The ride might be coming to an end
Time for a bit of a life update since it has been awhile and 2017 was a pretty crazy ass year. Managed to accomplish quite a bit during the year, from holding down a residency at one of the hottest clubs in Korea to DJn at Seoul Comic Con, there was some good memories. But now things seem to be winding down a bit for me, might be time to admit that mid life is here and it is time to look ahead and decide just where the fuck I want to be in life. I can’t do this forever and there are various obstacles that have been holding me back here in Korea that I just have no desire to overcome. In saying that, there are other things that I have been contemplating doing and have now decided to look more seriously into pursing those, especially now that I have decided that I have had enough of teaching. Change is needed.
So, first thing. DJn. The big problem with DJn in Korea and the thing that has held me back the most is the visa issue. Not being able to take gigs because of my visa status hasn’t been a huge issue with smaller venues but it has meant I haven’t been able to DJ at the bigger clubs consistently. The times I have came about thanks to the graces of some good people but it isn’t something I want to rely on or burden others with. Also being a foreigner doesn’t help and with the market being steadily saturated with more DJs than you can poke a stick at, the shift away from quality over to quantity is very apparent. DJs get paid less and less while more of them are trying to fight for a limited number of spots. The other issue is that mainly DJ crews and promotion crews end up being hired in the bigger venues, being in a crew is something I have never really aspired towards and have always just done my own thing. I have worked with a few really good promotional companies here and will continue working with them as the need arises. At the moment however I have 2 regular gigs at smaller venues which I am perfectly happy with and it feels like it might be time to move away completely from the big club scene and just concentrate on the smaller clubs and bars where I can just play good music rather than catering to the masses. I must be getting old.
The other thing which has been holding me back that also seeps into other areas of life here in Korea is the language. While the language barrier for day to day stuff isn’t an issue, trying to move into a job outside of teaching, not being able to speak Korean becomes a big problem since obviously there are very few positions available to non-Korean speakers and those usually exist in highly specialized fields. The thing is, I just have no desire to learn another language. Could I? Sure, if I applied myself, but do I want to? Short answer, No, I don’t. There are many ways I want to spend my time and studying to learn a new language is not one of them. Obviously if I had learned Korean in my time here, it would have opened up more opportunities here in Korea outside of teaching, but that is something I am willing to accept and after really thinking about it, Korea really isn’t an end point for me. There is only so much of this ridiculous work ethic and work culture that you can take. Also the pollution has been really bad lately.
With teaching everyday and DJn during the weekends, mix in with that trying to go to the gym, coaching touch, catching up with friends, social media promotions and playing video games, my spare time is valuable to me. But with my DJ career reaching its peak and my enthusiasm for teaching decreasing daily, it is time to look at other options:
The first option is moving to Japan. This is something I tell myself every year, I should just move to Japan. I love it there, plain and simple. The problem of course is what would I do there, and yup, the only real option is teaching since I don’t know Japanese or having any specialized skills. So while it might work out, it would mean continuing to teach. Something I am just not keen on. Luckily the DJ scene there is very small club and bar orientated which again would really suit where I am at now.
The second option and again it has its draw backs, is moving back to NZ or Aus and trying to get a job in the esport or video game industry. With esports growing steadily and the market being so new back home, there is a chance to help shape the way the industry grows back there and maybe even start up some kind of business, the downside is that it might be difficult finding a job that pays enough if there are positions available to begin with. While this option is something that I want to do and that I have ideas to help shape things as well as some good connections, moving back home and giving up the lifestyle I lead now will be difficult to say the least. Travelling will be more difficult, DJn will be difficult, finding a big size apartment or flat for myself will be difficult. At least I should be able to get a dog.
The third option, spin a globe and see where luck takes me. This is something I could have done maybe when I was younger but doing it now is more difficult, mainly because of visa issues with getting a job at my age (it is harder to get temp work visas when your over 30 especially without a highly specialized and sought after skill set…) but it is something I might also consider.
So this is where I am pretty much at at the moment. I have a contract in Korea for one more year. I am planning to maybe do one more year after that, so 2 more years here in Korea. After that, regardless of what I end up doing, I am taking at least a 2 month vacation touring around Europe. After that, I will see where I end up. The likely-hood is after my vacation I will go back home for a bit unless if I have something lined up beforehand. So with those 2 last remaining years left in Korea, I do have some goals:
My first goal which is the obvious one is to save up enough money to fund my European trip and also save up enough extra money to use to relocate and fund myself wherever that ends up being. Regardless of which, this will include shipping all my stuff back to NZ, not an easy task!
My second goal is to have a last wild summer DJn in Korea. To try and have one last festival run or big club residence. I have some projects in mind that I want to try and make a reality. Plus I have some festivals I want to attend, so I will be making plans towards that end.
My third and probably most important goal in the next 2 years is to increase my esports and gaming portfolio. I have already made strides towards this goal and will continue working on these over the next 2 years. While I already have a lot of practice game streaming and blogging, I have also started participating in amateur competitive leagues and also looking at the hosting, presenting and production side of esports as well.
So there it is, where I am at with life at the moment, not in a bad position. My new teaching job has longer hours which will hurt but the money is a lot better. It is time to focus down and work hard for the next 2 years and see what becomes of me.