What do you need or what are the things that are required of you to make it in the business of arts? I'm gonna delve into demystifying that rather elusive and confusing process of creation, so you can immerse yourself in a blossoming artistic journey. Let's take this make-up off now, shall we?
There are 3 traits that you need to engage in, in the arts, to be successful. Three traits that are helpful for that matter in any other profession, as they expand your range of life skills. It does not matter if you are starting out now, or are in the business for a while. You need these traits under your belt, so you can become self-sustaining, and have your own back in the industry.
But first, there are 3 traits that you absolutely DO NOT need! So let's focus on what you need to get out of the way!
1) The very first trait that you DO NOT need, but you may think you do, is passion! Let's ease into it: the word "passion", is incredibly intense and intimidating and it can seem out of reach for mortal people, that think passion is reserved for geniuses or virtuoso types, or people touched by God/Universe/ Invisible forces but that is not always the case; now I can feel the judgment coming, try not to though! while I myself am incredibly passionate and intense about what I do, I realized passion can sometimes get in your way to actually make it happen! it is a consuming mental process that needs to be disciplined before it burns you out without producing anything relevant and it does become tiring! Don't buy in the preaching of passion as the ultimate ingredient in a life of purpose and fulfillment!
Passion is an invigoration of an idea coming to life, a little flicker that can turn into a flame and I hear people all the time and sometimes I even caught myself thinking: gosh! but do I have enough passion and driving force to go to a drama school? do I have enough passion to be an actress and act all the time and stay afloat in the business? Look: do not worry about these things, just GET TO WORK! Get things done! Do things that interest you all the time! If you buy in that passion is all you need to do those things, you may wake up one day drained and you will find that passion went on a hike without you! Passion is an elusive feeling, fleeting like the moon! You can end up chasing your own tail about what you really feel about the arts, you can end up depressed and wondering: oh my!! what if my passion never comes back? Are you waiting for the flame of passion to ignite your hair on fire? Don't!
Let's say that you are an incredibly passionate, very excitable individual, and you put out a creative project that does not work out the way you wanted, passion can wear out a little if the world doesn't appreciate the things you put forth in the creative field, or you can get depressed or sad simply because the world does not respond the way you wanted it to respond! Passion is a very good igniting force to help you discern what it is that you like, what it is that you love, what do you get excited about, what it is that you value, to help you submerge yourself in that completely, but when it goes away and you find yourself that you don't have the fire for the arts- do not worry about it, let your passion go for a little while, rest and then find those little things that keep you invested in what you do! that keep you even a little bit interested, even if it's just a mild interest: follow them! Don't rely on passion only because this is NOT one of the traits you need to keep you going!
2) So.. if it's not passion that you need all the time to succeed in the arts, then what is it that YOU DO NEED?
Which i believe is the big secret to success: it keeps our hearts playful especially when you feel a little confused, lost, or blocked, or insecure! or when passion goes on hike: curiosity is that thing that captures our attention and our imagination with that playful string of: "uhm i wonder..."
And if you just trust and you follow that little nugget like a clue in the game, curiosity will show you what to do next. Curiosity is your teacher - trust it in the same way, as when you were a child! You can't wait to be hit by a light bolt of passion!
Most of the times, if you get in touch with yourself is that little inviting voice in your forehead or belly or wherever you open the channel that keeps you going without being jetted off in the waiting room of passion! Let's say you are a musician and curiosity says: "I wonder what these 2 chords sound like if I touch them together", or that you are a director: "I wonder what a play of Shakespeare would look like if I cast only musicians, or what would happen if I switched my point of view!"
Curiosity keeps your sense of fascination alive, in the same way it did when you were a child! Curiosity gives you the sense of trying, in a light way..it keeps your heart light and playful as it nourishes your soul, as you move through your career from start all the way through, it makes it fun, it makes it interesting and it keeps you interested!
3) Now let's demystify Perfection! No, actually please let's kill it!
There once was a man who went to the tailor to try his new suit, and as he stood there looking in the mirror, he noticed that the left side of the vest was much shorter than the right one! "oh that's nothing! don't worry! said the tailor" just take your left hand and give it a little tug and everything will be PERFECT! no one will notice! as the man did this, he noticed that the collar of his jacket seem to stand up instead of laying flat! oh, said the tailor: "that's an easy fix! just turn your head, and hold it down with your chin, and it will be fine!"
So as the man did this, he noticed that the seam of his pants became a little too uncomfortable because it would rise up! "oh dont worry", said the tailor, "just take your right hand and tug it down and all will lay perfectly!" so the man upon hearing the word perfect, he purchased the suit, and the next day decided to wear it, with all the accompanying gestures of hands and chin! He went to the park, and as he limped along, 2 men whom were playing check, stopped and said: "oh my god look at the poor man!" said the first man, and the second man said: "oh yeah, the limping is too bad! but where did he get such a nice and perfect suit?"
This example is clear for the concept of creativity: a common cultural response towards a persona who has developed such an impeccable perfection, but who is all crippled on the inside, trying to maintain it: time and time again, we see it with singers and actors, trying to live up to the idea of a perfection with their voices.
They try to achieve that perfect pre-package 'sound' that everyone says a singer or actor should have, but the problem with this is, that it implies all hand-chin alterations, and sooner or later the artists start to limp,and limp, and limp! Because they feel stuck in a voice that is not theirs! And what's worse is that they don't have any idea of the raw awesome voice that lives in them because they are too busy pulling at their crouch!
So if you find yourself thinking that you can't step up and share with the world the things that you create until you have reached some ridiculous amount of perfection. I will tell you that this is hogwash! it has a Tom Foolery to it, that has the world believing in some sort of magical mystical thing called ..TALENT!
