There are a lot of things to think about when you're navigating a performing arts path. These blog topics will help.
I talked about networking a couple of weeks ago. I want to drill down on one aspect of networking, and of being part of a community. How good are you about supporting the work of others?
In the performing arts a scarcity mentality can grip us easily. There aren’t enough jobs, there aren’t enough opportunities, there aren’t enough. From that comes the “why them and not me” feelings that get fed by jealousy.
I want to encourage you to reject this, and support the work of others. You didn’t get cast in a show, but a friend did? Go to the show and clap the loudest.
You don’t like the work of a particular artist? Go to their latest work. Have they improved? Do you have greater appreciation for it?
Are you an automatic critic? I found that I wear that hat sometimes, especially in theater, where I understand the work the best. One day I went to a show by myself, and the inner critic started. Then I looked around, and saw dozens of folks having a...
On Thursday, here in the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving. In this blog post I want to focus on the gift of gratitude.
I understand that the path of being an artist can be, and often is, very difficult. Burn out is real. Making a living is difficult and requires a lot of juggling. Disappointment can be part of the journey. All of this is true, and are issues I talk about in other blog posts, and in my classes.
But today I am going to encourage you to stop, take out a piece of paper, and grab a pen. Ready? Now write down numbers from 1-25 along the side of the paper. Beside each number write down something you are grateful for.
This could take five minutes, or three days. The list could include profound items, or an acknowledgement of your favorite hot beverage.
Now, look at your list through your artist’s lens. How many things on the list reflect your artistic life? I’m hoping at least half of them. If not, can you revisit the list with that intention? Can you...
One of the hardest lessons for me to learn in my life is that you’re never done learning. Actually, the hardest part is that I need to accept that’s part of the process. I am a fiction writer, and every time I sit down to start a book I’m convinced I won’t be able to do it. Every first draft is terrible. But editing and polish, plus a lot of practice, teaches me that at some point the book will be ready for readers.
As performing artists you understand that you have to practice your craft in order for it to remain fresh. You also have to take classes and learn new techniques in order to continue to grow. As your craft matures you need to acquire new skills. Some of them are to add depth to your work. Others are to adjust to a new phase in your career.
When you feel stuck as an artist, one of the best ways to reboot is to learn new skills. They can include business skills to help you produce your own work, or take better control of your career. They could also...
I’ve been working in the arts for over thirty years and I’m really excited about a new trend I’m noticing around the way folks are producing their own work, Now, in some disciplines that’s always been the case. But in the performing arts, particularly theater, folks have felt the need to create a company then create a season then produce their work. There have been exceptions, of course. Commercial theater has a lot of solo producers. But in the non-profit and community realm, starting a company has been the first step for most folks by rote. Or folks aspire to start a company. That’s changing.
I’m seeing two trends in this. First, a lot of the folks diving into this are working in the small/fringe scale. For these artists, starting a company and planning a season can be a resource drain. These groups are usually under-funded, and most folks participating are working several jobs to make it all work. Trying to produce two or three shows a...