Thomas Bailey's housing emergency
Though I wish things were otherwise, the new year has dawned with me desperately needing your help. For those who may be just stumbling upon this and don’t know me, I’m an author and “psychoacoustic” musician living in Austin, Texas. You can find information about my work at www.tbwb.net. If the life goals that I mention on my homepage are something that resonate with you, please take a moment to read the pitch below.
A couple weeks before Christmas of 2016, I was terminated from my job in Austin, owing to a sort of misinterpretation of my job duties. I was hired initially with reasonable expectations that I would be performing some type of tutoring and counseling work, which was a good 'fit' considering my past employment history. This wasn't, in fact, what the job really called for - this was essentially a glorified “sales” job that involved emotionally manipulating students into staying in class while they were going through periods of extreme personal hardship. I did what I could to adapt to this set of work duties, but ultimately there was no way I could succeed in this position without de-activating my conscience and being a chronic liar.
This has put me in a very frightening situation. Without the income I previously had, I will be financially gutted after paying February's rental fees, with not enough money for daily survival needs shortly after that. This is on top of the fact that I am still trying to negotiate a payment plan for several thousand dollars’ worth of emergency room bills dating back to a November hospital stay.
I’m in the process of searching for new employment every day, and will be as relentless as I can in doing this. However, there is no guarantee that anything is going to be available soon, particularly given the horrible timing of my termination (i.e. prospective employers may just now be looking over applications I have sent during the Thanksgiving holiday). My former company doesn't offer severance pay. I do qualify for some unemployment assistance, but an amount far too small to cover apartment rental costs. Lastly, though I could simply leave my home now, but this results in a prohibitive penalty for breaking the lease agreement. Even if I managed to find some improvised shelter free of charge, there would still be this huge sum of unpaid fees to contend with.
Having said all this, I’m optimistic that raising enough money to survive for the next two months will give me enough time to either secure a better job or to put new plans in motion. I’ve set the donation goal here to reflect what I feel will help see me through. Here are some ‘benchmarks’ that I think would be worth knowing, if you can contribute:
· $50 will cover about ten days’ worth of food, gas and over-the-counter health supplies (none of this money will go towards alcohol or any other elective purchases).
· $100 will help to pay off both a phone bill and a (mercifully low) bill for electricity, both crucial services as I keep looking for work.
· $300 will cover a monthly car payment so I can make sure that I don’t lose my primary means of transportation.
· $800 will cover a full month’s worth of rent.
I’ve always been reluctant to get funding in this way, especially as I have had to do it on at least one other occasion*. I believe in honest exchanges of personalized self-expression for others’ patronage, and don’t believe I deserve any special rewards merely for existing. So: with that in mind, I want to offer you some interesting artifacts of my creativity that will only be available by participating in this survival program. I want to spend this “downtime” not as a terminal period of defeat, but as a bridge period in which I can continue enriching the local and global communities of the experimental arts.
Here are some things that I would like to exchange with you for your generous contribution:
· For any donation of $10 or more, I will include you in the credits / acknowledgements of my next available music and book project (right now, my “La Production Interdite” CD / DVD combo on the Holotone label is the next of these projects).
· For a donation of $50-$99, I will send you a signed (and dedicated, if you want) copy of my next music project and any of my first three books (Micro Bionic, Unofficial Release and To Hear The World With New Eyes). Please note that I have only TWO remaining personal copies of To Hear The World…, so act quickly on this one!
· For a donation of $100-$299, I will send you all three of the book trilogy mentioned above, again with signature and optional dedication. I will also send you a copy of the next t-shirt in my “visualizations of sound” series , which I had planned to resurrect until the bad news about my employment situation. This will be an incredibly short / limited run of shirts and you will likely be among only 25-50 individuals to have one.
· For a donation of $300-$499, I will create you a personalized sound piece of up to 45 minutes, with one-of-a-kind packaging (yes, this is part of my “commissioned audio series ”).
· For a donation of $500 or above, I’ll play a personal concert for you either via live video link or in your own home (note: the latter applies mainly to Texas residents, so if you live further out and would still like for me to perform in traditional face-to-face style, we may have to make additional arrangements to cover travel costs). I’ll use recordings of the improvised material for this performance to also craft a one-of-a-kind sound piece for you as mentioned above.
Also, for whatever reason, you don’t wish to receive any of the items mentioned above, that is also fine. If you’re reading this, may already be familiar with what I can do in terms of writing or sound production - feel free to drop me a line and perhaps we can discuss some alternate services that I can personally provide you. I do have some solid ability in, well, the writing field obviously, so maybe that can be brought to bear on some of your personal projects.
THANK YOU for your attention, and support!
*Post-script: on this previous occasion, I was criticized by some anonymous individuals for exploiting my own friends and collaborators, on the grounds that I am actually fairly “well off,” and the proof of this is that I had the ability to “travel around the world”. The first of those statements, at least, is patently false. Since 2006, I have not earned an annual income that would place me above the U.S. poverty line. While I have in fact had the luxury of leaving the country on several occasions during this period, it was at the invitation of other arts institutions and with all of my living expenses paid for the duration of my visit. On occasions where I have lived overseas on a work visa (roughly 2000-2006), I was hardly living a lavish lifestyle, and spent the majority of my time abroad working at a regular job.
If anyone would like proof of what I’ve mentioned above, let me know and I’ll be happy to provide documents (statements of income, etc.) that will lay to rest any claims of my supposed membership in “the 1%”.
I have a steady job now, though things are still challenging since it's about half the income I made previously. I need to complete my apartment lease obligations before I can move into cheaper housing (and if I make it to that point, it looks like I've already found some good candidates for roommates and such).
The bottom line is that, while I'm not fearing homelessness now, I'm still what would be classified as "food insecure" - not making discretionary purchases, living on a very minimal diet. I'm 'almost there' in terms of returning to a decent life, wherein I'll have the great luxury of thinking more about creative work than about what I have to sell next. But there are still hurdles to overcome - so please continue to donate and, of course, to let me know what type of honest work I can do for you if the "perks" I've listed are not your thing.