Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Nothing ...

Its odd. When I tell people that I work from home, usually wearing track pants, t-shirts and slippers, they usually respond that they would never have the discipline to do what I do. That somehow, I'm driven and motivated in a way that is unique. Trust me, I'm not. I think most people, given the opportunity to perform tasks they like from home would easily be able to perform as well as I do. I think we are all motivated to achieve something. Most of us have either not seen home-based work as an option, or they don't work in a field that is conducive to it. I consider myself lucky. I truly enjoy reading scripts and producing audio.
Recently though, I have had to face a new challenge. Not working. For a person who's office is in his living room, being house-bound but not able to work is the embodiment of frustration. I liken it to going into the office each day, hanging around your desk, and watching the paperwork pile up. What makes it even more frustrating, is that since I work from home and I am my own boss, I have to constantly question what is and what isn't work. An audition is work, a project is work. However, if I update my demo, or send off a resume to a studio.. is that work?
The longer I sit, trying to stretch these work-free days into weeks, the easier it becomes to move the lines.
To those who say they couldn't do what I do, I implore.. can you teach me how to do nothing? I could really use lessons. Which leaves me with one final question: is blogging work?

Friday, 24 August 2012

This is not the entry I wanted to start my blog with, but it is the entry that is at the beginning. I'm an independent voiceover artist. I am also a part-time radio newsreader, and a former program director, music director and on-air personality in both music and talk radio formats. I have been thinking of starting to chronicle my days for more days than I can count. I had grand plans of creating an informative and interesting slant on the voice-over biz as well as radio. Two fields I have some pretty substantial experiences in. I've always ended up putting it on the back-burner though, because there always seemed to be something more urgent to spend my time on. That has been the story of my life so far. Which actually works as an instructional and cautionary metaphor. The lesson is this: If it is important, make the time because there will always be something that seems to need more urgent attention.

At the age of 46, I awoke in the middle of the night on Friday August 17th with the worst indigestion I've ever had. Suddenly unable to sleep, and significantly uncomfortable to give sleep much effort, I went downstairs, fired up the PS3 and spent 90 minutes or so murdering the citizens of Liberty City. Eventually I felt better, and I returned to bed for the rest of the night.Over the rest of the weekend, I didn't give it much thought. I didn't give it much thought when I got dizzy during the football game. I didn't give it much thought when I had a hard time catching my breath walking back to the car. By the time I did give it any thought, it was late Sunday afternoon and I was asking for a ride to the clinic. Still under the impression that it was indigestion. By the time I got half way to the clinic, I started to understand. A man, in his 40's with pain in his chest.

I had a heart attack on Friday night, and I was likely having a heart attack while I was on my way to the clinic.

I was diagnosed, admitted and carted up to Foothills Hospital's Cardiac ICU late Sunday night. Whit was with me the whole time. once I got my room, she went home. That was around 3am. By 8 the next morning I was preparing for an angiogram, which found a blocked artery that was stopping blood flow to a significant portion of my heart. The angiogram led to an angioplasty, which cleared the blockage, and then I had a stent implanted into the artery in my heart, which holds the artery open, and allows blood to flow freely. There was substantial damage done to my heart muscle, but some of it may be reversible. For the next few days, I frequently had IVs attached and removed, electrode leads attached and removed and blood taken and tested (always at 4:30 am). I was carted from Intensive Care to regular care. Eventually I was discharged entirely feeling weak, but also feeling like I'm getting better.

No one really knows what caused the heart attack. However, the experts seem to think that stress, obesity, smoking and a family history conspired against me. They are probably right. However, I quit smoking 7 years ago, and I've lost 25 pounds this year, so I think 2 reasons will soon disappear from being contributing factors to heart attack 2. . If you know me, you're well aware that I still have a long way to go to cancel out cause #1 in my list, but I'm working on it.

Out of this eye-opening event, I'd like to think I learned something. There is always time. Until there is no more time. There is time now.