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How to Afford Hired Help When You’re Still A Struggling Artist? - Hey Onicia

In an interview with 2 and A Bottle,they asked how I afforded to hire an assistant for creative ventures. I am pro paying people for their work because artists die from exposure; ‘likes’ and retweets do not pay the bills. Here’s how I’m able to pay people even though I’m still in that struggling artist phase.
Hey Oniciais a series where I tap into my type-A side and answer questions from my friends about this starving artist life. If you find this helpful, share with your twitter homies or thank me with ice cream. Want to chat or collaborate? Holla at me!
First off, major side eye to people who blow mad cash on taxi rides, Beyonce concerts, and fast fashion while begging for free labor. Seriously, offering me five bucks so I can buy a pint of ice cream for things I do to pay the bills is less insulting than demanding it for free.
Save up and pay full rateI wish everyone could get their asking price. If you can afford it, pay it. You can’t build a business on free-99 services; you’ll even…

Fangirl Goals and World Domination Plans - Onicia Update - January 2018

Welcome to 2018! Thanks for faithfully reading my Onicia Updates and for encouraging me on this journey towards world domination. Wait. What? Oh, yeah. I grew up on Spice Girls, girl power, and all the Disney princesses; ruling the world was always the end goal.

Now that you're up to speed, I'd like to reveal my plans for 2018. This year, I would like to collaborate more. There's an African proverb that says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I want to go far! To do that, I'm kindly asking you to show me all the funny, inspirational, dedicated, unique, community-minded people. Whether for entertainment, education, or professional connections, I just want to meet more interesting people.

This month, I have a few shows coming up, The Stoop is back, and I wrote some cool articles last month. Also, I added a new feature to my newsletter. Check out these 10 things I'm fangirlin' for.

So, will you help me go far and achieve world…

Shiesty Currency Exchange Scam - Just Being Funny

It was a moderately chilly day. After an hour of chatting on the phone with my friend, I needed a snack. On my way to Dunkin’ Donut, I found a quarter. Yes, twenty-five unearned pennies. Thanks universe for free money! I didn’t deserve it. I didn’t need it. Still, I happily accepted it.

“Miss, you got change?” Dude, it’s 9 am on a Sunday. Shouldn’t you be in church trying to get your life together instead of harassing me? Without looking back, I mumble off the standard rejection. He tried again. “I’m sorry. I meant. Can you change this money?” 



Lord, why do I keep entertaining these conmen? In hindsight, incidents like hugging and almost kissing a hobo is pretty hilarious. It’s never funny at the moment – only in hindsight. Before could utter another brush off, I came face-to-face with the most striking blue eyes on a black man.

I pieced together that he wanted a dollar bill in exchange for some coins. I assumed he needed bills for the bus ticketing machines. While I waited for him to ha…

A Gospel Music Battle - Just Being Funny

I have a love-hate relationship with public transportation. I love it because it's an opportunity for me to go outside without actually being outside. People watching is great for story inspiration and dialog development. What I hate about public transportation? People putting their feet on the seats, those who leave their trash behind, and those with questionable hygiene. This one bus near my home in Chicago is consistently a rough ride; ish is always going down. This is not just some delicate Chicago transplant's opinion. My born-and-bred Chicago friend posted, "If you ever want to lose a little faith in humanity, take the [omitted] bus going in any direction. #YouPeopleNeedJesus #WTH."
Between that post and the night in question, another Chicago friend shared how she disliked people who played music using their phone speakers instead of earbuds. I commented, "Yeah, that's so annoying. The next time someone does that, I'm going to challenge them by play…

Mexican Yoghurt Thief - Just Being Funny

“Yes, I hope she choke on it.”
Serving a ten-year prison sentence in Mexico was not the way I envisioned celebrating my twenty-third birthday. God, please don’t let my life become the sequel to Brokedown Palace.
It wasn’t my choice to live in a 20-bed hostel, but after witnessing the Euro’s spending power, I’d definitely do it again. Weekly manicures and triple-scoop ice cream desserts -- we were the queens of Monterrey. No longer afraid of contracting Bird Flu or being taken by the Mexican cartel, my only concern was passing Spanish 101 and making out with a hot cabana boy. Unfortunately instead Stella in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, I became the lead detective in my own Nancy Drew-type novel: Onicia Drew and the Case of the Mexican Yoghurt Thief.
As hostel life goes, we were limited to one shelf in the shared refrigerator. Every week, I bought a specific amount of yogurts to meet my breakfast dairy needs. When I found myself short a few yogurts, I had to collect my proverbial balls …

An Ashy Indian Lover - Just Being Funny

I was looking for the right person to fill a vacancy. I wanted to be about diversity and equal opportunity. With that mindset, I decided to go on my first date with an Indian male. What? I didn't say I was an employer. I said I had a vacancy that needed to be filled; that vacancy was in my heart. #Puke.
Honestly, his profile was forgettable, but because his first message was not sexual and we lived within a small distance from each other, accepted his offer to meet up. No, I was not attracted to him in the least, but I was also trying that thing where I didn't base everything on looks. I tried to convince myself that I might be a person who could look beyond physical appearances and grow to love someone based on their character alone. We skip the pen pall phase and cut straight to meeting at a cafe. This was going to be my first charity date. I was ninety-nine percent sure that we would not hit it off, however, as an international student, I empathized with being alone in a big…

Doing Coke on the Bus - Just Being Funny

The shenanigans of everyday public transportation never cease to amaze me. I thought the reckless driving of Mexican bus red drivers was the most exciting thing ever. I thought the train jumping of suicidal Dutchman was the most annoying thing. However, Chicago riders take the cake.


We're on our way to the south side for some authentic Chicago barbecue when a mad driver in a minivan rear-ends the bus. Instead of stopping, they then squeeze between us and the parked cars. This is their rubbish attempt at getting away from whatever was chasing them. Recognizing that we were in fact on our way to Chicago's south side, instinctively duck below the windows. I open my eyes to see my travel companion sitting upright with their face pressed against the glass. “What are you doing?” I asked.
“I want to know what happened.”

Dread, this was not the time to be a mocco neighbor. Chicago is not a war zone but it was very likely that shower of bullets could follow. The minivan’s reckless driving…

Neglectful Mother - Just Being Funny

Holy high heaven! The world was about to realize that I'm a neglectful mother.
My grade school girlfriend got pregnant during her first year in high school and asked me to be her godmother. Naive and not fully understanding, I asked for time to discuss with my parents before giving an answer. Naturally, my parents advised against it. If my friend died, I would be responsible for her child and raise them in their parent’s faith – even if it was different to mine. They doubled down on fear mongering by sharing teenage mothers mortality rates. “But if you’re up for the challenge, go for it!” I was thirteen going on fourteen and not up for parenting.



Ten years later, an older friend had the same request. I still wasn’t ready. I hadn’t started dating. I still wanted to see the world. More importantly, should they die, I would be responsible for their daughter. I’m no statistician, but I think middle-aged people have higher death rates than teenagers. (Knock on wood) I couldn’t risk it.
Re…