Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Can anyone help me out?
I am a full-time professional performer (that means I get PAID and MAKE A LIVING for the work that I do. . . ) but due to the recent craigslist phenomena of people asking for free services (and my fellow performers actually DOING it) I have fallen on some hard times. You see, there is not quite enough paid work to go around, and since there are several artists out there diminishing the integrity and pay scale of all local performers, I am finding it difficult to pay the bills.
So I've decided to ask you craigslist people, so obsessed with free stuff, to send some my way.
Here are a few things I really need, but cannot pay for. . .
Don't forget. . . anyone who is able donate their time to me will get great exposure, a stellar revue on yelp, and ridiculed in my blog.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
We are taught as children and throughout life that comparing ourselves to others is unnecessary. . . that success is measured differently for different people. . . but practicing this as a performer is virtually impossible. An entertainer's success is fairly obviously measured. .. through our pay scales, through venues (Broadway, or Madison Square Garden, or Nuemos on a local level). On a daily basis, our artistic lifestyle and competition mentality are awakened by the simple every day habit of logging into our facebook account. So And So has a callback for a Broadway show. So And So booked a National Tour. So And So just got signed by a major record label. While it is apparent that the artists attitude is that nothing is good enough. . .there is always room to grow. . .and this gig is temporary until the next great thing comes along, it is so easy to compare ourselves negatively to other artists and performers. (In the same way positively, too. . one of my favorite pastimes as of late is to search youtube for video auditions and watch in horror. . .)
What is the solution to this daily reminder of disappointment? Well. . . I could stop logging in to facebook (not an option. . totally addicted), I could delete all my friends that I deem successful (perhaps a bit much), I could start thinking positively about my life, realize that my success is MY SUCCESS, and open my mind to the idea that somewhere in the world there is a fellow performer sitting in front of their laptop considering deleting me as a friend for the same reasons. . . (I don't know. . the whole "positive thinking" routine is reminiscent of too many Oprah book club books)
While I start another day the same way I have for so long. . . Checking my inbox to see if the casting team for the show I did a video callback for has responded yet. . . Drinking my cup of coffee and doing an O'Ekaki puzzle. . . Praticing music and thinking this is the day something will change. . . I will (and do) try to practice my own form of positive thinking. . . it's only 6 hours until 5 o'clock. . .and then I can have some wine.
I have run quite the gambit of regular jobs . . . from retail, to restaurant service (hostessing and waitressing), to canvassing (fundraising on the street. . . to usually un-excusably rude passersby), to retail again. So as the economy kept dwindling, and I began developing carpal tunnel syndrome from filling out application after application, and refreshing craigslist every hour on the hour became too exhausting, I realized I had to stop. While I have been a professional performer for most of my life, I never really focused on that being my entire job.
This is why I decided, in February of 2010, to make the switch to a full-time self-employed performer. It has proven to be a difficult task, yes. . . . having to drastically decrease my "drinking" and "fun" budget in order to pay rent and bills, never knowing how much money I will actually make in a given month, and more often that not, playing gigs to the proverbial "chirping crickets", but at the end of the (long. . .stressful) day, I truly am grateful to be able to do what I love.
I am a music whore. I am open to doing anything and everything that will pay me involving music. I teach voice lessons out of my home studio in Capitol Hill, I gig and sit in with several different groups in the greater Seattle area, and I am always looking for the next project to keep me busy and well fed (and well-wined).
While I hear from my friends who are married, child-bearing, and otherwise "successful" (see my next post for more of that joy), I sit on my fold-away couch in my small apartment where I live with my boyfriend, Val, and dog, Milly, wine in hand, representing the ever-growing number of full-time performers around the world. . . we are not (yet) sellouts. . . we are under-rated. . . we are on the "poor" diet. . .we are starving artists.