Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Asking, Giving, and Taking

I am of extremely mixed opinions when it comes to the trend of crowd-sourcing. If the effort can reach a crowd outside one's immediate social circle, I don't mind it. I've contributed to many kickstarters where I know I will receive the product at the end; the online fundraising happened to ensure the size of the customer base.

I got irrationally angry the other day when I saw an acquaintance asking Facebook for a job. She wasn't unemployed, but had rather taken a job for a few months in Central America. She had already launched a Kickstarter campaign to send her to a training program back in the states for a few days, and didn't have the travel funds immediately available. Her kickstarter highlighted that she wanted to see all of her industry friends at the training! That effort was funded successfully.

Her time in Central America was coming to a close, and she wanted a job lined up when she returned to NYC. Within hours of her posting, references and offers appeared in her comments section.

An actor friend of mine has a GoFundMe started to potentially pay for studio classes. Acting classes are cost-prohibitive, and flexible employment pays significantly less. Her posts are more professional in tone, she's been invited to a program with an excellent reputation.

Now, I am of the opinion that the world does not owe you. If you make a choice to go on tour, or take a seasonal service job thousands of miles away, that's your choice and you own the consequences. Asking your friends to fund your trip to a convention or networking event, to me, reads as irresponsible.

My boyfriend listens to me fume every time I see one of these posts on social media. I hear Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook: I want, I want, I want, me, me, me, my, my, my. How can anyone be so-centered as to think their friends on the internet will greet their asking with enthusiasm? I huff, I puff, I complain, and then try to drop it.

Recently, aforementioned supportive boyfriend and I went to an Record Store Day event sponsored by Dogfishhead brewery. It culminated in a raffle. Each prize was shown to the room before the winner was announced. One of the prizes was a tin sign, and without thinking I exclaimed "I want that!".

 I did not win the sign.

 The winner's wife, however, hated the sign, and told the winner he could not bring it home. He had heard me from across the room, and gave it to me on his way out. I told a room what I wanted, and the object of my desire was literally given to me.

Maybe I need to chill out about asking. Maybe I should ask for bigger things.