We all know living in the city is expensive. How does the average person make it work? Our Second Shift series features people working more than one job or have a creative way to make ends meet. This week, meet an Australian who works full-time and is in two rock 'n' roll bands. Want to be featured? Email Emily.Laurence@metro.us.
Name: Emma Zakarevicius
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Residency: Westchester, NY
Number of jobs: 2
I'm really healthy. I stopped drinking and am really health-conscious about what I eat so I have the maximum energy I can have during the day. Since I'm from Australia, I have to have a visa to work, so I'm not here to hang out, I'm here to accomplish something. Apart from my shows and going to other music events to network, I don't go out and party.
How many nights a week are devoted to music?
About four. I have rehearsals on Mondays, once a week I'm in the studio recording the second album for Big Sexy Music, I have shows one or two nights a week and I'll usually go to another show another night during the week.
Is graphic design a passion of yours or are you working at the firm mostly for the visa?
I'm working for the visa, but the company I work for does really important work for [global] non-profits. They also helped me design my first album cover and are supportive of my music career. If I need a day off because I had a big show the night before, they're generally flexible with that. And I'm still doing artistic work, which I like.
Are you happy with the way your work life is, or are you hoping anything will change?
Considering that I came to New York 11 years ago and only thought I would be here for three months but am still here, I'm really happy where I am now. I really clawed my way up to stay here. But you always want more. I would love to be successful in my art, but I also believe in fate and that everything will happen at the right time. I come from a really small town in Australia and I never would have guessed that I would end up here and have gotten to do everything I've been able to do.
What's the hardest part?
I miss my family a lot. Otherwise, I wouldn't think twice about it. It's tough being on the other side of the world and you're by yourself. I moved here all alone not knowing a single person, but I loved it. I thought, oh my god I can never leave. Now now, I think, oh maybe I will leave. I don't know yet. Every year I reassess.
Check out Big Sexy Music at emzmusic.com.