Alert, alert, my lovely and amazing creators! Do you ever find yourself really wanting to achieve a specific artistic goal … then unable to rise to the occasion when the opportunity to fulfill your dream presents itself?
Maybe these excuses look familiar to you:
“Man, if I could just get a break!”
“If only someone would ask me to play for them/write for them/design for them … I would be so ready!”
“Nobody wants to hire me.”
If you have made any of the above statements, let me ask you a few questions:
Are you actually looking for opportunities?
Are you making yourself available?
Are people aware of you and your gifts?
Are people spreading positive things about you … or are they saying negative things about you?
Are you being a true professional and following up when someone does reach out to you?
Do you have repeat customers?
I cannot tell you how many times I have made a list of tasks for a project that I need outside help completing, then have gone to find a specific person I knew could help me with these tasks – who was excited about lending his/her talents to my project – and had that person be totally M.I.A.
My Dear Creators, if you want something so badly, why would you disappear when it presents itself to you? I know you just want to paint, draw, sing, act, dance, play music, design and write … but you must follow up with those that provide you with the chance to do just that if you want to manifest your dream of making beautiful art. You have to reach out to people, so they can give you the work, then follow up with them and follow through with the deal you put on the table.
My manager recently reminded me of something that rings true, even though I have heard it several times during my career – “There are two parts to what we do: SHOW and BUSINESS. And you can’t have one without the other.” We all have to take responsibility for both showcasing our talent and also for taking care of the business side of our careers, so we can not only survive, but also flourish.
There have been many times other musicians have complained to me about not working or getting paid well, then haven’t gotten back to me for days when I have proposed paying them well to play with me. You simply cannot complain about not getting paid sufficiently – or not getting called to play at all – and then not treat those that offer to pay you well for great projects with total respect and enthusiasm.
I want to work with musicians that call me back, because I want to feel safe and secure knowing I am putting my most precious projects in the right hands. The musicians I collaborate with must be there to not only say, “Yes,” but to do their jobs well and be dependable, available to organize prior to gigs and then get to the gigs on time and ready to go.
No one wants to chase after someone to get what they are paying for. For example, if you took wedding pictures for a client, the bride and groom are not going to want to chase you down for the finished photos. In short, if someone commissions you to do a job, that person is going to want to get what he/she paid for.
And that brings me to my next point: When you are really handling your business well and are a true professional, you will be able to charge more for your time. And the people you work with will happily pay to work with you, because they know the care and energy you are putting into them is well worth what you are charging.
If you are negative, show up late and do not follow through on your promises, people will spread that information about you, so you have to be careful. I’ve regularly gone to musical directors asking about a specific musician and have been told, “Hey – you might not want to hire him. He is difficult to work with,” or “He regularly shows up late.” People will talk about people that cause them strife … but they will also talk about those that are a pleasure to work with.
Simply put, if you want to go for your dreams and create your best work, follow through and throw yourself into every project with all you have. People will remember you, re-hire you again and again and spread the word about how wonderful you are, so you can keep living your dream!