How Are You Coping with the Economic Downturn? Be a part of a film!

I mentioned a few months ago a fantastic opportunity to be interviewed for a documentary. Well they've already created one award winning film (check it out here) and are working on the second ... They are conducting interviews this month, check out the details below and be sure to contact them with your interest!


We are a San Francisco-based team of filmmakers producing a short documentary that explores how the economic downturn is an opportunity for personal transformation and positive social change. We are shooting interviews in Northern California during July 2009. We are looking for three different kinds of people to be interviewed and featured in the film:

1 - People who have been directly affected by the downturn and have found the crisis to be an opportunity to reassess what really matters in life and make positive changes in how they live.

If the economy has caused you to get laid off, lose your home or investments, change your living situation, make a significant career shift, struggle to make ends meet or if you are experiencing any other consequence of the economic downturn, we want to hear from you!

2 - Professionals and advocates who work in real estate, credit counseling, career counseling, mortgage lending, social services or finance and who work DIRECTLY with people who are dealing with the negative effects of the economic downturn, and who can comment on trends you are seeing in the crisis.

3 - Authors, bloggers and cultural commentators who can talk about the meaning and significance of personal transformation in times of significant social change.

If you are interested in being interviewed, please write to or leave a message at (707) 317-1476.

Describe your situation and background and why you would like to be in the film. Please provide your age and specific location in Northern California. We will contact you if we are interested in learning more about your story. Thank you!

How long has it been ...

I recently came across this journal entry from the beginning of January ... it's starting to sink in how "crazy" life has been ... and for how long!


I'm sort of scared, on a mad sort of rollercoaster. One day I contemplate world domination, teeth glaring and eyebrows perched ... the next I slump in self defeat - seemingly unable to move, to succeed, to comprehend the severity of the life and decisions ahead.

I can't find a part time job. I have been trying ... I called 50 bars & restaurants today. FIFTY. That's a lot of "Hi ... can I speak to the manager? No, you're not hiring? Can I waste both of our time and fill out an application just in case?"

My Story : Chapter One

So over the past month or so I've asked for you to share your layoff stories (yes, I'm talking to YOU oh unemployed one), so I thought I should do the same ... and I wanted give myself more than 500 characters :)

First, let me introduce myself through the basics. My name is Jessica, a tall skinny-legged designer with a faux hauk hairstyle and chunky black glasses. I live in Chicago, my only love, since 2006 where I rent a tiny studio in an artists building built in circa 1902. My skylight leaks, I share my bathroom & shower with my neighbors and it is possibly the most beautiful apartment I have ever lived in.

Right now I spend my days doing four things: working on the website, consulting small businesses, serving stir fry at a restaurant two blocks away, and waiting for summer weather. The first two are my passion, the third pays the bills and the fourth means I can soon grill hamburgers near the lake. Woe is the life of the recently laid off.

My laid off story starts with comfortable employment at one of the most prestigious architecture firms in the country, Skidmore Owings & Merrill. Their bread & butter were large scale overseas projects in China & the Middle East. The recession came, these jobs went, and the rest is history.

About 3 months before the cuts began, I was already planning my graceful leave in order to start my own business. I had no savings, no experience to speak of, and no desire to stay unhappily employed staring at a computer for 9 hours a day. Naively I always thought that if income got tough, I could always get a bartending job to pay the bills or go back to my previous job. It's funny how hindsight is always 20/20.

I quit. They offered me a part time position. I accepted, as I definitely needed a way to pay the bills while I got things running.

After working three days a week for SOM & spending 60 hours a week on my new business for 3 months, I left for an an impulsive trip to visit a friend in London. HR left a message. I called back to hear the good news. It wasn't the best way to say goodbye to a 2 year position, nor was I in the best city to be broke.

So there I was. A handful of low-paying clients, bills to pay, and not a bartending job in sight. I was exhilarated by the challenge, and overwhelmed by the pressure. It was November 2008, now I had to MAKE something happen.