Yesterday I was so mad I couldn’t even write. I got word that Taiwan Productions only asked for $6,500 Canadian for my work over the last year. That fee would represent my entire annual income for 2007. Since December I had been working solely on getting the team to Japan, and since March, I redoubled my efforts after getting positive feedback on the 20,000CAD price quote that I submitted. They didn’t even propose that amount to the client. Look, maybe I misunderstood and the $6,500 was for only either the show or the festival, but even so, that is 30% less than what I asked. Why wasn’t I informed that my submitted fee was not accepted?
Fucking shit. Fucking shit. That wouldn’t even get me out of debt for the last year. It’s less than I would get teaching English in Tokyo for two months. Fuck this shit fuck it and fuck it. I am done with this stupid fucking business after December. You can’t trust anyone, and no one appreciates a goddamn thing you do. You get screwed and fucked over. I am going to fight like a motherfucker to get my money. I worked for them for a goddamn year for free those fucking bastards. It was an insult! I was so furious that I couldn’t even see.
The Political Scientist did a good job calming me down; it’s good to have friends: “I know you won’t leave it like that and I wish you strength and luck and everything. You’ll be OK wherever you will be going after that….I’m writing this cause I really think so, not because I want to make you feel better. After you start feeling better, of course. It will be fine, don’t be so down, though. Head up, nothing is as bad as it might seem, you will get what you deserve”
I just spent the whole night lying awake; like the night a few weeks ago when I realized that I had no money left.
Not a fun time.
Things are critical, money wise, and shit got even worse today.
My computer is really about to die. Imagine getting less than $4,000 for all the work I have put in for the last year. Makes me laugh. Makes me sad.
But look, every problem in life has an ideal solution; the trick is to stay calm enough to find it. I need to wait, first of all, The Rocker says that Taiwan Productions are working so hard to increase the fee for the production team through the Canadian Trade Office. Maybe they are fucking me, but I should wait to see what the final offer is. If I can get more, then there is no problem. If not, and they don’t get me a place to live and a per diem, then life is tough and I may need to say fuck off. If they really want me to stay on, they will find a way to make it work, you know? If not, maybe I need to find another way to make a living in art. Maybe Japan Productions will want to invest in my services. Maybe I take the offer in Taiwan, but explain to them that I need to apply to cabarets in Europe to make ends meet, and if there is a conflict, well they need to pay me more to make it worth my while. The Rocker says that at a certain point, I am allowed to negotiate. I don’t know what that will mean.
Money takes the stress out of living life the way I want to live it. Not having that money just puts everything into a clearer focus. Shit is a test sometimes. Maybe I do have to be smart to do art after all.
I just did my calculations and can say for sure that if I scrounge really hard, I can stretch my funds out to the end of July here in Japan, at which point I will quite literally hit bottom with $0 in my bank account (and no way home!).
I wrote The Rocker to see if there is any way that I could at least be reimbursed for the work and expenses that I have accumulated to date, like the hours spent on video editing and page layout and the material costs of printing and producing these promotional videos.
Project Hours Worked ($15 per hour)
Video 1 40
Video 2 45
Show Proposal 20
Festival Proposal 20
Butoh Proposal 8
Date Item Reason Rate in USD
2/24/2006 Post DVD $7.74
2/28/2006 Post DVD $7.74
3/10/2006 Printing Color Brochures $4.34
3/5/2006 Namecards Meetings $151.11
3/8/2006 Printing Color Brochures $15.37
3/8/2006 Folders For Brochures $14.45
3/14/2006 Printing Color Brochures $3.00
3/16/2006 Printing Color Brochures $1.05
3/16/2006 Printing Color Brochures $11.82
3/16/2006 Folders For Brochures $2.46
3/16/2006 Printing Color Brochures $10.50
3/21/2006 Printing Color Brochures $11.64
3/22/2006 Printing Color Brochures $6.20
4/3/2006 Computer Fee Festival Schedule $8.00
5/2/2006 Printing Color Brochures $5.72
5/13/2006 Printing Color Brochures $2.71
5/26/2006 Name Cards Meetings $85.83
5/27/2006 Computer Fee Rendering Video $9.72
5/27/2006 Computer Fee Rendering Video $11.44
Getting refunded this $2,500 would give me a little breathing room in case of an emergency.
So one weird benefit from the fuck-up is that I’ll be staying in Japan through the summer term, teaching to the end of July and earning more per month that the festival pays me. Of course things are crazy; I am juggling about 5 projects right now, and I thought they were all about to blow up on me earlier this week. After about 48 hours of no sleep, things are going better now. I hope that it will work out the best for all of us in the end. I am giving July 19th to people as my last day in Japan, but any further delays would mean that I’ll have no apartment to stay in starting in August, but one crisis at a time.