Hustle. Audition. Lose the job. Rinse. Repeat (at least 3x). Hustle. Audition… Land the job. Celebrate. Until the next audition. That is the real life of an artist. It is a cycle that repeats itself over and over again. Artists, all artists, constantly have to sell themselves to people (directors, galleries, clients, etc.). Even Nicole Kidman had to audition for her role in Rob Marshall’s Nine. In fact, there is no other market where YOU (your look, your presentation, your personality, etc.) are often more important than your talent. Your talent will always get you in the door but YOU have to keep yourself there. Although, you have to maintain, hone, your talent as well or you will quickly not even get in the door.
I have spent most of my life working on making a living as an artist. Primarily as a performing artist. I went on audition after audition, once in a while landing a role, but I pounded that pavement. My mantra would eventually become “I just wasn’t right for that job.” And it stung when I was rejected, but it made me work harder. It made me go after opportunities and create opportunities I never would have other wise. It made me stronger (cue Kelly Clarkson) as a person, an artist, and a business woman. When your biggest commodity is you, you very quickly learn how to sell it, when to use it, and when to stay away. But you hustle and go after the opportunities you really want as if nothing else matters. As if this is the moment to lose yourself and become the person you want to be. I have learned a lot while in the performing arts that I use throughout my career as a photographer (and I will be talking about them in up coming posts) but nothing has prepared me better for the rejection, the criticism and the immense joy that comes with making a living in this industry.
So, you might ask, how do you keep pushing? What keeps you going? For me, it’s hunger. The hunger to create something I love, to push myself beyond an ceilings put up for me, to live the life I always imagined. Most artists are trying to escape. Whether it is an escape from a situation, their thoughts, a job that doesn’t satisfy them, or just an escape from monotony, we are escape artists. Artists are about creating a fantasy and breathing life into it. It’s what pushes us (at least me). So, you have to lose yourself, breathe in the moment, take the big and scary opportunities, and remember that you only get one life, make it the best that you can. Chase the dreams and live as if that moment is do or die or you’ll never grab it. This video by Eminem always pushes me and reminds me of this and whenever I hear it I get seriously pumped up and want to just grab life by the horns. What pushes you?
BTW, in case you’re wondering what “Rachel,” (Lea Michele), is doing in this post it’s because no one hustles or pushes harder than she does. She lives and dies by her craft and she wastes no opportunities. She, and all the Glee kids that I’m obsessed with, are an inspiration.
Until Next Time…