Alastair Sinclair-Film Industry Technician

Alastair Sinclair-Film Industry Technician

1.What were you doing for work before the pandemic?

Before I was working freelance work in the film industry while self employed. Film has been non-essential work for the last couple of months, so no work was permitted.

2.What do you miss spending money on these days?

I have been unable to afford scuba diving, while it’s fine to go diving now I don’t have much left to spend on it. I also miss going out a socializing with friends.

3.How do you think your spending will change after the pandemic?

I will probably continue with not spending money on fast food and eating out. I have also cut back on subscriptions to programs I wasn’t really using.

4.What are your tips on how to cut costs?

To start cutting cost, take a look at what your spending your money on each month. Find out is something that maybe you don’t need. For the things you want but don’t need  look for a cheaper alternative.

5.Do you feel that there is uncertainty about how your work will look after the pandemic ends? If so, what are you doing to cope with this uncertainty?

Definitely, the work needs to change. There are a number of factors that would allow an infection to spread through a film set. Both on the physical safety side and the standards of practice. I am trying to get more involved with seeing change come about in my industry. Also, thinking about building a financial back-up for when uncertain events happen again.

Emily Nixon

Emily Nixon

Rags to Reasonable Community Outreach Coordinator

Emily Nixon is an actor/writer/director/filmmaking Swiss Army Knife. She is also a big money nerd and Community Outreach Coordinator for Rags to Reasonable.

She came to this work after becoming completely fed up with living paycheque-to-paycheque and being too afraid to look in her chequing account. She is passionate about empowering other artists and variable income earners to keep doing what they love and feel confident about their finances.

Email Emily at emily@ragstoreasonable.com

Want to start getting control of your money? How can I help?

Klasha the Elegant-Arts Educator

Klasha the Elegant-Arts Educator

1.What were you doing for work before the pandemic?

My main income before the pandemic was as an arts educator. I taught extracurricular programs to children in Toronto schools.at lunchtime and after school, plus classes for adults in the evenings – but the adult evening classes were hosted in a TDSB school (“renting” the classroom under a community-use permit). I also earned some income performing and producing live performance events (e.g., a storytelling series).

All of this work has been cancelled by the pandemic and might not be returning, even when phase 3 opens. (I anticipate that in-person teaching of groups and live performances will return once the pandemic is actually over. But no one knows how long that will be. Two years?? Never?)

I have been able to do a very limited amount of teaching online (which ended in June). And also pick up some odd jobs work for neighbours (i.e., gardening).

2.What do you miss spending money on these days?

I miss eating out. (Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook – and I particularly love to cook for my family. But at those “it’s been a busy week, I’m exhausted, I can’t think what to make, and I deserve a break” moments, my family used to love to go to local restaurants – once every couple of weeks or maybe even as often as once a week. We miss our “cheap and cheerful” favourite eateries a lot.)

3.How do you think your spending will change after the pandemic?

 Provided my income returns, we will spend more when the pandemic ends than we are spending now. We will go back to eating out occasionally. And we will be more able to spend on camping trips and day trips, which aren’t really possible now.

The pandemic is actually helping us to reduce our expenses right now, because we can’t go to restaurants or travel, because of lockdown restrictions.

However, if it goes on for much longer (which I expect it will), the effect on our finances could be quite devastating. I have been making efforts (so far unsuccessful) to pivot into a field I can work at from home. But if I can’t get this new kind of work coming in and the CERB runs out, we will be forced to increase our debt just to cover regular monthly expenses.

 4.What are your tips on how to cut costs?

No brilliant tips. But we are struck by how much we had been spending on eating out, coffee, treats, and our CarShare rentals. Foregoing these expenditures, has helped bring our expenses down.

5.Do you feel that there is uncertainty about how your work will look after the pandemic ends? If so, what are you doing to cope with this uncertainty?

I do have a lot of worries about whether live-performance companies and performers will survive the pandemic. Teaching is more likely to make it through. But both teaching and performing are being profoundly affected (particularly as the teaching I do involves sitting in a group making music – closer than 6 feet is ideal for hearing the group sound – I don’t know how much the experienced will/would be diminished in a “physically distanced” form, or when wearing masks – and the group teaching also involves singing, which is still suspected of being a “super spreader” activity – so I don’t know if/when we can do this again).

I don’t know how much the cultural infrastructure and the people will be changed by the pandemic. But I know things will be different on the other side.

Not knowing what will happen and when things will be “back to normal” makes me anxious and makes it difficult to settle down to work on anything. The uncertainly is HUGE.

As to how I deal with it? Denial. Going for a run. Wasting time. Feeling bad about having wasted time. Finally doing something constructive (either in the house/garden or towards finding alternate work). A bit of gardening side-hustle. A little more denial. Another run… And so on.

Emily Nixon

Emily Nixon

Rags to Reasonable Community Outreach Coordinator

Emily Nixon is an actor/writer/director/filmmaking Swiss Army Knife. She is also a big money nerd and Community Outreach Coordinator for Rags to Reasonable.

She came to this work after becoming completely fed up with living paycheque-to-paycheque and being too afraid to look in her chequing account. She is passionate about empowering other artists and variable income earners to keep doing what they love and feel confident about their finances.

Email Emily at emily@ragstoreasonable.com

Want to start getting control of your money? How can I help?

Rick Roberts-Actor, Writer

Rick Roberts-Actor, Writer

1.What were you doing for work before the pandemic?

