In 2012, I was making a living full-time as a filmmaker and photographer.
I was living in San Francisco and freelancing for a bunch of clients, but Levi's® was regularly hiring me. I'd been broke my whole life and suddenly I was making more money than I ever thought I'd make.
I was constantly scared, because I'd managed to scrape my way, after years of trying, out of the minimum wage and service industry worlds, and I never wanted to go back.
But I also felt like it was sure to go away at any moment, so I gladly became an insatiable workaholic.
I'd regularly pull marathons where I'd be working around the clock with no days off for up to a month. That's because I wanted to do all the gigs and all the jobs on all the gigs.
Every time I worked with anybody else, they'd screw up their job over and over until I'd just take over for them and do it myself. I'd pitch, plan, schedule, direct, shoot, run live audio, edit, sound design, take photos, etc.
Generally, when I'd have a day off, I'd get right back into looking for more work.
But, for once, I decided that, after a typical marathon gig, this time I'd go on vacation.
I could have gone anywhere in the world. I'd never had enough money to be able to do that before (and may never again.)
I chose New York.
I wanted to take some video while I was there so I could look back on it, in case, at some point, I lost my career, became broke again, and could never go back.
I wasn't even convinced that I should upgrade to a Canon 5d because I never believed my freelance career would last until the next month for years. So I brought my t3i, which I'd been using to make the videos that paid for that trip (It's the Indian, not the arrow).
I'd never been to New York. Ever since 1991, there were two things that I knew: that I wanted to be a filmmaker and I wanted to live in New York. I didn't know why, but I felt it was true.
When I arrived, I immediately felt at ease. It felt like home. The noise, the traffic, the energy, the smell. It warmed my soul.
It's been six years. I became a filmmaker and did that job for a living for a long time.
The time spent that you see in this video is the closest I've come to living in New York.