I’ve had to change my plans twice recently and it was disorienting but for the best…
In my last blog post I mentioned that I had registered for web design classes here in Michigan. Well, I dropped them. I did it because I logged onto Indeed and Linkedin and discovered that there aren’t any jobs in this field. I was like WHAT?! Why did that career counselor do me dirty like that? …Probably because I have a weird background and she didn’t know what to do with me. At least I caught it before it was too late because I did my due-diligence.
There is a silver lining though. I discovered that there is another career-path that I’m sure about which is UX Design, or User Experience Design. Basically it’s a career in which you work on teams to design apps, websites and digital products to be useful, usable, and delightful for users. I have a girlfriend who transitioned into this career from a background in graphic design, but she had to go to grad school and I decided a while ago that grad school isn’t for me, so I hadn’t considered it as an option. Then I discovered that there is an easier and cheaper way to enter the field. It’s called a career path bootcamp. The bootcamp is offered online and costs very little compared to grad school. I knew this would be right for me so I dropped my web design classes and canceled my student loan.
Yay! Right? Now I’m not throwing my time and money away on pointless classes! …Well yeah, “Yay!” is right, but “Boo!” because it threw my whole life into chaos right before the holidays.
Without the school loan I couldn’t afford to freelance. However, since I no longer had to attend in-person classes I was free to get any job I wanted. That would have been nice to know like two months ago though, because I needed something right away because the money I saved to get me though mid-January was dwindling.
…Then I did the thing I swore I would never do. Allow me to explain:
In my computer documents is a folder entitled “Dental Resume, Break In Case Of Emergency”.
When I was a young woman new to Chicago a well meaning person referred me to work at the front desk of a dental office. That job was a fucking nightmare. I quit after a year. Then the same person invited me to work at another dental office. That office was worse. After a year I mutually disembarked from that practice. Then I started at another practice as a manager. That practice turned about to be run by psychopaths who were driving the practice into the ground and ripping the former practice owner off. There were sexual harassment lawsuits abounding (none filed by me) so I decided to GTFO as fast as I could. Then I got my first big girl career job. I worked as a surgical coordinator of a speciality practice and was highly paid and appreciated. The place was a fit for my personality. I went from girl to woman in that role but after four years I was ready to move on. I wanted to produce Girl Jesus. I wanted to get back to comedy so I retired from the industry and swore I would never get sucked in again like I had in the past.
It was Christmas Eve and I was panicking abut the change school plans so what did I do? I logged onto Indeed and applied for the first dental job I saw and was working there in under a week. A week and a half later I did a cartwheel out of there for good. I couldn’t make it work. I’m just not that person anymore.
So that’s me. Chaos but good things are happening as a result. I’m starting my bootcamp soon and I have about a month to find a paid UX internship, or at least do literally anything other than work in a dental office. I. Will. Scrub. Toilets. With. My. Face. to avoid working in dental.
Another silver lining: My digital portfolio qualified got me into the better, cheaper, and faster bootcamp program. The admissions people were genuinely impressed. Their reaction boosted my confidence so yesterday I updated my Indeed resume and applied to remote and creative part time jobs using my digital portfolio landing page to show my work.
Through the chaos the work I’ve put into comedy and these websites is starting to pay off. People like my landing page. My instincts were on point. Everything’s gonna be ok, and hopefully within a year I will be back in a big girl career job in tech (not dental!) where I belong.
That’s all for now. Please check out my digital portfolio landing page: jessicakatewilcox.com!
Guess what? Guess!
I signed up for classes and I’m going back to school! It won’t be a master’s degree or anything fancy. I’m just going to get my web design certificate at the local community college. Why? Because I’m cheap and I love creating content!
The goal is to earn good money making websites and scale the business later using digital marketing strategies and adding other freelancers. Because I have a bad habit of wanting to do too many projects at once I’m sorta thinking I should plan to scrap the lifestyle YouTube idea and take the video content into a more “tech” direction to position myself as a credible designer and gain an audience.
