The question on it’s face is pretty simple. Work is what you do for money, play is what you do for fun. The problem is that in my case what I do for fun that is the most fun, is often identical to what I do to put food on my table.
Examples, this photo is from a multimedia story I did for the Wednesday Journal. I followed the production of a feature movie , “Love. Blood. Kryptonite.” that was written and largely done by local high school students. The story itself was totally self-generated. The audio was recorded and processed by me. In the end I was pretty happy with the piece, and fairly proud of it. But regardless of my good feelings, it was still definitely work, no way about that. When I was done with it all I wanted to do was collapse for week.
Now while I was working on the LBK piece for the paper I took “a week long weekend.” For this mini-vacation I flew out to Rhode Island and joined my friend Peter (aka George) while a group of his friends and cohorts worked on a play for a group they run called TENT.
My “job” during this production was to make a record of them working on it and to a more limited degree of the piece itself. Basically this involved shooting from 9am till 1am for four days straight, with a little bit of editing packed in the middle. The woman who was kind enough to house a few of us I didn’t even meet till the last day because we got back every night after she had gone to bed and left before she woke. We’re talking four straight 16 hour days.
The end result of this piece for TENT was also a mutlimedia slideshow.
This was the best vacation I had had in years. I came back recharged and feeling great. The problem I’m having is figuring out where the difference is between these two events. One is work, the other is not. Both we’re done because I wanted to. Yet, again, one was work, the other a vacation, and they both felt like that. But I “worked” more on the vacation.
This post doesn’t have an answer. It just has the question when is it work? When is it play? And what is essence of the difference? I don’t know. Some days I just wonder about this a lot.
It’s also a good problem to have I guess.