If there’s one thing that this crazy entertainment business teaches you is that there are no rules. It’s not the corporate world where there is a proverbial “ladder” that you can climb. In that world, you enter with training, you pay your dues, you climb up that ladder and before you know it, you’re in management, sometimes, even partnership or ownership.
No, the entertainment business is something quite different. There is no ladder, there’s no guaranteed road to travel, there’s no inevitable reward for paying your dues. For an actor, a job rarely means that you’ll get another one. As a matter of fact, unless you are in the lucky top two percent, a great resume still has you in a room or a pile with others twice your junior and with little to no experience at all. For a writer, unless you have a major commercial success under your belt, you could be writing in your room all alone for years. For a producer, lose money on a project and good luck finding the funding for your next one.
The only consistent things you can hold onto are positivity, a belief in yourself and a perseverance that won’t let you quit. Every other day may be a failure. The phone may not ring, the answer may be no and the project may not be yours. Your constantly compared to everyone else. Give me an actor who looks like him, sounds like her…. give me a writer who writes in the style of, in the genre of… give me a singer who sounds like, sings like… Wait, did their last project make money?
For a business that is built around ideas, often times, people are looking for the copycat, the piggyback on the success of, the thing that looks, feels, makes money like someone else. The sure thing. That’s the nature of the beast in the entertainment business. As we always say and hear, “that’s why they call it a “business.”
So, what do you, an artist who is looking to share your talents with the world, do? How can you make those talents earn you a living? You have to stay creative. In order to do that, you can’t be afraid to keep learning, to keep growing, to keep expanding… learning from every success AND every failure. What can you improve and what can you enhance?
You also need to appreciate yourself. Your inner and outer voice. What makes you unique? What makes you different? What makes you special? Do you really want to be like everyone else? A homogenized and dumbed down, 5th grade reading level, version of who you are as an actor, dancer, singer, writer, musician? No!
In this business, all you have is you! You and your voice. You and your individuality! You and your uniqueness! You can’t forget why you decided to get into this profession in the first place. We are all of us, storytellers. Whether we act it, write it, sing it, dance it, produce it, direct it… we all, at one point or another, had something to say. The end will come when you have nothing else to say to the world or really don’t care if anyone is listening anymore.
As long as you still want to say something, then you still want to be a creative and that means that you’re still an artist. But, you can’t sit around waiting for someone else to let you be who you are. A garage band is still a band whether someone is listening or not. A painter is still a painter whether anyone ever sees or buys his/her work. A writer can and should write volumes even if no one is reading them. Like this blog, for instance! ahem…
If, at times, you can’t make a living at what you love on a full time basis, keep at it and let it be your solace when you finish that temporary day job. Keep honing your skills, keep growing as an artist… so that when that time does come, you can not only walk through that door but you can kick it in. Kick it in, turn around and rip it off the hinges.
Creativity can’t be stopped. If you feed it, it will constantly stay in motion. The only things that can stop creativity are fear (i.e. self doubt, worry, concern, judgment) and comparing yourself to others. Creativity has nothing to do with fame and fortune, with accolades, with status… it has to do with desire, passion and curiosity. Those elements have existed at every level of social class, gender, race and geographical location. Man, woman, child, rich, poor… we are all creative.
This world was built by and on creativity. We need it. It is all around us… technology, sports, science, agriculture. The world never stops creating and inventing things. We are all creative beings at our core but for those of us that have dedicated our lives to it and fostered it into adulthood, we can not let others put that fire out. We certainly can not let others dictate what kind of artist or creative being we can and should be. Be the artist you want to be. #Followyourpassion. #IAmBrandini