I am definitely still bitten by the YouTube bug though so…
The current plan is to do another round of Tarot videos while I’m designing a website to start getting the freelance gigs I want. I’m not a 100% expert on WordPress, graphic design, or writing for digital media, but I’m confident enough in my knowledge of the basics to just dive right in!
Anyone know anyone who wants a good website? This is the first time I’m putting the word out. Check out my two websites!
Thanks for reading,
Right off the bat I want to apologize to the SEO Gods for how long the title of this blog post is. Sorry Gods. I suck.
Today I am crawling out of a hole and rejoining the world because I just filmed and uploaded 12 YouTube videos in two days and now I hate myself. I reluctantly made the videos because I wanted a free way to market my side hustle as a Tarot reader for parties and events. I filmed myself doing Tarot readings for each of the zodiac signs and it was a nightmare every step of the way.
What was so bad about it, you ask? It sucked because I didn’t want to do it in the first place. It’s something I felt like I had to try, and now that it’s done I can write the experience off as something I hated so much that I should never do it again. It was just too painful and I felt so vulnerable putting that type of content out there. (I am aware of the fact that the entire concept is idiotic. I’m just so eager to support myself online that I was willing to try anything.)
On the upside I am happy that I learned a lot about my new vlogging camera, the Canon M50 (I achieved a blurry background. Yay.) and I learned some stuff about YouTube’s creator’s studio. Obviously I have some experience uploading videos to YouTube but I’ve never done it with any strategy behind it. I was always just messing around and experimenting.
I’m not done with YouTube, though because YouTube is the only social media platform that I’m personally into. Since the Tarot Zodiac debacle (literally yesterday), I am heavily considering attempting Vlogmas to see how I feel about making lifestyle content. I like the idea of having an intense challenge with a clear start and end so that I’m not over committed and I can evaluate after.
Please be grateful that you don’t live inside of my head. It’s full of career angst.
Tomorrow I have an appointment with a career counselor. Let’s hope she can help me figure out how to get freelancing work.
Being an artist is the best and most confusing thing in the world.
Thanks for reading, friends!
You can watch the heinous videos here.
Oh Lordy, where have I been?
Working. That’s the answer. Boring, isn’t it?
But it has’t been for nothing. For the last two years (almost) I have faded away into the woodwork, planning, thinking, waitressing, and learning new skills that will take me to the next level in my creative career. I’m free now, so no more people looking at me and asking me if I forgot to go to college. No more people approaching me wondering how such a nice looking girl from such an upstanding family could end up in a joint like this, slinging ramekins of ranch-a-flowing. And Tito’s. So much Tito’s.
The plan was never to fester away forever doing shift work that makes everything else impossible, living out a constant availability battle with a middle manager. The plan was to figure things out and get the skills and the tools I need to break free and make a living on my own moxie. And now I’m ready to launch, baby!
I have set into motion a nine tier plan that should meet my personal financial needs and then some. I’ve finally launched my Party Tarot Reader site, bigreadings.com and it’s been going great! The money I earn from the parties should be enough to get me through the the end of the year, at which point I should be ready to freelance (video and web stuff).
I also have a pretty clear plan for another passion project to launch, but for now I’d rather not jinx it by announcing it too soon. I’m just happy that I don’t have a shift work job anymore and I’m making money on my own. Once I am confident and have a degree of stability, I know exactly which creative projects I’ll produce.
Thanks for reading!
I have been thinking about blogging for a very long time.
Today I came across an old mockup of YouTube channel art that I created three years ago. I cloud tell that the question on my mind then is the same as the question I’m working through now. I can’t fucking narrow my ideas down to just one niche topic. I want to do lifestyle stuff because I made it through my 20’s on my own and I have a lot to say about life’s randomness. For example, I am really good at saving money on craft supplies by shopping at the dollar store. My teeth are amazing because I worked in dental and I know which products are effective and money saving. I also look 10-15 years younger than I am, so I have some hacks in that department as well. (Like don’t sleep on your face.)
