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pushed around in this tough business. Kate comments on the highs and lows, “there is a
lot of stress and a lot of money on the line and that often means ego can be at play, if you
haven’t been to therapy or dealt with some of your personality challenges, it will show
under extreme circumstances. I would advise people to be as grounded as they can be. It
would be good to get some therapy.” She adds, “I’ve seen people cry or make people cry
or do stupid things on shoots because of the high level of emotions running around. It’s
a stressful, fast-paced business that costs a lot of money. The stakes are high so it helps
to stay focused.” When you are on a shoot for 12+ hours, it is critical to be balanced
emotionally, physically, and have a consistent practice for relaxation.
Healthy Lifestyle For Sanity Versus Vanity
The attention to health extends far beyond a fixation on beauty and competing in a youth
fixated industry. Sure that is one component but the more dominant reality is that the
media industry is a high drama and deadline driven profession that requires decompression
at the end of the day. Exercise is a safer antidote than drugs and alcohol. Self-care is a
priority for many of the freelancers involved with this project. Kate says, “I work out, eat
well, do yoga and spend time with friends. If you spend a lot of time in dark edit bays, it
can be draining. The hours are long, you are sitting down, and you often work through
lunch. Sometimes, in the edit room I do handstands. When I haven’t been able to work
out, I just tell the editor to stand by I’m just doing a handstand. They’re okay.
Sometimes they’ll do them with me. It helps if you go out to lunch together take a walk, If
you go get coffee or say to the editor that I’ll be right back I’m going to take a walk. When
I was younger, I would look at the older guys that I worked with and they’d say, ‘I’m going
to take a walk,’ (SURPRISED TONE) You’re taking a walk in the middle of an edit?
(LAUGHS). Now, I know what they were doing they were clearing their head.”
The health issue is even more critical in this economic downturn because co-pays have
escalated and insurance deductibles are higher. For freelancers, there are no paid sick
days and that is why health becomes even more essential. As we balance the accelerated
demands of an evolving and rapidly changing economy personal healthcare awareness
takes on a more significant role.
Working As A Freelancer Has Made Me A Better Producer
I mention to Kate that one freelancer discussed the social disconnect of not having a place
to hang his coffee mug. Kate relates, “I understand what that person is saying because
you kind of feel like an alien with no planet or place to land your little spaceship. When I
first started working at NBC Sports as a freelancer it was very skeletal with its staff. The
big-shot producers never came into the office. They just went from game to game. You
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