Desert StormedIssue: Section:
"Its a beautiful life when you love what you do"
Willford beauty school ran that ad for years in the greater NY metro area. It was the source of many jokes, but I kinda took it literally. I have to say I have always loved my work. And when I didn't enjoy it, I knew it was only a means to an end..... Something better and more fulfilling would always surface sooner or later.
Today I am a freelancer. Part of an ever growing pool of Americans who are following their bliss. Choosing to opt out of corporate America, diving heart first into the uncertain waters of self employment. Because of this golden age of technology, many a self employed/ free lancer/small business owner sit comfortably on their futons and conduct business, have meetings and network via FaceTime and social media.
A photo of a day in my work life looks vastly different. I am a freelance hair and makeup artist. Every time I work I carry a tiny outpost of sephora in my back pack and suitcase. On the subway, off the subway, snow, rain, Starbucks in hand and bag full of vegan snacks. As I say to myself daily
GET ER DONE!
Now working in NYC is a dream, a great public transportation system, a surplus of beauty supply stores, and the Mecca for fashion, advertising and culture. I am blessed. I keep pretty busy. Keeping busy often requires that I travel to some exotic (Alaska) and not so exotic (Hebron, KY) locations and do what I do.
A few weeks ago I had the great fortune of working in the desert. Being from the Midwest, and the flattest state in the union, I am quite fond of a mountain. A trip to Palm Springs/Joshua Tree sounded exciting.....
One of my colleagues commented that everything in the desert is designed to inflict great bodily harm to humans. I hadn't really thought of that before. But it is kinda true.
Our caravan of models, crew, and the vintage bus that could only travel 50 mph, turned a simple 12 hour shoot day into a 36 hour extravaganza.
We left LA about noon, only to arrive in Jousha Tree National Park by 4:30pm. The sun was setting....... What to do? We found a cool and funky guest house that could accomadate all of us comfortably. We ordered pizza, got some beers and took full advantage of the fire places.
But most importantly, to get up and be ready to catch the sunrise at 5:30 AM. Never a shot be wasted.
I should add, it was 78 degrees in LA when we left. When the sun went down it was probably in the mid 40s. Because I was in sunny California, I thought wearing shorts was the thing to do.
Well I learned, no matter how hot it is in the desert, that heat won't last too long. When I went outside at 4:00am to begin the process of beautifying the models it was 36 degrees and I was not only frozen, but dry and ashy. I was really unprepared for the extreme temperatures and dryness.
The shoot went off without any further hiccups.
The landscape is fucking unrivaled.
My first trip to the desert was New Mexico years ago. I kept thinking it was like being the first black character on the cartoon The Flintstones. The desert does have a certain prehistoric charm to it. This time all I could think of was being an extra on the show Breaking Bad. Instead of Fred and Barney, it's now Walt and Jessie.
All and all this was an amazing, kooky start to what was a 4 day job in the desert.
So as I reflect on my time there, my choice of employment, and where I work, I smile and remember I can't complain. EVER! For me no two gigs are ever the same, thank Buddha!
And not only is every job valid, but it is a beautiful life when you love what you do!