I have also been through everything with guys, friends, family, and career. I’ve pulled some interesting financial stunts. I have shit to say is my point.
On the other hand I want to write about comedy. I’ve been around for 15 years and I’m ready to teach. So what’s a girl to do? Liiiiiike is this a blog for comedians, or regular weirdos?
My solution is to stop thinking about it and do both. There are bloggers out there who cover more than one topic in their blogs. Since I’m inexperienced at blogging I’ll have to try different things and see what works.
There will be a Comedy Career category and a Women’s Magazine category in the blog section. I also like sharing my personal musings like this so I’ll keep the My Thoughts section as well.
I used an idea mapper website to organize the content ideas into three simple categories. Check it out! It’s called Mind Meister.
BTDubs I have a confession to make…. I installed a WordPress plugin called Yoast SEO which I am using right now, and it has a “readability” icon that turns red, orange, or green, and frowns at you as you write. It is the most fucking distracting thing I have ever dealt with as a writer and I want to kick it in the dick. Because I have been using this plugin, it has taken me three times longer to write half the word count. Yoast SEO needs to go fuck itself and let me work!
Now I feel better. This post has gone from green to orange but I’m ok with that.
If you try the idea mapper let me know in the comments!
Jessica Kate Wilcox
Well, hey there… Was I supposed to write blog #9 in my 10 blog series today? Well fuck. My brain is too fried to rub 500 words together in a coherent narrative because I have been hard at work taking my WordPress game to the next level by adding some new plugins, and figuring out how they fucking work. (Notice that when you click off of any page on this site other than my home page there is now a subscribe popup. That killed like 9,000,000 of my brain cells to accomplish.)
Nevermind my list of fun things to do this summer. Nevermind that it’s lobster week at Mudgie’s, or the fact that some loose acquaintances from Chicago are camping at the campground which is basically where I work. (I work part time at a golf course and I surprisingly like it a lot.) I’m getting shit done because I will need to replace my golf course income in the next two and a half months and momma needs a SLR camera!
I also dyed my hair pink and it’s taking some getting used to. I think all this blogging about my former life as an awesome girl is making me miss my alterna-chic style.
Here is the hair. I hope it doesn’t get me fired.
Soooo… I meant to link the books I’ve read this week onto this post but like I said, my brain is fried and nothing is working and I don’t feel like figuring out how to make the images look right and such. Just go to my homepage and you’ll see some of my current reads there.
Sorry that this is a lazy one. Eventually this will be a good website that people will visit because I can offer value and everything is going to be like a fucking fairy tale. I can go to Thailand this winter and spend the rest of my life dying my hair fantasy colors and having fun later.
If you read this, thanks!
Jessica Kate Wilcox
You heard me. I’m toning it down!
I’ve edited my website to put the dicks and the period jokes towards the bottom of my homepage to make room for this blog which is now arranged into a more attractive design. Look at me! I’m accepting the fact that I’m not Susan Messing- a Chicago improvisor who is known, and loved for her unapologetic filthiness.
This isn’t about drastically changing my voice though, it’s more about tweaking things a bit for the overall aesthetic. I don’t want to water down my message because then I would be just like everyone else, but as an art-teest I’m apologizing for my filth by fucking toning it down.
Moving forward I am going to be less weird and disgusting. My Dick Jokes video was geared towards people with my exact sense of humor. The video made me laugh a lot, and my bestie watched it and cried with laughter because she and I are very much the same.
But just as Jackson Pollack carefully splattered paint randomly onto a canvass and then was revered as a genius, I am going to be a bit more careful and concise with the splatter in my art.
