The Secret Identities of Wargamers

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s  . . . . a bartender?

Hey guys, it’s Caleb with White Metal Games here, with a question on my mind.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the Southern Front Con in North Raleigh as a vendor.  It was the first show I’ve ever attended as a vendor, so it was a change from the norm for me.

Since it was a local con, I decided to pick up a few shifts at a restaurant I moonlight at on the weekends.  So my day went a little like this:

AM:  Arrive at Con, unpack
Afternoon:  Work the show, sell things, interact with people
PM:  Close up shop, head over to restaurant, work the night shift

Next Day:  Rinse and Repeat

So it was a busy couple of days.  Other vendors kept asking me where I was headed and I simply smiled and said “Life Stuff.”

Asking around, I realized that one of the other vendors was a bartender. So I wasn’t in this boat alone . . . but it got me thinking . . .

Who are we in real life?  Real life is such a funny phrase.  When I was in college, I used to wait tables full time, at night, weekends, you know the drill.  Since then I’ve always had a serving job on the side to make ends meet.  But while working as a server, I always heard others talking about their ‘real lives’ or ‘real jobs’ as though waiting tables didn’t qualify.  Perhaps I’m confused by what makes a job a ‘real job’.  There are bartenders out in Vegas that pull in over $100K a year.

What really interests me though is how we interact with each other as a community, and how we have this whole other side of our lives, our ‘real jobs’ that rarely gets talked about.

For example, I own a wargaming company.  We assemble and painting miniatures on commission.

However, my primary source of income, at this time, is still a 9-5 job where I sit at a desk, managing files, paperwork, and responding to calls/emails.  I’m an office manager at a hospital and while the work isn’t exhilarating, it does allow me to keep a roof over my head and food on my table.

So who are YOU in real life?  Does you ‘real life’ every conflict with you gaming life? How do you define yourself?

If you are an entrepreneur like me hoping to break into the hobby full time, how are you handling the transition from part time hobbyist to full time hobbyist?

Another vendor at the con gave me an interesting piece of advice:  “If you are going to do this as a job, you have to give it up as a hobby.”

What do you think?  Was this vendor right?  Or can you have your cake and eat it to?