Friday, June 8, 2012


Photo: Studio200, Alameda, CA; 2010
Writing this on Wednesday, but I'm going to publish it on Friday anyway, I've decided, because I'm a weiner.

This whole traveling thing is weird.

I came up to Vancouver, equipped. I knew of many photographers, and had been in contact with many of them, and maybe fifty more had been recommended to me by models.

I come up, with a calendar that isn't booked totally full, but well-booked enough to serve as a damn decent basis, upon which I might throw on another booking or two upon my arrival--and some extra time left over to go climbing.

And I get here, and--BAM--over the next few days, get cancellation after cancellation--some with almost no notice--until, eventually, EVERY photographer I'd booked with had cancelled, and everyone else I contacted was unavailable.

To top it all off, the weather forecast: wet and gray. Not exactly climbing-ready weather.

On the other hand, if I just decide to GO somewhere and think, "Eh, I'll figure it out," I generally do just fine--and sometimes, I do REALLY well.

This job is fickle as hell.

One week I'll come back feeling like I've won the lottery--not only working like crazy, but being able to take my pick, being taken to exotic locales, spoiled, fed well, doing all sorts of fun things [smashing cars with track loaders, hanging out in boats, etc.] all in the name of making pictures--and another week I'll be dumpster-diving, friendless and sleeping in WalMart parking lots by necessity rather than choice, stuck in traffic and bad weather, thinking of alternative ways to make enough money to get my ass to my nearest home base.

I've concluded that it's not a livable job, at least not as a full-time job, given my idea of "living"--from experience I've learned that, modeling-wise, if things are going badly, generally it's better to give up on them and look for something else to do--to get off the Internet and embrace the Eternal Lightness of Bumhood. Otherwise I'll come back from the trip with no memories [except of being grumpy, stressed, and misanthropic in various Starbucks locations, on the Internet or the phone all day] AND no money...I'd rather just come back with no money, but with plenty of enriching experiences.

It's true. This is what happened in LA, in my previous entry--I showed up, and all of a sudden there was no work, not even the work I'd already scheduled. And look how THAT week turned out [an entry ago]. Not too fucking shabby.'s 1pm, I've been online all damn morning; I think it's time to go run along and play outside and stop being a fucking grouch. Something great will turn up--you just wait.


Well, it's nighttime now.

Here's how my theory worked out, in just an afternoon:

I managed to find one shoot, for the following evening--a one-hour shoot, but still a shoot.

The weather cleared up for the first time in a while as soon as I stepped into my car.

My engine started to overheat, and I couldn't figure out what was wrong with it [the coolant was low, so I added water, and it was still overheating]--fortunately I called Alex at just the right time [he was hanging out with someone who'd just had an identical problem], and had parked in just the right spot [two Canadian guys rushed out within thirty seconds and immediately ran off to grab a rag and some water] and within five minutes I was good to go. Imagine if I'd been in ANY other predicament [I never would have figured out it was an air lock on my own]--or if I'd been in a hurry to get somewhere. So I felt lucky off the bat.

And I'd parked across the street from a homebrewing supply shop [something I've become interested in lately, for once I have a stable home base--the shop left me bewildered and delighted, and I snagged a few bits of free informational literature] and a strange hyperpolitical bookstore that I also perused.

I drove into the city, found free parking almost immediately, and started wandering. Ten minutes later I was at a large park with a big lovely pond, and encountered a couple of swans--one of which was about the size of a German Shepherd. Huge. I'd never seen such big birds up close. And they let me pet them. That pretty much made my day, along with an older man dressed entirely in light blue denim who was feeding the birds, and a very slutty cat.

A little more wandering, and I was at the harbor, which was lovely. I seemed to take all the right turns. At one point, I started getting hungry, but didn't have any Canadian currency and had eaten all the snacks in my pockets already--and BAM--two boys promoting a pizza shop come up and offer me a free slice of pizza.

Also, I've established plans for the next couple days: Parkour gym [!!!!!] [Yes!!! I've never been to one!!], going to Whistler, going to Squamish if the sun comes out, and going to some sort of local gathering at a pub, and then bailing off for home. And I'm crashing with a badass climber chick [who is way better than me, even though she has a broken ankle and can therefore only use one leg]. Not so bad.

So, as usual, it looks like I'm covered, if not monetarily [but I should have enough to at least get back to Oregon, if not California, at which point work will be much more easily found--even if it means playing guitar on the street].

Yay! Mr. Micawber Syndrome saves me again!

Since this entry was so long and comparatively boring, here are some more pictures to appease anyone who's bothered to read all of it, all by Studio200 in California:

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry to hear that your trip hasn't gone as planned, but delighted to read that you're making the best of the situation and are getting to enjoy the city.

    If you do have to pass through Portland again, let me know. We may be able to put together another shoot.