I think it’s appropriate to say fuck. I also think it’s appropriate to have morals and be a lady. I also someday want & need to produce the horror short I wrote in 2017 about a boyfriend who keeps taking his girlfriend out on dates to eat buffalo wings and then eating her out while she’s on her period over and over again until one day he resorts to cannibalism by eating her insides so that he can assume her identity as a woman by wearing her skin. I wanted to call it simply “WANGZ!”, and it would be a comment on masculinity, just like Buffalo Bill (see the easter egg there… Buffalo wings… Buffalo Bill a crossdressing serial killer based on Ed Gien.) God I would be so good at horror!
I am blue balls-ing to do horror.
Sorry… Where was I? Oh yes. Toning it down. Anyway, I can’t blow my wad on periods and dicks within the first five seconds of someone visiting my website or meeting me. I want to find the right moment to slip it in… Kinda like dicks.
For now I have to keep truckin’ on the sorta fun -but- sorta boring task of learning more tech skills with the blog, SEO, and Linked-in. Today I spent a long time narrowing down my message and talking myself out of getting side tracked by cool new ideas. I actually think the path forward is coming into focus. I’m getting there.
Also, I should mention now that this personal journal style of blog posts is probably not going to continue for long. I set out to write ten like this and calibrate after blog #10. After the first ten I’m going to attempt to offer more value to readers and do some keyword research and such. I’m just going to do less of my personal musings but while I’m learning that’s all I have. Smily face!
Feel free to comment!
Next blog post- Tuesday.
Thanks for reading!
Happy Lunar Eclipse! Last night I celebrated by eating too much ice cream right before bed.
I wrote about My Website Goals in my last blog post. If you read it you’ll notice that I have a lot of professional goals with this here blog-a-roo. There are so many reasons why I think blogging professionally would suite me, and today I wanted to riff on some of the challenges I face in order to make this a paid gig in the face of being li’l ol’ me.
Before I talk about the challenges, I should say that being me has it’s advantages, especially when it comes to being a writer. I’ve been
reading listening to a lot of content around personality psychology and personal growth and I’ve concluded that I am a Myers Briggs INFP.
INFP’s are introverted iconoclasts who prefer to adventure on their own. We have a special ability with language, both written and spoken. When we’re fully on board with a goal, you have to kill us to stop us.
So within that short description you can see the appeal of blogging for me. I can travel, I get to write and be introspective, and I don’t have to directly collaborate with a group.
Being me sure is fan-fucking-tastic, right? Well here is how I’m fucking myself over as an INFP:
I am so attuned to my own feelings that I’m inept when it comes to becoming popular. I’m not saying that groups of people don’t like me, (because they usually do at first, until I let them down by being self indulgent and hating authority figures), it’s just that popularity is always a surprise to me when it happens, and it doesn’t last because of the whole introverted adventurer thing. Once I’ve experienced something, I want to break free and do something else. So my point is that I really have to work out my blind spots if I’m going to gain a blog readership and sustain it.
Like, right now I have to (1.) stop pissin’ in the wind with my fuckin fairy tales, and (2.) delay gratification on all the fun projects I’m excited about, and do actual research about how to get a readership outside of the circle jerk of my facebook friends (who are also artists promoting their creative projects to each other).
This is gonna hurt. This is gonna hurt a lot. This means I’m going to have to not focus on writing a fiction piece, or get my TV pilots perfect, because after this summer I’ll need to use the digital marketing skills (that I don’t have yet) to get paid so that I can do more of those fun things I love, later.
So yet again, I’m narrowing things down. Yay self awareness! I suck, but I can do something about it!
If you want to know how I profiled myself as an INFP I recommend the YouTube Channel DaveSuperPowers and the the Personality Hacker Podcast. I suggest starting with DaveSuperPowers though, because he’s funny and the videos are shorter. Personality Hacker Podcast is more of a deep dive.
Stay classy, small readership!
Next blog post- Friday.
Please consider supporting me by following my blog and commenting.
Also, please be forthcoming about signing up for my newsletter. I’m not like Pinterest who sends you 90K emails a day about nonsense. If you visit this website and you’re my mom, or my friend, but you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, please consider signing up because at some point I’ll reach out about something relevant and I’d rather not rely on social media algorithms to get in touch with those who care about my stuff.
