Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Starving Artist? You Don't Have To Be... And The OMPA Agrees!

Hey there kids - as I was doing some year-end tasks (pulling together mileage records, invoicing producers, seeing where the retirement accounts are - yeah, retirement accounts.  Trish and I are actors - in Portland, OR - and we have money set aside for retirement.  It really can be done, ya know...) it occurred to me that I haven't shared this article I wrote for the December issue of the Oregon Media Production Association's monthly newsletter, The Call Sheet about just this sort of thing.  See, for the past year I've been working with the OMPA's Talent Committee to put on a series of workshops that give film and TV workers resources to live a sustainable life... well, it's all right here in the article:
OMPA’s Talent Committee Takes On The Myth of the “Starving Artist”
By Harold Phillips

Most people working in our industry have been exposed, at some point, to the romantic notion of the “starving artist” – that person who lives in poverty, works three jobs to make ends meet while pursuing his or her creative endeavors on the “off-hours,” and is often hungry (but nourished by those endeavors.) 

It’s a romantic notion, to be sure, and our hat’s off to anyone who can make a life like that work for themselves and their families.  OMPA’s talent committee, however, doesn’t believe our members need to starve to work in this industry.  On the contrary – we believe that our industry is only weakened if those working in it are living “hand-to-mouth.”

Of course, we know first-hand how difficult it is to make a living in film, TV, commercials and new media here in Oregon – the variable work, the sometimes (if not often) low wages, the unpredictable schedule… we also know there are ways to take charge of one’s life and business that will not only help those working in our industry “make a living” – but LIVE a stable life.

Over the past year the Talent Committee has presented a series of seminars aimed at giving OMPA members and others in our industry the resources they need to get their business and personal lives in order.  In February, the Committee held a workshop on tax planning.  In September, we presented a panel discussion on health insurance options.  This coming January, the Talent Committee plans a panel discussion on saving, investment, and retirement.  These seminars, and others the Talent Committee has planned for 2012, are presented free of charge for OMPA members (and are open to the public for a nominal fee.)

As our members toast the end of 2011, we hope they’re also analyzing the challenges and missteps that may have occurred this past year… and that they’re laying plans to make 2012 an even stronger year.  The Talent Committee’s seminar series is there to help with those plans.  We hope you’ll join us in the coming year as we explore ways to make our industry stronger, by keeping those working in the industry from starving.

Labels: , , , , , , ,