At the moment the pandemic hit I was rehearsing a play. We had to cancel the production mid-rehearsal. I was in Ottawa and had planned to be there another month. That is what I was doing in the immediate sense. In the broader sense, being an actor and writer, the entire year became uncertain. It actually unfolded over the course of the next few months that this closure was not going to last just a few weeks as I originally thought, but would be indefinite. At the moment the play closed, for example, I knew I had a production of a play I had written happening in September. My first thought that that was so far into the future that it would be safe. So the slow evolution of uncertainty has been stressful. I say this, because it has affected my work in the sense that it has become, over time, that my usual mode of “I may be unemployed now, but something will come up” is now just “I am unemployed.”

2.What do you miss spending money on these days?

I miss my daily visits to cafes, although, now, when the weather is fine, I’ll go to a patio and read and write (very little). I miss going to movies and plays.

3.How do you think your spending will change after the pandemic?

I’m not sure. I kind of half think that when the pandemic ends, then I will be free to go back to normal. But as time passes and my financial resources deplete, it may turn out to be the opposite. That I will spend less until I see which way the employment wind blows. The compounded uncertainty of an already uncertain profession.

4.What are your tips on how to cut costs?

My problem is that I am not really cutting costs. Except in the sense that I am not spending money on the things I can’t do. I think I would relax more about money if I looked more honestly at it. But I tend to turn a blind eye to that. But that is my verrrrry unhealthy way of coping with the uncertainty of unemployment, which is not helping during the pandemic.

5.Do you feel that there is uncertainty about how your work will look after the pandemic ends? If so, what are you doing to cope with this uncertainty?

Weirdly, the uncertainty of the pandemic feels a little bit like certainty sometimes. Because the world has been sucked into the uncertainty of my whole life. Not knowing if work will come up, how to endure times of unemployment. But I know this is not real. I seem to go through periods of intense creativity, almost treating the pandemic like a deadline, but this ends in a kind of exhaustion. I do have a creative project to work on, but this does not chew up nearly enough time. I honestly don’t know what the post-pandemic work world will look like. This is because reality had been shifting so much during the pandemic. ie there is a second wave that is talked about but not really featured in any plans I’ve seen moving forward. I have been writing and imagining other ways to create, also thinking about what life might be like as a non-creative person. But so many conversations seem to only be anticipating a post-pandemic world that looks exactly like the pre-pandemic world. I mostly prepare by not thinking about it.

Emily Nixon

Emily Nixon

Rags to Reasonable Community Outreach Coordinator

Emily Nixon is an actor/writer/director/filmmaking Swiss Army Knife. She is also a big money nerd and Community Outreach Coordinator for Rags to Reasonable.

She came to this work after becoming completely fed up with living paycheque-to-paycheque and being too afraid to look in her chequing account. She is passionate about empowering other artists and variable income earners to keep doing what they love and feel confident about their finances.

Email Emily at emily@ragstoreasonable.com

Want to start getting control of your money? How can I help?

COVID Interview-Scott Beaudin, Actor

COVID Interview-Scott Beaudin, Actor

1.What were you doing for work before the pandemic?

In March 2020, I was employed at the Stratford Festival, the largest repertory theatre company in Canada. My contract was cancelled in the middle of March and I was laid off. The season, which was scheduled to run until November, has been cancelled. As of this writing (July 2020), there is no determined date for it to start back up again.

2.What do you miss spending money on these days?

I show love through purchasing gifts for my partner and loved ones, and I have not been able to afford those luxuries since I lost my job. I am not skilled with my hands and am not good at making handmade gifts, so I feel a little hamstrung in this sense. I make sure I’m being very vocal about my love and appreciation for the people around me, because that’s all I have these days!

3.How do you think your spending will change after the pandemic?

I don’t expect the pandemic to end for at least a year, so it’s hard to predict where my spending will be. I have hopes to start a family and purchase a house, so my costs are likely going to skyrocket in the next 2 years, for better and for worse.

4.What are your tips on how to cut costs?

I have been able to save lots of money by eliminating alcohol from my life. I had started this before the pandemic, but am so thankful for all of the health and financial benefits it has provided me. I am not a foodie, so I have been satisfied with removing luxury food items as well (I don’t have to eat the finest cheese the supermarket has to offer). Since I have cut out alcohol, going out to restaurants to pay $16 for a hamburger just seems like too much money at this point. I am happy to socialize in outdoor spaces, or make smaller food purchases if I am out with friends.

5. Do you feel that there is uncertainty about how your work will look after the pandemic ends? If so, what are you doing to cope with this uncertainty?

I have no idea what my industry will look like in the coming year or two. Theatres will likely have to be socially distanced, which means budgets will be greatly reduced and that employment will become increasingly difficult to find. I am expanding my net in the performance field to film, radio, and animation in an effort to grab as much work as possible. I have begun teaching acting classes over Zoom and am prepared to leave the performance industry altogether if necessary, though that would be a last resort. Employment uncertainty is a common feeling in the performance industry, so I’m actually used to it. I feel bad for those who are new to this feeling, as I know it is a heavy psychological load to bear. I have faith that our industry will adapt over the next year to create clean, sustainable work spaces that can adapt to changing health and safety concerns. Perhaps I’m being naive.

I would also like to add that I am a huge proponent of Basic Income. This moment seems like the perfect time to try out this social and fiscal experiment.

Emily Nixon

Emily Nixon

Rags to Reasonable Community Outreach Coordinator

Emily Nixon is an actor/writer/director/filmmaking Swiss Army Knife. She is also a big money nerd and Community Outreach Coordinator for Rags to Reasonable.

She came to this work after becoming completely fed up with living paycheque-to-paycheque and being too afraid to look in her chequing account. She is passionate about empowering other artists and variable income earners to keep doing what they love and feel confident about their finances.

Email Emily at emily@ragstoreasonable.com

Want to start getting control of your money? How can I help?

EMAIL ME