Thanks for reading!
There are so many advantages to creating this website and getting on a blogging schedule. The blog alone is keeping me focused and honest when it comes to my writing, sorta like how Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages from The Artists’ Way changed my life for the better. (I will write more about The Artists’ Way later, but it’s basically a book to help your inner artist recover after it’s been shat upon by the world and is now all poopy and doing nothing. Check it out! It’s life changing.) In addition to blogging, having this website has fixed a couple problems in my life and is getting me ready to find a more adult and paid incarnation of my career. I thought I would list some personal reasons for this website as well as some professional hopes I have.
Personal reasons for this website:
- Nobody in Michigan has a clue about what I’ve done and now they can just type in my url and check it out. No more sounding like a damn liar when I tell people I’m a comedian.
- I feel personally gratified when I visit my website and see the work I’ve given everything to compiled in one place. It is easier for me to remember it all with fondness.
- This is saving me time having to fly my freak flag to new people. Just go to the website and decide if you think I’m a basic bitch, a piece of shit, or cool as fuck.
- This website has taken my power back from social media. I read Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Accounts Media Right Now by Jaron Lanier (Check it out!) and it made me feel serious about taking control of my online presence. Now that I have this website I can control my career narrative to the gatekeepers of opportunity rather than being a passive victim to Silicon Valley douches who fuck around with algorithms for a living leaving us normal people totally unable to control our online lives.
- This blog is here to show people what I go through to do this. I think about these things carefully all the time and I’ve sacrificed material stability, as well as the approval of people in general in order to produce the work you see on this website. I want people to visit the site and read the blog and be like… ‘I have a whole new respect for people who produce their art whether they are famous or not.’
Professional goals for this website:
- My goal is to use this website as a virtual portfolio and resume to industry gatekeepers.
- My goal is to monetize this blog and grow an audience.
- My goal is to build digital media marketing skills that earn money.
- My goal is to use this website as an advertisement to those who’d consider hiring me as a freelancer to create digital media content for them (web copy, blog posts, video editor, web designer, aka anything you see here-er), cuz this was all done with my own two hands. I taught myself everything you see on this site and I can’t get hired to do this for other people unless its in website format.
- My goal is to use this blog to engage with my network on Linked-in. It is my speculation that taking the Linked-in route will be more fruitful than trying to be something on Twitter, a site that I don’t use or understand the point of.
- My goal is to compile enough blog posts here so that I can understand what my message is as it emerges. That way I’ll be better equipped to identify who my target audience is and apply the digital marketing skills I hope to learn over time to find that audience.
- My goal is to use this website to market future digital products. I am in love with the idea of writing an ebook and posting it on Amazon for cheap. Bitch needs a website for that.
That’s about it. If you’re curious how I accomplished the making of this website, here it is. I got the url from GoDaddy. I hosted it on Siteground. I use WordPress and I bought the Divi theme to build the content in WordPress. (Divi was worth it!) I learned how to do it by watching YouTube videos.
Thank you so much for reading my content. You guys are cool.
Next blog post- Tuesday.
Please consider supporting me by following my blog and commenting.
Thanks for reading!
Today I took some time to edit one of my TV Pilots, College Monster Farce, and I wanted to share my experience doing so.
You can read College Monster Farce in its current incarnation here if you’d like.
To preface the editing process, I’ll give some background about how Monster Farce was written, and what I’ve done with it so far.
I had the idea to write about a campus security group that fights zombies in 2008, and wrote it into a one act musical which I used as a writing sample to apply to a screenwriting MFA program. Later, I wanted to revisit the same idea in a different format, so in 2017 I rewrote it into a television pilot.
The 2017 writing of Monster Farce was done in extreme haste. I decided to pitch a staged pilot reading of my two television pilots to The Annoyance Theatre & Bar, and when I did that, just to make things spicy for myself, I hadn’t actually written either of them yet. The Annoyance graciously gave me a show date, which allowed me about six weeks to write both pilots from loose ideas to finished products with enough time to find actors and stage the readings (which was its own can of worms).