To say that you have a voice that is different, sometimes amounts to say that you have no talent which is untrue! Is like saying you have no value and thus you have no voice to use, to express your joy and to express the depths of your soul! And that those that have perfect voices and thus talent, are the only ones that can create the world's art and they must have been selected by a committee of their peers that do impart some sort of freak accident of nature, that no one has any control about! is so silly!
Is like saying that the rest of us are doomed to a life of common place and boredom! The feeling of complete worthlessness, and the utter lack of the magic of existence! Is silly: don't waste your time with this, don't let it drain your energy, if you feel called to sing then sing, if you feel call to act then act! And if you have a voice that is different! All the better for that! You don't have time to think! Start! And start creating the beauty of your craft! Do it NOW!
Stop grumbling, stop eating potato chips, find 2 socks that match, tie your shoes, or Velcro them, no one's judging ,and get to work! There's not a single person that ever created something artistically that did not have to work for it in some capacity! And there is not a single soul whose been through this crazy thing called creativity and met life head on without dealing with some form of disappointment and challenge!
I for one, cannot be bothered with the distinction of high and low odd and positions of authority and I will fall asleep in my spaghetti course if I am made to regard the distinction, between mastery and common craft! Like no, don't let this drain you darlin'!
You are far more valuable than this: you do not need perfection! what u do need is courage!
To create anything, you need to possess this fierce sense of courage that you are allowed to at least try! Courage will have you stand on your own 2 feet, wherever you are in the world, and will let you think that you are allowed to be here, you are allowed to exist and you are allowed to use your own voice and create the life that you would like to see for yourself!
Having courage is gonna be the hardest thing to do in your life, because it is not the haters of this world that you will need to face, but yourself! We all have this nasty voice that lives inside ourselves that tells us: you are stupid, you are ugly, you serve no purpose, go hide, get back in your hole! you are not special!
Courage will have you engaged to have a more supportive conversation with yourself not by saying I am the greatest, but by saying" I am here and I am allowed to be here and I may not be who i want to be just yet but I am allowed to be here and I have the courage to at least try, I have the right to do that."
It's a lot like negotiating a hostage situation, and when that happens and you feel overrun with those negative thoughts, go to a mirror and say to yourself: I am a singer, I am a song writer, I am an actress, I am a director, I love to dance or to do Kung-Fu! I love cooking or gardening, or any little muffin thin or hey! I may not even know who I am, or what I like, but I have the courage and I am curious enough to find out!
If u speak like this to yourself, you will have changed honestly from the inside out, and the world outside you will change as well as you honestly believe you have the right to exist and create, and this leads you straight into confidence! which is what you need to have. Yes: confidence in yourself!
3) The last thing that many people think they need, but they don't need it at all, they just keep waiting for it to arrive is this: PERMISSION!
You need no one's permission to be who you are, nor their blessing to act or do your music, or acting, or directing, or dancing, nor anything for that matter! So go do your thing because it makes you joyful!
There will always be those people who will think that the world of arts belongs only to those with master degrees or to those with academy awards or that won a competition, that somehow validates and increases their work over yours! The people that think this are wrong, annoying and stupid! Don't listen to them! They are not the boss of you! You are! So when someone tries to tell you, that you are not destined for great things, I would strongly advice you to smile and walk away and continue to do your art because it makes you happy! Be the boss of you!
If you find yourself holding back waiting until you won that competition, or until you get that award, or until you mother says yes you are wonderful singer, or actor, or dancer, don't! You need not care about these people! No one is beyond criticism! Not even Taj Mahal escapes it! So criticism should be none of your business. What you need is your own permission to make your art!
There is NOTHING that is more profound and powerful then the act of making a choice: it sets fire to the world in the best way! And your power is not just in making the choice, is in becoming the choice over and over again: just like in a musical warm-up, everything is a layered experience, and we need courage with us, because it wakes us up to kill that nasty voice, and commitment to follows us through.
Commitment empowers us to forge ourselves in the world, claiming who we are, and you are gonna need commitment when we look here and there, to compare yourself with the other artists, or maybe when you second guess yourself, seeing your friends following the conventional route and having things that maybe you don't in this phase of your life. And that's o.k!
When you ask yourself: "am I doing the right thing?" You will need through commitment to remind you why you do what you do!
There are a lot of ways when we unknowingly give our time and energy away and commitment reminds us to protect our time, to spend time with our craft and protect our craft fiercely. Remember the times when you maybe had a dirty house:" I know I said I would write or sing, or dance, but all that laundry that really needs folding that I wish it was not there, and it really irks me, and these dishes and... I know I said I will write ( sing/dance/act) but NO darlin' you need to leave those aside:your commitment will teach you that dishes and laundry can wait!
There were times in my life when I said that I will stare at a piece of paper, and I'm gonna write, and I'm gonna be in that zone, I'm gonna come back to myself because I made a commitment!
And is not easy, because you get drained and tired from the day, but commitment, reminds you why you are doing all these things and it teaches you that awesome sense of ownership that "no, this is my dream" and no complex, no culture, no teacher, no high sounding aristocratic, pedagogical maestro or political leader, no complex will take that away from you, say to yourself right now: "the dream is mine"
Your creative life is gonna burn in so many ways simply because you made that choice and you had the courage to get up and then you followed it through!
So... let me remind you 3 things you think you need, but you really don't:
& permission - those are energy drains!
3 things you need instead:
& commitment- with these 3 things you will make it- and we will know your name! Good Luck!
Is Only a New Beginning.