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Angela Ivana Believes in Staying Open & Writing Things Down

This is Angela Ivana. She is a freelance beauty and tech entrepreneur who grew up in Boston and now lives in Long Island City, New York. You can check out her work here and here.

Tell us about your work.

As a beauty freelancer, I provide beauty services for productions in film, television, entertainment and media. I also have a beauty tech company called CosmoSafe, where we help freelance beauty professionals master business skills.

What are the biggest struggles you’ve faced as a freelancer? How did you overcome them?

I think that when I first started, the struggle was the consistency of work. I was really nervous about where my next check would come from, if this was going to work out. I’d wonder, “Am I going to be able to pay my rent this month?”

The tipping point was my self-development, with learning how to relax and understand that I have to be open. When I calm down and realize that everything’s going to work out if I take all the appropriate steps — make sure I do my marketing, that I do my invoices — the work always comes.

I think I've had to be comfortable with being open to not always having a plan. I'm a big planner, and with freelancing you have to roll with the punches sometimes. I entered the industry saying that I wanted to do commercials and some print beauty work, and I've ended up doing theater, opera, film, television and e-commerce. There are a lot of areas of professional beauty work, so I just had to be open.

How has the Freelancers Union community been valuable to you?

Most recently, I've been helping to share my story through Freelancers Union and Freelancers Hub. I had a really bad agent and he was discriminating against me. At one point I said, “Enough is enough.” I'm good at taking chances, and I was having a $6,000 week. I had the option to continue going to work and deal with the discrimination, or saying forget about it. And I said, "Bye, I can’t do this anymore." And I left. I've been able to share my story to empower other freelancers and to empower change with policy so that we can help more people.

Do you have any tips or tricks you can share that might be useful to other freelancers?

I still believe in using a pen and paper. There’s something about having a written plan that solidifies it in my mind and the universe. It’s also helpful for me when I have down periods and I’m not working every day — I can look at what I’ve written and say, “Oh, I was actually productive today. I did do something.”

More than one-third of New York City's workforce is freelancing, reflecting the wide-ranging diversity of the city. The purpose of Faces of Freelance is to shine a light on each unique, individual story in freelancing, and offer a platform on which it can further the conversation. Join the Freelancers Hub today and offer your own story into the conversation.

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