The result was sorta good, but also really bad. Because of the deadline, I was forced to haul my ass to the library every day and fucking write two pilots. The downside was that stress of the time crunch turned me into a crazy person.
When the reading date rolled around, (I think) the audience could sense the stress. Of the 30 or so people who were there, 28 of them were also writers who knew me from the community and I think they were expecting something better from me. Instead they got two pilots that were silly, not smart, sci-fi themed, and different than what everyone else was doing. So basically my friends and mentor hated my pilots. On the upside, the two remaining audience members were people off the street who didn’t have any expectations. They were the only ones who laughed during the show, and afterwards they approached me and told me they had a great time and loved the work. So overall the reaction/s were mixed, but I still felt like a failure and I never wanted to see these pilots again. Case closed!
Fast forward to two years later in 2019, when I’m watching Netflix and find an original series called The Order which is just as fucking stupid as Monster Farce and similar in a lot of ways. I reread Monster Farce that day and decided that no, it wasn’t terrible. There were good things about it and maybe I shouldn’t have completely abandoned it…
So that is the back story. Now to the edits. This is what needs to change about Monster Farce.
- The school name, Green Flower needs to be better. It either needs to be one word, GreenFlower, or it needs to be something entirely different that ties into the rest of the story. (Names are hard!)
- The stage direction, especially in the teaser needs to be drastically reduced and made more concise. (It’s a newb mistake to write too much stage direction.)
- The character’s name Persephone has to go. I chose that name because it was a character name from Law & Order, SVU when Benson went under cover for the FBI and investigated environmental terrorists. Persephone is a stupid name and I think the character should be called Madison instead. Thoughts? (Comment if you have thoughts.)
- I need to pick a name for the fraternity where Abdul is getting the weed. Again, I think it would be better if I named it something that ties into the rest of the story. Maybe something ridiculous like Dummy Epsilon Fucktard? JK! Fucktard is a rude term.
- I’m changing Kyle’s major and minor from Paranormal Psychology and Alien Abductions to Monsterology and Alienology, respectively.
- I’m making a point to indicate that the rapper Skanky Ass Bitches is a white rapper. Otherwise all the Weed Genie’s back story comes off as racist.
- I had considered changing the reveal that the financial aid crisis was a hoax from the top of the second act to the bottom of the second act, but ya know what? I’m too lazy. This is meant to be a character driven piece and the plot takes a backseat. I’ll leave it as is.
If you’re wondering how I edited this, I did it in an Adobe Acrobat app on my iPad and annotated the pdf script with red pen markings using my Apple Pencil. I haven’t actually made the changes in Final Draft yet (I use the iOS app because it’s only $20 and the $200 version of Final Draft I have on my desktop is no longer supported or something, also I’m having trouble locating the actual Final Draft version of the pdf script but it’s somewhere). I’ll get to the edits in Final Draft later.
BTDubs… Final Draft is a scriptwriting program. Don’t buy it. There are free options out there. This is just the industry standard. I bought it because I like to obsess about equipment and such before actually doing things.
This concludes the writing of my current blog post. I thought it would be a good idea to bang out edits to Monster Farce before starting the horror fiction piece I wrote about in my last blog post.
I also wanted to mention that I went to see Midsommar in the theater yesterday and I had the urge to review it in this blog. I think adding my reactions to the zillions of horror and sci-fi movies I watch in theaters and online might be a cool way to drive traffic to my site because of SEO (or whatever) so it’s something I’m considering for the future. As a rule though, I think it’s best to hold off on starting new projects until I finish old projects and follow through on current ideas. Contact me if you think reviewing current horror and sci-fi in this blog would be a cool addition. I’m definitely enjoying this blog, and I want to do more with it!
Next blog post- Friday.
Please consider supporting me by following my blog and commenting.
Thanks for reading!