Why do people feel the need to define themselves by their jobs? That seems almost as dumb as creating an identity soley around music tastes or your love of shellfish or something. It's pretty arbitrary, really. Wasn't that the point of Death of a Salesman? Or History Boys? Maybe I missed that completely, but to point: You are more than the sum of your parts. So quit asking me what I "do". If you make music but work at Starbucks, you can substitute the former for the latter.
But what about me? I have no easy answer for the question, and always confuse my personal interests for reality.
Random dude: So yea, I'm working on my second album right now, but its tough when I work at whole foods like 70% of the time, but when I go back to school in the fall...oh, but I mean, so what do you do?
Me: Uh, I like comic books?
Dude: Oh cool. So you're an illustrator?
Me: No uh, I mean, I'm really into comic books and like, movies, but I can't draw. (startign to get frantic in an attempt to define self for aging hipster) um....like my senior project? I turned my friend's comic book into a film.
Dude: Oh.......(not computing).....so you make movies?
Me: Sort of (giving up)....I'm really into "transitional mediums"
I made up the term transitional mediums at a 4th fo July barbeque to try to explain my interest in comic book adaptations into film or vice-versa. It sort of stuck, because its sounds pretentious and esoteric enough to shut people the hell up.
But thats not really what I "do", its just a fake-ass term that I created to stop all lines of questioning.
I guess I can say that I do a lot of criticism, but that implies some sort of scholarly bent that I certaintly do not have, plus its bound to get you weird looks from people who believe that they are actually, you know, "making art".
Despite the fact that I work two awesome jobs that allow me tons of free time and basically no commitments beyond showing up and getting paid, that is not "enough". Even my mom keeps bugging me to try to get into law school or figure out what I want to do "when I grow up."
Oh, I thought I was already doing that.....sorry mom!
Basically my only "life goals" right now is to lose ten pounds and get on health insurance. Maybe meet some new people, go see that awesome Herzog exhibit again at the MoMa that features plasma screens on the ceiling showing clips of Dead Ringers and Taxi Driver, see if I can't snag me some good sex sometime in the near future.....yea, that's basically it. It's not even cool to say you don't have to make art because you "are" art or whatever, since that was already done before by too many losers (as well as David Sedaris on meth).
So, basically, when people ask me what I do, I say "im into transitional mediums" or if Im feeling even more evasive "new media". Which really doesn't mean anything, but will win me enough time to really figure out what the hell I'm supposed to want to be doing.