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SKILL BUILDING IN THE ARTS

Opening Your Ladders has required me to learn a lot of new skills, and that’s been thrilling. It’s also required me to rethink a lot of strategies. Again, thrilling. Scary and exhausting, but thrilling.

In my writing life (I write crime fiction), I remember sitting next to a well published author at a character workshop. I mentioned that I was surprised to see her there. She told me that she always sat in on workshops, and in doing so she always picked up a new idea. It helped keep her fresh. A light bulb went off.

As a performing artist, I want to encourage you to continue to build your skills no matter where you are on your career path. If you’re interested in building skills towards producing your own work, or you want to ground your career with some business planning, then Your Ladders has been created for you. Look at the Footing Your Ladder course--it provides the planning skills you’ll need.

What other skills can you develop? If you’re a singer, have you taken acting classes? Actors, have you taken dance lessons? Playwrights and directors, would a scene study class be helpful in connecting you to the artist work?

Are there other skills you can add to your toolkit? Stage combat? Movement? New techniques?

I’m going to encourage you to do three things.

  1. Push past your comfort zone. Your work alone pushes comfort zones, but there can be complacency in finding your place. Risk trying new things! Reconnect to the deep roots of your craft.
  2. Be comfortable with not being good at something. Are you terrible at tap dancing? Take the class and be uncomfortable. You may have forgotten that you’ve built your craft over time, and you weren’t always as good as you are now. You may never be great at a new skill, but you’re going to have memory muscle about it, and it adds to your repertoire. Or you may be great add it, and have something else to add to your resume.
  3. Dare to dream. You’ll hear me using that phrase a lot. I want you to dare to dream--what would you love to do if you could? Play a role, have a concert, start a company? Start working towards that. Recognize that dreams need planning, goal setting, and strategies. And work, lots of hard work. But they are worth it! What’s your dream? Take a deep breath, write it down, and start thinking about it.

The world needs you to do your work. Keep building your skill set, get better at your craft, and dream the big dreams. Your Ladders may be able to help you reach them.

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