I’ve struggled since graduating from my post-secondary training in the work vs. art world. Artists need to eat, but also need to continue the pursuit of training so someday, people will pay us to do what we love.
We slog away, and a lot of us serve, cook, clean, temp, assist in the meantime, fueling the pursuit of advancing our skills and landing those roles but also feeling a little bit sold out by non-arts work.
I’ve been trying for a long time to make my life a life I want to live day to day, and for me personally, that involves very little of living by someone else’s time. A confined space for hours would make me MISERABLE and the only times I like to be told where to go is in blocking, auditioning, or dance class. I’m only a LITTLE bit stubborn.
So WHERE IS the middle ground? Where is the life where I eat, work and sleep contentedly knowing I’m on my own schedule as well as pursuing further training while not losing house and home?
Having a freelance job in the arts is a pretty awesome way to make things work. My “Joe Job” (IT DESERVES QUOTATIONS) is as a publicity director for a theatre company and I LOVE IT. It’s flexible, covers most of my scary bills and has an element of creativity to it that I adore. (COME SEE TREASURE ISLAND, WE OPEN ON THE 19TH)
SO, I think I’ve got a LITTLE closer to figuring it out. Still a ways to go, but I’ve learned one big lesson so far.
There are no days, off. Only hours.
By this I mean as an actor, there is never a whole day where I’m devoted to something COMPLETELY unrelated to my career. There’s always things to submit for, there’s always a website to update, a blog post to write, a play to read, a class to take and when, at the end of the day, if nothing else is TRULY happening, you PUT-ON-A-SHOW (to save the farm/theatre/small town from ruin.)
So there is a way to make it as an artist and to be happy doing so. After so many ADULTS and YOUNG PEOPLE as well saying to me my whole life (I know you’ve heard this)
“A career in the arts? Oh, that’s going to be hard…”
I have this to say.
NO SHIT SHERLOCK.
Do it anyway. "And that's my new philosophy!"
Can you imagine if every time you met someone who said “I’m going to be a doctor” and you said “oooh, that’s gonna be hard…”