How badly do you want to be an artist pursuing a career?
How hungry are you?
Do you know what you need to do, and how to do it, how to find it, how to evoke it, how to develop it, how to challenge it, how to see it, how to discover it, how to claim it?
If you don't, are you willing, able and ready to find out and actually DO it?
I see, too often, people who say they want a career, yet even when given the information, don't actually do anything with it, and then will say how frustrated they are.
As I get older, my shorthand gets shorter. When I see that, hear that, my response is: figure it out or do something else.
And let me tell you a little secret: it's okay to do something else. Everybody isn't going to have a career. How talented you are isn't really the issue. Some people just cannot, will not, don't know how even if it is explained to them, DO what I just asked above. Period.
Not having a career doesn't mean you don't have artistic value, can't perform, can't be involved in theatre or singing, or something creative. It just means you don't make your money doing it.
That's okay. Why pretend? What's in the way?
As I have said many many times, delusion is a great protector against stress. At some point, however, that protection is going to snap, and then what?
YOU are your product. If you aren't honest about how you are seen, what is seen, what you have TO be seen, then how do you know how to sell it?
Your product needs to be known. Honestly. You need to be using the tools of the business in a way that gives you VISIBILITY. Are you doing that? Do you know how to evoke your type/your person/your product through your head shot? Through your website? Through your video and audio clips?
And as I ask this, I hear: "I know...but..."
Well, my dear snowflakes, if you KNOW, then why aren't you DOING IT?
Procrastination, excuses, all the "buts", are your way of stress management, and preventing you for doing anything and coming to the honest truth of what you really want and why you want it.
I heard someone say last week "in the last 15 years of my career". The absurdity of that comment as part of this person's narrative was astounding, as there has been no career. Pursuing a career? Maybe, but very loosely as nothing has happened; Actual career? No. That would assume making a living at it, really knowing what you have to offer the business, and how to do it.
We all, at different times, due to our capacity for self doubt, make statements that aren't quite right. It is a coping mechanism. I get that, trust me.
Now it is time to shit, or get off the pot.
If you KNOW, then do it.
If you KNOW, then why aren't you doing it?
If you KNOW, then why don't you know?
If you DON'T know, then ask.
If you ASK, expect some answers, or expect more questions that YOU and only you have to figure out.
If you ASK, prepare to hear the truth, not what you want to hear.
If you WANT it, you have to work for it. Nothing is handed to you on a platter.
If you WANT it, how hungry are you? What are you willing to do? REALLY??
Where are you in the development of your craft? How do you know?
What do you want to do with that? Why?
What are you passionate about?
Just because you did a BFA or a theatre degree or a BMus, or something in the arts, doesn't guarantee nor preclude you are having a career in that focus.
If you say you want a career, why?
Have you figured out what you NEED to begin that journey or restart that journey or get you onto the right path of that journey?
Have you started to pursue those necessary steps?
Or are you procrastinating?
Have the excuses started already?
YOU are the business. If you want to be in the business, your product has to be purchase-ready.
You have to hone that product to make it purchase-ready.
The business of you doesn't have anything to do with the artistic you.
This is business.
There is an enormous difference.
If you don't figure that out, should you really want to pursue a career, then the business will make a decision for you, and will simply call "NEXT!"
YOU have to know. YOU have to hone. YOU have to present it to them or you leave them making their own decisions or dismissing you. That's up to YOU.
This means getting to work. This means getting to nitty gritty of how you are seen; what your energy reveals in a room; what your voice does; what characters you will be seen for and why;
Remember, there is ALWAYS a why. Sometimes we have the power to change HOW, when we learn the WHY. However, you are never going to know the how or the why if you don't start asking questions instead of answering "I know..but..."
An excuse never got anybody anything, except a chance to create more delusion and not move.
Free yourself to do your work - whatever that is - by dropping the excuses.
Do the work, or don't. Claim it. If you decide, you don't want to be bothered with all of this to find a career path in the business, then find whatever you are passionate and DO THAT!!!!
Doing what you are passionate about is NEVER failure. Doing something because you think you have to prove it to someone, or because you went to school for it you have to try, is just going to drain you and cause you to put up more walls. You will be miserable, and chances are you will miss something you might really love doing.
If you have an answer for everything I have said, as in, an excuse of why you HAVEN'T done it, then I would really truly consider what you are doing. Life is short, and you don't want to let it pass you by with excuses and "I know, buts".
If you feel motivated again; if you KNOW where your passion lies; if you are getting HUNGRY for that career; if you can not only claim your fears or self-doubts, but realize what you need to do, and are willing to get on that path to do it, then DO IT!
Start it. One step at a time. Create your business. Develop goals. Make a business plan.
Nobody does it but you. However, utilize the assets around you to help enhance that plan so you can hone it as expertly as you would hone your craft and artistic temperament.
What is holding you back?
The answer is NOT "I know...but."
The answer is a nod, a quiet acknowledgement. Now GET TO WORK ON YOU!
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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