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Dance-tress Acting Up: Karōshi

“They're  Dying at their Desks in China as Epidemic of Stress Proves Fatal” was the title of an article I read the other day. It says that approximately 1,600 people die every DAY from over work and stress. That’s about 600k a year! Japan actually has the word, “karōshi”, which literally translates to “death from overwork”. Whoa. I’ve heard the phrase before, but I didn’t actually believe you could die. And here I am in the midst of exhaustion from what I called my “marathon of work”. 

What happened was, I received an email from work saying that they would close fourth of July Weekend (Fri-Sun are my usual scheduled work days). I work at a place that pretty much never closes. We are open all weekend, Easter, Christmas Eve, New Years day, etc, so when I got that email from my boss, I looked into picking up some extra shifts as a way to make up for future lost time. Also, as a way to pay for a new headshot session, a plane ticket to go home, and maybe some decent groceries. In-between writing, filming, editing, dance rehearsals an hour away, and taking my weekly acting class I managed to work 11 of the past 13 days. Very doable for most people, but I don't have a cushy, sit on my butt in a nice air conditioned office kind of job. So for me, it was bit more than I could chew. *NOTE- Not complaining,*

I have a tendency of overloading myself with work and projects. If I’m not writing, I’m filming. If I’m not filming, I’m plotting. I am ALWAYS working on something to be productive. There is that quote that says something along the lines of “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. Well, I’m trying to get to the point where I could make a living doing all of this, but this isn’t the easiest business for that. I feel like I wasted a lot of my early 20s playing around, and convincing myself that I was doing enough. What a real waste of time. Maybe it wasn’t wasted because I learned from it? Or maybe I needed those years to develop a stronger work habit?

Now, I am at the complete end of the productivity spectrum. I don't stop. I’m making up for lost time. I don't want to stop. I love what I do and if I didn’t, I would most likely be on facebook staring at peoples vacation and wedding photos. Watching them live their dreams while not creating mine.

So, I find myself with 9 whole days off work. Its been fun. A lot of pool time and I started working out again, but to be honest, I’m bored. In fact, its 11pm Sunday night and I’m writing this blog while talking to my friend about what we are going to film next. At least I have some pretty cool hobbies that involve my career. I think I’ll know when it’s really time to take a real break. No karōshi here. Something tells me that when I finally get the chance to travel somewhere cool, I’m going to want to make a mini documentary of it. Hopefully my work will take me cool places.

*Also, if you’re wondering how my experiment went in the “It takes a Village” blog, I got 6 “likes”. Better than none :)