So What Do You DO All Day?

A few people who are more accustomed to the nine-to-five gig are curious about what happens all day when you do not have that type of schedule. The short answer is a heckuva lot.  I’ll let you into today’s schedule with by mythbusting.

MYTH: Self-employed arts consultants can sleep in till whenever they want, wander around the house in their pjs, and do more laundry than actual work.

FACT:  Not really. My first task of the day is usually to get a blog post written and up – and I want it up by ten a.m. I find my best traffic comes if I’ve posted by ten so there you go. I also need to check the headlines in the papers, read any arts and culture articles and respond to any emails that came in overnight.
So I’m up, dressed and caffeinating as we speak.  Here we go.

Today’s agenda includes the afore-mentioned blog post. I’m also collaborating on an article on social media contests with a friend and colleague Rebecca Coleman – she read my last post on the topic and we’re taking it a step further. Since she’s in Vancouver and I’m in Toronto, it’s an online collaboration. We’ve both been batting questions back and forth to each other and we’re starting to riff on the answers.

After posting, I’m off to the Pia Bouman Studios for the first readthrough with Expect Theatre and the cast of AWAKE . I’m doing the marketing on this production and I want to meet the actors, see and hear them and get more of a sense about not just the show, but what they plan on doing with it. Reading a script is one thing, immersing yourself in the work is another and leads to good marketing ideas.

After that it’s lunch with another colleague to talk about my new business venture. On my way there I’ll stop at the library to do some research. Not necessarily in the stacks – I want to see who’s got posters up for shows and make note of any performing arts companies that have postcards out. I also want to check out the display of the month for inspiration – if I clock that it’s Asian Heritage month, I can take note of that and keep an eye out for any companies doing work in that area and see if they require my assistance. This adds to my master calendar so that next year I’ll be able to use that research to plan ahead to offer my services to companies doing work at specific times of the year.

I’ll walk home along Queen West, taking note of what art galleries are showing, who’s got postcards distributed where, and do some costing for collateral ideas I’ve thought of for a client or two.

Home! (Ah, you think. Time for messing around!) Nope. I have a contract to create for a new client, expenses from the day to input, a half-dozen pitches to write for another client, and two film scripts to read.  I’ll bet by the time I’m home more emails will be in from Rebecca so I’ll need to work on those, and of course check my web stats. (Rebecca if you’re reading this – no pressure.)

In other words, I was at my “desk” at nine a.m. and I’m pretty sure all of the above will take me through till five p.m. And there’s an eight-hour day in the life of an arts consultant. Except my day isn’t done. I’ve got a Board meeting tonight (I sit on the Board of the Toronto Fringe) and when I get home from that I’ll probably check emails, Twitter and Facebook  and LinkedIn along with my website once more to see what kind of traffic and traction was built during the day. And I’ll mull over the blog post I need to write for tomorrow.

And then I’ll do laundry.

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