BUILDING A PERFORMING ARTS CAREER
Don't quit your day job.
Crazy dream chaser.
You're a performer? Where do you wait tables?
Yes? Sound familiar? OY! LET'S BE DONE!
Let's be DONE with the Starving Artist Syndrome!
What you have to offer is valuable. There are endless amounts of studies done around the importance of art in our society. I know you know this, but do you KNOW this? Most of us have been trained since we were very young to believe that what we do as artists is not something to be taken seriously. That is not possible to have a career as an artist or a steady singing, dancing or acting job.
Now, I had very, and have, very supportive parents. They never once pooh-poohed my dreams or tried to steer me in a different direction. However, I know there are self limiting beliefs that were beat into my head and heart that have stopped me from reaching my fulling potential. How do these ideas get in there? Because they are EVERYWHERE, they are all around us. There are even words in the dictionary based on the idea of a starving artist! You are probably thinking, “So, Molly, if these ideas are so implanted, how do we get them out?”
Replace those thoughts with POSITIVE FINANCIAL AFFIRMATIONS.
By replacing them with positive affirmations. In other words, kill them with kindness. Hopefully you've downloaded the Financial Affirmations for Performers that are a part of the Prepared Performer's Business Tool Kit. Print them off, save them to your phone or desktop and read them out loud several times a day. Or, listen to them! There's an audio version as well. So much of the financial side of this business is based on the mindset, and if you can't get over the financial beliefs that fill you with guilt or fear when you set your fees as a performer, you will never bring the true success into your life that you deserve. Seriously. Put a reminder in your calendar now and say them!
Just so you know, this subject for me is a daily struggle, but I cannot tell you how far I've come. Since launching The Prepared Performer, I have multiplied my income by 5 times. WHAT!? I went from literally stressed out, running between 4 different jobs, worried that I would not be able to support my family, accepting any and all work that came my way to having more time, more money and I'm able to give my students and clients more value!
When reciting these affirmations, remember it's so much easier to help others with this than it is to help yourself, so try and imagine that you're speaking to a friend who is having issues with charging enough for what he or she has to offer, or for charging anything at all. It happens all the time! You guys, as performers, we need to hold each other accountable and stop giving away our valuable gifts for free… unless we give with intention.
Know that it is OK to volunteer your time as an artist… SOMETIMES.
We all know that feeling. You've been asked to perform! Share you skills as an artist! Without even thinking you say yes, and then inquire about the compensation.
Compensation? Ohhhh – well, you'll get GREAT exposure! Just think of all the people who will want to hire you after they see you perform for us.
Ehhhhhh! Wrong! Sharing of your talents is a wonderful thing to do! I've even participated in “pay to play” events that have proven to be crazy beneficial. But, if you are working on building a career, you have to make sure that you are intentional about how much of your time you are donating.
If you are going to volunteer as a performer, make sure you ask yourself these three questions.
- Is it something that I really love to do or a cause that I really love to support?
- How can I make sure I am using this opportunity to best support the growth of my business or career? ie: If you're doing something for exposure and you don't have a system in place to actually benefit from that exposure, is it really worth it? or Will you be able to work on a new song or skill that you’ve not had a chance to perform?
- Will I be able to get a receipt from a legitimate Non Profit organization so that I can write this off as the donation that it is?
Being paid to perform is not weird. Performing for FREE? THAT is freakin' weird.
I want to leave you with a quote by Jack Conte, who has a company called Patreon which provides fans with a way to pay the artists they love. He said this while being interviewed by Pat Flynn on the Smart Passive Income Podcast.
“About one hundred years ago, humans figured out how to record art and put it in a physical thing, and then sell it to consumers. This worked with light and photography and film. We figured out how to capture light onto a piece of photographic paper. We figured it out with sound. With music, you could record it into a wax cylinder and then box up that wax cylinder and sell it to consumers. We basically figure out how to record art into a physical thing, and then package that thing and distribute that thing around the world and sell it to consumers for a price. What happened then is we created billions of dollars in infrastructure around the packaging, selling and distribution of these physical things that people could purchase, and because of billions and billions of dollars of infrastructure and so many jobs and so much energy and time and creation, every time you go through one stage of that infrastructure, you lose money to some of the infrastructure for the creator. So the creator ends up on the end of the chain with a very tiny amount of funds that were actually spent by the consumer.”
Then he says, “This is freaking weird. That is a really weird system that we have developed over the last one hundred years. You can put your art in a thing and then ship it in a truck. Literally, physically with a truck, you can ship it around the world and give it to somebody. That is a really weird phenomenon. What's not weird is the way the art has been made, which is patronage. Every piece of great work that we have ever studied or seen [00:08:00] in a history book or anything was made because some wealthy person saw what somebody was doing and said, “Here's a bag of coins, go do something awesome, because you're awesome and I like you.” Whether that's Beethoven's Fifth or whether Michelangelo's David, I don't care. Every piece of great art we've ever known has been made because some patron said, “I like what you do, go do more of that.” That's what's normal. That's how art has been funded for thousands and thousands of years. It's only in the last one hundred year that unit sales, the physical sale of a physical object that contains on it, has become the norm.”
I LOVE THAT! It's not weird to expect to be paid for the awesome you are bringing the world as a performer, it's weird not to. Yahoo!
Go out and live a life in the performing arts! Share your goodness and make the moolah that you deserve!
And, if you want more info on curing the Starving Artist Syndrome, go get the Prepared Performer's Business Tool Kit.
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