Winter Break, Year One

Winter Break, Year One

Man, here comes the real test of graduate school: what do you do when your life is unstructured during breaks? I’m in this program because I’m here to push myself to work with more artists, complete more projects, and develop my relationships for more freelance work. By gosh golly, I’m a Millennial! I want to participate in the gig economy like my peers!

The semester successfully wrapped on December 15, and I went home to see my family in North Carolina, I’ve grown closer to a dear friend because we’ve had more time to spend together, and I flew to Los Angeles to visit my brother who moved there at the end of October.

Snapshots from my trip to Los Angeles that spoke to me. The first photo is of the Museum of Death, which I included in a presentation on museums during this past semester so it was good to close the loop.

What is missing from that description of my break is any, actual, you know, work. I was perusing Marginalia the other day and read [Fiction Ambassador] Jamiece’s piece on working from home and realized that I needed more disciplined time management. One of my little peccadilloes, I’ve noticed, is to wake up late and convince myself that I need to clean for three hours. My apartment is in good shape, but dang that really kills the level of productivity in the other arenas of my life.

But, I’m selling myself short. I booked a photoshoot for my drag persona for January 26 and made good progress on the wardrobe for the shoot. I designed a friend’s 20-slide portfolio for their work in fashion design. I’m also starting to get deep into the materials for my commitment at Links Hall to help plan THAW, one of the largest fundraisers for an arts organization in the city. It’s a new and unique challenge I’m hoping to tackle head on. I took meetings, and gave myself plenty of time to explore and be quiet and present. Actual time to oneself to get inspiration is incredibly necessary, both in business and in the arts.

A slide from Yolo Ono’s portfolio featuring drag queen model Gidget Von Addams. The kimono was designed and sewn by Yolo herself.

I’m feeling ready for Monday. I want to get back into the groove and to start doing the work. The biggest battle of not having an external structure is not letting yourself fall into a cyclical stasis and to keep the momentum going. I’m currently looking down the gauntlet of a very busy semester. The stew of my career was been simmering over the break, but it’s time to bring this up to a full boil.

This is what it feels like to really amplify the workload for the next semester right??

For the sake of accountability, here are my goals for this semester:

  1. Photoshoots for my drag persona once a month
  2. Development of a show with Sadhaus to be performed at the end of April
  3. Help with the execution of a successful 2018 THAW for Links Hall.
  4. Meet as many other graduate students at Columbia as I can at the Welcome Back social on February 1.
  5. Get the ball rolling on a podcast I’m planning with a friend.
  6. And as always—do drag, see drag, eat drag, and breathe drag.