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Teacher Editor
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I have to make some decisions involving investment and choice

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I have to make some decisions involving investment and choice of work-career direction. I am currently acting as a health caretaker of my mother while she is in chemo therapy for cancer. There is reason to believe that she will survive but it could be 50-50. I have been here with her for about 3 mnths and plan to be here thru the treatment. I have some free time daily, and arrangments can be made for people to cover for me in an absence of up to 2 days. I have recently graduated a post-grad program in new theater. I have for a number of years made money primarily in the decorative arts. I am also a highly-skilled photographer and video maker, but have not pursued $ with this. I could invest perhaps 5K in an area. And develop skills and work while here. Which direction to take? Upgrade of digital photography and video equipment? -- which could lead to freelance work? Renting of studio space and hiring of crew for development of new performance work, sets, etc?

I think you really need to see what could gain you more capital in the short-term. It seems that you have worked in the decorative arts before so I think that investing in a better camera in order to make more money is a good start. Once you are able to save more money (at least 15K), you can use some of that to rent studio space and start developing new performance work. This way, you still have a way to make constant money and you have some money saved. It seems to me that the photography is a safer investment but not necessarily what you really want to do while the studio set is a much riskier endeavor but also something that seems that you really would like to do.


Thus, I suggest investing in what can garner you more funds short-term and save for the long-term. Once you have some money saved, then you can invest in what your dream job would be. In addition, you will be able to spend more time with your mom and have less stress since photography shouldn't create as much risk and stress as setting up a studio and hoping it gains momentum.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The thing is that my performance work has some interest in northern europe. I did a final project there, where now a few program directos would like to meet with me. However, this is primarily in europe. I have lived in NYC for the last 15 years, and now here in SC with my mother. Space here could be cheap. And there is an art school that I could possibly work with students to develop sets, perhaps perform, etc. If a show sells in europe it can be financially viable as a good part of a living. Meaning a run of 10 performances equals about 12 to 15K euros gross (at my level currently. i am not well-known). Part of what attracts me to the camera i have in mind, is that it can shoot true HD video and therefore I could also develop performance ideas that can be portrayed with the video and represented to people. However, artistically its almost always better to not have middle zones, but rather to work on the thing itself. So, making video of performance ideas may not be so positive for developing the performances. Space, crew, performers (depending on the size of the show) are still neccesary to really flesh it out... I worry that if I delay working on peformance ideas in the real here and now, then i am putting off what is in some ways a 'natural' but problematic (logistically) development... Further that though i have a good eye in photography, to get into the 'field' will require its own fairly intensive focus and time. Same with breaking into decorative arts industry here in an area where i have no contacts at this point. They can be developed I am not so worried of that, but its quite an old boy network in many respects here, and could be complicated, while i already have the steps of a network in performance work in some respects..

I do think that eventually you should pursue performance as you have in the past and develop it further. However, I think you need financial stability short-term and you need to have more to invest in performance as I feel it will take a lot more investment in the beginning before it is profitable. Photography can prove to give you stable work when needed as well as a fallback.


If my answer has helped, please press accept and let me know if you have any other questions.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Decorative arts is a different field then photography, just to be clear. Its applying classical techniques in rooms commerical and private. Such as glazes, venetian plaster, etc. The aesthetic issues, and detail-oriented aspects are similar at something of a conceptual level, but entirely different in the concrete. In any case, so are you suggesting that I basically ignore the possibilities that seem to be present in europe for the development of my performance work?
I understand that photography may not be where you had your immediate success or experience in but I do feel that it is the most solid short-term prospect that you have in order to make and save money for future opportunities. I don't think you should abandon your opportunities in Europe but I feel that your family needs you right now and whatever opportunities you have in either Europe or in performance here, you will have once you are financially stable to be able to risk it in case it doesn't work out. Photography will also create a fall-back for you once you have enough business and referrals.
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