Ever since my decision to moderate/eliminate low-end gigs, my stress level is a bit lower. The grind is still rough but at least I’m not being runaround for the undeserving. Business is pay to play by default. Everyone has to make something and how much another is willing to exploit someone else is based on vision, conscientiousness and access. Some people are hell bent to display their barbarism by playing a “pimp game”. Others think that their ideas are so dynamic, that if you don’t volunteer then you should at least give them a 101% discount.
Yesterday, the lingering client from last year who sealed the deal with my determination to cut the gutter-level clientele told me the exact amount of rent he had to pay before he could finish paying off his many months-delayed balance. He never inquired about my mortgage payments, my upcoming expenses for my son’s birthday, the expense of having to archive his project while he wanks on to people about how big a business guy he is. Either way, it’s not that someone has to pay; Everyone has to pay. You have to pay to get in the game as well as stay in it.
As the holiday B.S. kicks in deeper, I’m still foraging for acorns however I’m mostly working on projects that should come to fruition in 2011. I missed the cut on directing a commercial last week which led me to pick up a quick chump gig to pay some bills. It was a 3-stage project. After stage 1 was completed, I started hearing the payment tap-dance on the remainder so I cut it loose immediately. In a way, I think they were stunned that I didn’t negotiate. What they came to understand was that there was nothing left on the top on they were getting the base cost so there was nowhere left to go. “When you have your budget together, give me a call,” I said and handed them their assets. It felt good knowing I could concentrate on getting more work rather than polishing a turd that simultaneously would prevent me from forward progress.
I guess you have to learn at some point.