Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Will Work for Foo

143 Responses

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  • Matthew Poole,

    You're a what?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Heh - at least once a week I have to start a phone conversation with "it's 6am on Saturday morning, why are you calling me?" ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2606 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    You're a what?

    When I first started doing web content work, a lot of it was in gaming - it was when the last generation of consoles came out. I was frequently mistaken for a man. When this persisted after I put a photograph on my profile, I started to get a bit depressed.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Yes thank you, I have found Jesus. He was behind the couch. Now it's my turn to hide.

    Love it. May try it on the next besuited door-knocker..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Also, sorry Matthew, I have now restored the last line of the column, which inexplicably vanished. Obviously some parts of my brain are still on holiday.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Yay. I guessed elf.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Heather W.,

    Hadn't expected the foo in your "will work for foo" title to be in the dictionary.

    Computer jobs still tend to be considered as sorted by gender. Operations or support = female and programming especially gaming = male. Therefore if Emma works in code then despite all evidence to the contrary then Emma must be male.

    North Shore • Since Nov 2008 • 189 posts Report Reply

  • Evan Yates,

    The title made me think you were planning to be on the organising committee for the next Foo Camp.

    Hamiltron, Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Nov 2006 • 197 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    The title made me think you were planning to be on the organising committee for the next Foo Camp.

    I'm quite happy to sit back and be organised upon on that one. Nonetheless, my partner and I will be there thanks to the astonishing generosity of those around us. I still need to do a couple of jobs in the next month to pay for Foo-associated expenses.

    But that whole other layer of foo puns is there too. I got my partner the 'kung foo' tshirt from thinkgeek a couple of years ago.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    I've just done a five day creative processes workshop with 60 people, culminating in a series of stage performances and short films. We were encouraged to work in media we weren't familiar with and in groups of four - six. Coming from a visual arts & writing background, I went for music/sound. Had 2 afternoons & 3 evenings to come up with a collaborative piece for 7 people based on water that had to be mythic, have a betrayal of trust, an amazing transformation and the line "My poor fool was hanged."

    It was freaking hard. Seven strangers trapped in a room for hours on end trying to find connection and flow....
    One person never shut up and talked over everyone else and commandeered it and everyone let her because they panicked about not getting it finished. Except me. Of course. Snapped and let her have it with both barrels. And still she wouldn't shut up - but half the group started tuning her out after that and essentially connected with each other to push it further. Wished I'd done it sooner.

    That pressured group dynamic is quite fascinating. And for the first time in my life, I sang on-stage, some of it solo. Think Marianne Faithfull after a hard night.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Graham,

    That's a very strange thing Kerry. In my mind group and creative are concepts that are mutually exclusive.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    In my mind group and creative are concepts that are mutually exclusive.

    Never worked in the performing arts then?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Will work for bar.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • horse,

    Not just a Lulz, but genuinely laughed out loud, particularly at "He was behind the couch". Great line!

    Palmerston North • Since Feb 2007 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Sorry, that was more terse than I intended.

    In my experience there's nothing as inspiring as other people and if you can all be inspired by each other that's phenomenal. However properly working as a group involves all the usual management problems and a few extra one like not knowing what your goal is until you've finished.

    Clients on the other hand... (shudders)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    In my experience there's nothing as inspiring as other people and if you can all be inspired by each other that's phenomenal. However properly working as a group involves all the usual management problems and a few extra one like not knowing what your goal is until you've finished.

    I was halfway through typing pretty much this, only with more waffle. It depends, I guess, whether you're more concerned with the experience or the end product, and what your basic personality type is. Collaborative fiction can be hugely energising and rewarding - or a massive PITA. Some kind of structure, base guidelines etc, and somebody who has the power to arbitrate when difficulties arise (see Kerry's story and add a moderator who keeps a light hand but can say 'okay, that's very interesting, now what does everyone else think?') tend to limit the sh*t.

    See, more waffle.

    Not just a Lulz, but genuinely laughed out loud, particularly at "He was behind the couch". Great line!

    My friend Heather and I sort of came up with this between us in conversation after she was bailed up on the tube a couple of years ago. We laughed, forgot about it, and now other people are sticking it on tshirts. Convergent evolution, I guess.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Performing arts are one matter -a lot of other creative activities are definitely solo jobs. Like writing & drawing/painting (the main 2 artforms I engage in..) Though I happily accept that lots of people prefer to work in groups -

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    I always found writing to be very collaborative: not necessarily in a sense of writing in a group, but in the sense that the interconnections between writer, reader, critic and wider culture are always very important.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    One wonders about those books with two writers - sometimes it seems like it's just a sort of executive-producer credit for whoever's scifi series it is.

    OTOH Wikipedia has an account of the writing process for Good Omens.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Interesting comment Tom -while, as a writer, I am obviously part & product of the wider culture/s, I dont see interconnections between my story/poem/whatever and readers & critics. It's just me and the words.
    Readers & critics come after everything is finished.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    I was ten minutes into a talk in the USA last year and beginning to notice an unusually shocked looking audience.

    No, it's nothing personal. I'm from New Zealand, we all swear like that.

    ...were nearly my exact words, everyone relaxed after that, it was fun.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    The first time I went to Hawaii and addressed an audience of mainly Pakeha academics (there some Asians too) I began by giving some of my whakapapa. I then carefully explained about whakapapa. By the 5th reiteration of 'whakapapa' I noticed the audience was - frozen.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    No, it's nothing personal. I'm from New Zealand, we all swear like that.

    Once I (kind of unwittingly) used 'twat' in a graduate history seminar in Houston. I could peripherally see my fellow students freeze around the table, and then feel/watch the group all force themselves to relax. 'Oh you crazy foreigner! No, we are down with your crazy irreverance! Really!'

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Readers & critics come after everything is finished.

    Aah, but they also come beforehand, given that none of us create in a cultural vacuum. We're all "born into language" - from Lacan, I think.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I've always had trouble defining work, because I'm aware that pretty much all the things I've put the most effort into I've done for free. Also I work in the same chair I play in.

    I know! You're me!

    Except I'm not that funny ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

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