Entertainment Spotlight - Tell Us About your Day Job
For many artists in Fort McMurray whether it’s music, theatre or fine arts, they pour hundreds of hours into their craft. But just like everyone else they also have other commitments: volunteering, family, friends and of course…the day job. We talked to five members of the arts community about how they find balance between their day job and artistic pursuits.
By Night: Drummer for Zero Loss / The Radium Scouts
By Day: Senior Geotechnical Engineer/ Closure Landform Designer
How do you find the balance between music and work?
“Work and art balance is afforded to me by an “office” work schedule- which allows for optimized Weekend Warrior status! I tap a lot at my desk all day as well.
Are there any transferable skills you find between the two jobs?
“Yeah. Creativity and collaboration and the ability to what building locks I’m given to work with.”
By Night: Improviser with ThunderStruck Improv/ Actor (“Not I”-ADFA One Act Festival)
By Day: Full Time Student/ Substitute Teacher
Being a full time student must be tough with all the extra work load outside of class time. How do you find the balance?
“It’s tough to line up working on a large project as exams always get in the way so I try to stick to more flexible means of theatre such as Improv, or helping backstage in shows.”
Have you been able to transfer any of the skills learned in your practicum to your acting?
“I work a lot with kids in my soon to be line of work so I think I’ve developed an incredible level of patience, which is crucial in theatre.”
By Night: Solo Musician/ Leader of the Dan Tulk Band/ Show Booker
By Day: Principal- Fort McMurray Composite High School in the Fort McMurray Public School District
You probably have the busiest schedule of any musician in Fort McMurray. How do you ensure that doesn’t interfere with your day job?
“As a teacher/ principal I am lucky that the school day rarely coincides with evening and weekend shows but I do occasionally need to be available for school functions and those take priority. I’m lucky that I am so passionate about both my educational career and my music.”
You play all over town. You must run into people from work all the time.
“The District (FMPSD) is so supportive of my music and I see them at my shows all the time but the most supportive has got to be the kids. I always see former students or parents at my bar shows and they are excited to see me and can’t wait to tell their friends.”
By Night: Actress (“Cabaret”, “Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii”- Keyano Theatre) Director (“A Knight To Remember”- Theatre; Just Because)
By Day: Programs & Partnerships Manager - Arts Council Wood Buffalo
As one of only a handful of McMurrayites fortunate enough to be employed full- time in the arts what do you use to separate the two?
“I try to keep specific parts of my days for specific things. I get up earlier than I need to so I have some time for just me. I also don’t get work email alerts on my phone anymore. That was a game changer. I kind of have a tagline now “I work and play in the arts” which I think says it pretty well.”
Working amongst such an artistic group of co-workers, is there a real show of support for each other’s work?
“Yes and everyone is able to understand the balancing act that it is. And more often than not they come out and support my projects which I’m grateful for.”
By Night: Drummer for Good Spread
By Day: Firefighter/ EMT for Regional Emergency Services
As someone who works super non-traditional hours, how difficult is it to coordinate rehearsal time with your bandmates?
“I work a 4 on, 4 off schedule so it leaves a lot of time for me to practice on my own. Two of the guys in the band are Monday to Friday and then me and Corey are shift work so wherever we can fit it in, we fit it in.”
Assuming of course nobody requires emergency medical attention at one of your shows, what other skills from your day job do you find transferring into your music career?
“Learning to work as a team for sure. But I also find the two compliment each other- a lot of my co-workers come out to shows, and we play the Firefighters Whiskey Auction for free every year!”