I want to take a moment to talk about this scene in season 10 for a moment.
From the very beginning starting from York’s introduction, we see that he’s actually kind of awful at his job as an infiltration specialist. He fumbles it in Out of Mind, he fumbles it in season 8, when breaking into the Insurrection tower to retrieve the Sarcophagus when he sets off the alarm and we see him fail again in season 9 in the very first episode, not only when Delta tells him he’’s fixed several errors in his hacking skills already but also when the Director fires on the entrance of where it was York was trying to hack into.
Seriously, Agent York sucks at breaking and entering.
But here, in this scene we see that Agent York is using lockers, things that need to be broken into as a blunt force object against his fellow freelancer, Wyoming (who also sucks at his job, tbh. The guy had an army of himself and he still got his ass kicked by the blood gulch crew and he’s supposed to be a freelancer.)
York didn’t know how to play guitar when he joined the project. He picked up an old acoustic guitar on a whim on shore leave once because he wanted to surprise Carolina after training. After months of practice, right around their one year anniversary in the project, York had sat in the viewing room waiting for her, and played (probably Hey There Delilah) as she walked in at 3 in the morning. It was also his last request to Delta as his armour was shutting down, to play that song so it would be the last thing he’d hear.
If TBL was Star Wars, The Freelancer would be Empire Strikes Back. It is really that epic. This episode has everything except the “I love you” “I know” thing, but hey it’s only the second episode. Seriously though, the “You should come”, “You’re my girlfriend from Ann Arbor”, purple cocktail, a toast to the future, whispers “Tell me my profile” “Why would I do that”, “Why am I so important to you?”, Dembe Luli and Meera show up, “This is gonna be a gas”, a dressy party scene, the first time we see that fucking tux, “pens in people’s necks”, sunrise and a conversation by the river. This wasn’t an episode it was a mini series packed into an hour. And a shipper heart was born.
We freelancers have a tendency to never truly be away from our work, regardless of the time or day of the week. Especially if like me, your work station is in your home. We work long hours and dedicate ourselves fully to whatever project we have at hand. We loose sleep, skip social gatherings, eat whatever is quick and easy so we can get back to work. I have noticed that there is a sense of pride in general among freelancers that we are so in love with our work that we can dedicate ourselves this way. Passion for your chosen profession is definitely a plus!
However, I have also observed a downside to this part of freelancing. That dedication can cross the line into an unhealthy workaholic lifestyle, and other freelancers actually encourage it. There is an underlying unspoken rule in freelancer culture that if you’re not working, you’re slacking. I’ve seen other freelancers take subtle stabs at their peers for taking time off to see family, to tend to daily life, or to just have a day (or three) to simply BREATHE and do something other than art. Doing things like comparing your work load with others’ work load, making yourself out to be the harder working one. Referring to things like showering, cooking, and cleaning as “free time” or “vacation”. It creates or adds to guilt surrounding work, which is really not a nice thing to do to your friends and peers.
The disclaimer here is that clearly not every freelancer does this, and I think those that do are not being purposefully malicious, so please don’t misread this as an attack. I’m guilty of playing into this myself, we are just falling into a part of the starving artist stereotype; The idea that your chosen craft/art must encompass ALL of your being, every day and every moment for you to truly be passionate about it.
The truth is, there IS life outside of art and work, and it’s not a contest. We are living beings that must eat and sleep, and we are social animals that must have a connection with others. So not only do we HAVE to do things other than art, but it’s also ok to spend time doing other things that make you happy. It doesn’t mean you are less passionate about your work, or that other artists who spend more time on theirs love it more.
And yes, there are deadlines we must work under. But none of us want to be starving artists. None of us enjoy loosing sleep, eating crappy or skipping meals, working our fingers to the bone, letting friendships fall apart… These are not good things. You aren’t a cooler or more a passionate artist for making those sacrifices. So I think instead of putting that lifestyle on a pedestal, we should be encouraging one another to take time to care for ourselves, and to have a life outside of their work. Just like anyone else doing any other kind of work. =)