I believe in the power of hustle. Constant activity. That there is always something you can be doing to generate momentum and change in your life. It doesn’t take much time to send an email reconnecting with an old contact. It doesn’t hurt to ask a question where the answer might be no (it might also be yes!) Even reading can be a step forward if you’re gaining some small piece of knowledge you didn’t know before. Whenever I go out to an event or a show, if I meet one new person no matter where they work or what they do, I consider it a night well spent. How did you hustle today?
Truthfully, I wrote that first part back in February, as part of a concentrated effort to start preparing new blog content. I’m in a bit of a different place now. I thought about rewriting the whole piece, but fundamentally my opinions have not changed, just my perspective.
At the end of May I went from a salaried position to a project-based one. It is the first time since graduating college over 7 years ago that I have not had money regularly direct-deposited into my bank account. This seems like a ridiculous statement, but boy is it scarier than I thought it would be. That being said, this is not a post about the trials and tribulations of the freelance life (which are what you likely already expect them to be).
Being the extrovert that I am, I immediately signed up for as many mixers that I could in the hopes of meeting inspiring filmmakers on the rise. Very quickly I was faced with the fact that I am terrible at walking up to strangers and starting a conversation. Stranger still, this was something I had known about myself, but was always able to deny. Something I would say as I chattered with my peers over drinks. For years, I realized, hustling, networking, was really nothing more than a hobby I loved and was really good at (if only the same could be said for DIY home decor). At the above-mentioned drinks, I would often spout the phrases above like someone had given me a degree in the subject. Truthfully it’s easy to network when you’re among friends, and easy to preach when your life does not depend on it.
Now my life does, in a way, depend on hustling. Every day that goes by without someone calling to offer me a paying gig (which is most days) can feel like a failure. And get exhausting. Reading the above passage, months later, in a totally new phase of my life, was like a friendly kick in the pants. A reminder of that even small actions are still actions, and small victories are still victories. Beliefs I know to be true, but are easily forgotten on a daily basis.
That said, I doubt you’re here for existential rambling, so here are a few songs and artists that have been getting me movin’ and groovin’ lately: