Photo: Emily Long
Last year, at age 23, I quit a well-paid, stable job to pursue my lifelong dream of working in the arts. The preparation for the debut of my second play, a black comedy about three housemates wanting to kill their fourth housemate’s boyfriend, was becoming overwhelming. I was the writer, director and, as it turned out, producer, all in one. I loved it, but I was tired and needed a break. I decided to take the break from paid work and commit myself to the arts.
That “break” has now lasted fifteen months, and counting.
Towards the end of the play’s run, one of the actors, Thulaisi, asked me to write a web series with him. ‘Meh… Why not?’ I said, thinking it could do no harm. A good response, as it turns out, as it has been one of the best experiences of my life so far.
Thulaisi wanted to base the series on his friends: four twenty-somethings whose solid friendship has lasted since high school. As we got deeper into the writing process, it became clear that the story of this bunch of eccentric and sometimes immature guys was bigger than that. Any twenty-something I knew could personally relate to the situations we wrote for these guys.
Evidently, there are some universal hallmarks of being a twenty-something. For most of us, the twenties is that transitional stage where we try to find our feet. In appreciation of this we called our web series ‘In Transit’.
Our generation is often criticized for being lazy, selfish and irresponsible; I’ve seen ‘Generation Me’ and ‘Generation Meh’ bandied about. While in some cases, this might be a fair observation, I think that for most people this is a necessary chapter of our lives. A time of discovery: discovering more about the world and where our individual place within it lies.
As for my own progress, living (or should I say surviving) without a paid job isn’t easy. I don’t dine out much and if I want something new to wear, I create a combination of clothes I haven’t tried before or throw on something that I haven’t worn in a couple of years. I do constant budget updates to ensure that I’m on track for the next few months.
I plan to build up my creative portfolio by continuing to work on projects and hopefully I’ll soon be offered paid work. I just hope I can report back in a few years’ time with one word: success!
In Transit can be viewed either on YouTube or on the InTransit website.