Work, Work, Work… by Rita Andreeva

Rita

 

Editor’s Note:  This beginning piece by Rita is a little long, but if you don’t let her complete her pitch, you just don’t know Rita.  Rita is a sort-of Seattle-based Harvey Pekar, with a bit more ambition.  She’s funny, unique, and gives a unvarnished account of what most artists think and suffer.  I don’t think Rita knows what ‘varnish’ is.  If you enjoy Rita’s voice, I’d buy her book.  You’ll just get more and more of her.  It’s really a fun read.

Backstage

“There is no fate more miserable than that of an artist in the modern world!
The word over-saturated with artists, who can’t even get their work looked at without having to pay a fee! You work, work, work, and you slowly die inside, because a need to share your art is eating you up. Because art not shared is like cancer in artist’s heart.
A modern playwright can’t even take up to the street and perform for change, he’d get arrested. And then there is the fact of making a living, doing something boring and detestable, while wanting the whole time to go paint or write!

I started out getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design, thinking that the word ‘industrial’ might mean that it will be easier to get a job as a designer. No, that didn’t happen, and I spent the next 25 years of my life working for a minimum wage in the service industry as a clerk, a receptionist or a sales person, and I sucked at all those jobs and hated them with passion.

Now, what did I try to sell my art? What didn’t I try…
I put up my paintings and drawings, and t-shirt designs on Myspace, Facebook and Imagekind, and even Tagged, in the hope that some guy will offer to buy something as an excuse to meet me, all without any result.
http://randreeva.imagekind.com
http://myspace.com/ritaandreeva
http://www.facebook.com/#!/randreeva
Not a single person bought anything, not a painting, or a print, or a t-shirt. I had people comment how much they liked my art, but no money. I made some illustrations, free of charge, of course, for a book about UFOs, see one of the book pages.

Then I put my books on Scribd and Lulu:
http://scribd.com/ritaandreeva
http://www.lulu.com/browse/search.php?fSearchFamily=-1&fSearchData[author]=Rita+Andreeva&fSearchData[accountId]=34752&showingSubPanels=advancedSearchPanel_title_creator&showStorefrontLink=
I had a bunch of people look at them, but, so far, only Carl Nelson was gracious enough to buy a copy of my sci-fi novel after reading the first few pages on Scribd. (I can’t wait to hear what he thinks of the book.)

Then I exhibited a few paintings at Art Not Gallery in Seattle a year ago, I had to pay a $100 to exhibit them for a month. Again – no buyers.

Alien

I started writing short plays. There is a wonderful independent theater group in Seattle called Warp, which gives the local playwrights an opportunity to see their work performed on the actual stage.  Warp is made up of very talented, open-minded and forgiving people, and participating in its productions has kept me somewhat sane for the last five years. Of course, there is no money to be made by participating, we are all volunteers, but at least I can brag that my plays were performed in a theater, and some of them even come up in a Google search.

I also wrote four full-length scripts. One producer in NY (Huge Pictures) liked one of the scripts (Split Personality) and said he wanted to make it into a movie. He was sitting on the script for two years. Now the Huge Pictures company suddenly disappeared – I tried Googling it, and it wasn’t there. I wonder if the guy managed to sell the script…”

Recent Note:  (Hello, please modify the part where I said I couldn’t find Huge Pictures, I finally found the website, and it does still have my play split personality listed as In Development. To find it you have to type in Huge Pictures LLC otherwise it doesn’t come up.  Please include this in some post:
People, please go to http://huge-pictures.com/Home_Page.html
My script Split Personality has been on the ‘in development’ list forever, and now they are bypassing it again, saying that more people are interested in some other movie.
Please go to that site to the contact page and send them a message that you want to see Split Personality by Rita Andreeva on the screen!)

“I would produce my scripts myself, but I need a cameraman with a good HD camera and lots of free time. If you happen to know someone like that, please talk to him about me.

Then I got interested in video production, bought a used little Canon camcorder for $250 and a used Mac laptop for $600 and taught myself to film and edit. That turned out a little more lucrative than art, writing, or theater, but hasn’t covered my expenses, so far. I managed to win two prizes last year for two commercials I made: a third prize in the international London Festival in the amount of $500, and a second prize for a local KOMO contest. You can see them here:
http://www.mofilm.com/competitions/lff2009/    – AT&T commercial Cuppa Tea?
and the second one is among my commercials video portfolio at
http://zooppa.com/users/randreeva
I participated in the 2009 48 Hour Seattle Film Project, but I had to pay an entry fee of a $150 and didn’t win anything. Of course, that was to be expected, since I was only making videos for two and-a-half months prior to entering the festival. But it was fun. You can see the short film The Killer Dog on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-JMeuqQgI4

Then I thought, maybe if I took some programming classes I could finally get a job as a graphic designer or a web designer. So I took 45 credits of those classes at Seattle Central between January and June of 2010. Then I sent out letters and resumes to just about every design firm in Seattle area, offering to work for free until they feel like they want to pay me, but I received not a single response.

I made a website for my daughter’s new photography business, and am still working on another version of it: http://jeneva.zxq.net/studio   and    http://jeneva.zxq.net

Watching Her Daughter Perform

I made a website for Jessica Davis: http://jessicadavis.freehostia.com
and are in the process of making a few websites and blogs for myself:
http://ritaandreeva.freehostia.com/itc298
http://ritaandreeva.freehostia.com
http://andreevadesign.zxq.net
http://randreeva.wordpress.com

You can also see more videos on youtube: http://youtube.com/user/ritaandreeva

If you know anyone who might need a video, or a website, or a portrait painted, or a sound recording made, or might know someone who might know of a design job or a developing job or, really, any job, at this point, please speak to them on my behalf.

A truly starving artist,

Rita Andreeva”

Photos by Carl Nelson

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One Response to “Work, Work, Work… by Rita Andreeva”

  1. schn00dles Says:

    Rita,

    Hi, I am Carl Nelson’s wife, Lynn and he just shared with me your blog. It is great- so honest and full of energy for what you do. I especially liked your AT&T commercial. Sex always sells! The music was perfect for the mood. Good job.

    Lynn

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