidation loans, and mutual/segregated funds. I liked their mission statement which was "Help families become properly protected, debt free and financially independent". I got my Life Insurance License through them, but then I quit. WHAT?! Why?! Well, mostly because it was really restrictive in it's product lines. I couldn't do/get the best for my clients through them. So, I left it for a while.
I turned my focus to acting and directing. I became a producer at The Actor's Foundry. I took classes. I got my headshots done (paid for at a charity silent auction when I had the funds), I started a little company to direct scenes for demo reels (www.youtube.com/makeitreelprod), and kept myself busy (I was in a showchoir for the 2010 Olympics, and did background extra work) with the hope that I would eventually get work as an AD. November 2009 till now; nothing. My EI ran out. I started to panic. I thought I had a few more weeks of EI but had miscalculated. I had booked a three day mediation retreat (by donation) with Vipassana to help me get my head on straight. It worked.
Here is the point of this blog: I had to say goodbye to the AD world. I was no longer an AD. I was scared to acknowledge that the career that I had known my entire adult life was finished. I hated that all I had worked up to until now was over. They say that over the course of your life, you'll change your career 5 times. I don't know who "they" are, but they forgot to mention how scary and emotionally hard it would be.
But I'm pushing forward. I'm working with a company called Three Sixty Financial Group (www.threesixtyfg.ca). The amazing women (Kelly and Desiree) who run this firm are bringing me into the fold as an independent insurance broker. I went to EI and they told me about Training-Innovations, a company that helps people upgrade their skills in their chosen career to become more employable. The government pays for the courses (which has to be full time, in class and you have to come away with a diploma or certificate) and also pays for you main expenses while in school. It's a 6-8 week process. I'm hoping to get into the BCIT General Insurance and Risk Management Diploma of Technology program. We'll see. I joined a MLM called Fortune Hi Tech Marketing to help me out with residual income (www.fhtmca.com/lphung). We'll see about that too.
I'm still a little panic-y. Life is wonderful because I'm living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with a government that actually helps, medical, support from my family, and I'm not homeless or starving. But that doesn't mean that what I feel (fear of the unknown) is any less valid than anyone else's. However, because of those factors mentioned above, I know that things are going to be okay. Plus I'm blogging! I mean, come on! How cool is that? haha.
Toodles for now.