Friday, 29 January 2016

Pay your entertainers!

A little thing I saw the other week set a fire in me, which has caused me to be outraged at how the entertainment industry is being short changed at times, and people are falling for it.

The post was from a rather popular bar in the heart of Manchester City Centre, on canal street. Now, as I haven't approached them for comment, it's not fair to name and shame them, as the chances of them reading this are slim to none, but it is to do with their owner's post on Facebook looking for drag queens.

Now I get it, new drag queens are sometimes not up to the job fully. They are still learning their trade and could need some guidance when it comes to how to handle a crowd etc. This alone though isn't enough to be able to say that they don't deserve a fair pay for a fair amount of work. This bar in question was advertising and stating that on the job training was a part of the pay and as a result the pay "wasn't that good".

How is this acceptable? I know that in the entertainment industry hourly pay isn't a standard thing, it's usually x amount for the night or something and i'm not calling for this to be changed. I am however saying that a bar, shouldn't be taking advantage of people. I know that bar's can make a lot of money, even during the week when there's not a lot of customers which I why I find it's not acceptable to pay your entertainers less. Customers often come to a bar because of the entertainment being provided, without the entertainers, customers wouldn't turn up in many cases. Entertainment of all sorts can increase sales and help a venue to become well known.

So we must come together, as entertainers, and begin to set our own standards. Say that a good night's pay must help us to pay at least some of our bills. To say that no longer will "on the job training" become equal to a pay cheque. We can all learn our trade while making a good pay cheque and owners of venue's who wish to try and take advantage, can either join us and pay us properly, or they can allow their customers to drift off, while they struggle to find entertainers.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Depression and me - Part 2.

It seems over the past few months that my battle with depression is taking me on some really strange patterns of thoughts, which is making me look at myself in a different light.

Over the past year or so, I've lost friends, gained friends, got back in touch with friends and all in all, it's been a pretty mixed up time. You have to wonder at times if it is you who makes your standards, or the depression. Is it possible that if depression is charge of your emotions and thoughts, that you can set your standards so high, that people can't help but fail to meet them, and thus, you close your life to them?

My first real battle with depression came when I had not long left school. I had moved away from home, been living with friends and the long story short is, those relationships turned sour and I moved back home with my mum. Not too long after all this had taken place I wanted some space. I felt low in the fact that I had moved back home with my mother. A 20 something year old guy isn't going to be too happy living back with his mother, once he has tasted freedom in the way that I had.

3, maybe even 4 days at a time would pass when I would have the world closed away, avoiding everybody in my mothers house if possible and quickly making an exit if I had to interact with people. My mother I should point out was never rude to me and always made it clear that if I wanted to talk then she was there for me and I knew that all along, I just didn't want to reach out for help, since I didn't know what was wrong with me.

Over time though, my depression seemed to go away, like it had in my past, where in high school I had been told to go and see my doctor after feeling not too good about myself and talking with the school councillor. I went to see him and he prescribed me some anti depressants, which my mother refused me to be allowed to take, instead giving me a herbal alternative. I still claim that they did nothing to improve my mood, yet, others seemed to think so.

I guess the main thing that broke my depression was the fact I managed to get my own place to live. For once I felt better because here was a place I could call home. If I wanted to go and be depressed in the living room with nobody around me, I could do it. I could stay in bed all I wanted, I could have whoever I wanted around, at whatever time I wanted and for a long time, this life style was doing me fine and over a year or so, I was able to create my home.

That was all fine and dandy until I got into a relationship.

Now, i'm not going to delve too hard into my partners issues, but he has had to battle the same sort of demons in a relationship that I have. My demons came to light really, once we had started our couples counciling. He had been to see a councillor several times in the past and I had been sat in the room, she suggested that as his problems were to do with the relationship, maybe some couples therapy was in order and so off we went.

A few weeks into the counciling and we were doing good, but that's when my mind started playing tricks on me. My mind would hear about how some of his friends in the past had used places of... well lets say, you leave with a smile and a thinner wallet, if you catch my drift. These same friends are who he would go out drinking with and I wouldn't hear from all night. Little things like that where you as a partner should be able to sit back and just go "oh what is he like" were playing on my mind all the time, thinking, has he met somebody else, when will I find out, if I went and drove and sat outside his house, would I catch somebody in there with him etc.

These thoughts once in your head are very hard to clear. I know the good side to my boyfriend I really do. I know that 24/7 if I need him, he will be there. Like the night I had a few beers, and walked down a step awkwardly and my knee clicked, only when I got home and the drink was wearing off did it start to hurt and it was swollen, so he arrived at mine at about 3am and off to a&e we went. There's the time when I had been out drinking and come home on the phone to him, talked him into coming to mine so he could cuddle me, only I had fallen asleep and by the time I woke up, he had been sat outside for about 3 hours.

All these things mean a lot to me and he does tonnes more for me that I can't list on here because theres too many to mention, but still, my innermost thoughts lead me with the same feelings of "he's too good for you, he will find somebody better and move on" etc.

While all this is going on, 99.9% of the time, he is there to reassure me and say i'm talking nonsense etc, the other part of the time is him saying that I should seek my own help, away from the couples therapy, because I clearly have demons to battle and the way I am dealing with them right now isn't doing anything.

Yet, back to square one.

How can I seek help for something which I don't know about. I don't know why I have the typical jealousy thoughts that I do suffer with, I mean, I can try and pin them back to my first relationship, where my boyfriend at the time, tried to cheat on me with my brother, but is that the actual cause. The truth is, any help I did seek would require me to dig deep into my mind and frankly, that's a place even I am afraid to visit.