This was going to be my follow up blog tomorrow, but after having a conversation this evening with one of my singers and powerhouse performers, Stacey Tavor about her day of auditioning, I thought I would see if I could codify my thoughts and get this down tonight.
I have spoken of the integrity of the actor (performer/singer/artist - fill in the blank).
Now we need to explore what my husband would call 'The Hustle"!
Why is it that those people who are often (not always, but often!) not particularly special, not particularly talented, not particularly beautiful, not particularly anything, get the callbacks/get the jobs/work frequently?
Now, don't start screaming - there certainly are some marvellously talented people working!!! But we do see a great deal of really ordinary talent out there getting chances that many of you who are exceptional in some way, aren't getting.
What is the deal with that?!
Well, it comes to The Hustle. How are you hustling to get that work? To be seen? To be heard? To be known?
Often, on some level of consciousness, those who are more ordinary, know they are; and in knowing, they know they have to achieve something MORE and they tend to really put themselves out there in ways that those with more exceptional talent/skills do not. These actors who hustle LEARN that skill to compensate for something else. And by learning that "hustle" skill, they are seen/heard/called back and if they are reliable, are hired.
We can hold "the artist" philosophically in highest esteem. And we SHOULD. However, "the artist" can co-exist and develop in parallel with "the hustle". Basically, you have just gotta get OUT THERE. You have to be willing to TRY. Being good enough is NOT enough. Art is art and business is business. If you want to be an artist that makes a living making art, you gotta learn how to DO business.
Our lifestyle is ACTION. DO your craft, DO your art, DO your business. They are all threads that can negotiate and intersect and live together.
As an artist, if you lead by your integrity and your code, you can balance that with what you need to do to create business for yourself. Recognize the landscape you walk and the land mines that exist there! Make decisions, choose your battles, learn your negotiation skills!
The Hustle means you might get pushed or prodded or shifted a bit; Decide how you are going to deal with it. Often these shoves are there to throw you off your focus or your game. Do not fall for it. What is your goal once you are solid in your craft? Make it simple! You want to get a job! You want people to know your name! You want the business to recognize you as someone they want to hire and see and be around.
I cannot create your blueprint for you. Only YOU can do that. As my husband says, there is a difference between being an artist and making a living being an artist. We as artists need to recognize those differences as it can be easy to confuse the two. If we make the differentiation we create clear boundaries for ourselves and recognize what we are willing to do for a job or not. Then it is up to us to create an integrity for our business.
If we create an integrity for the business of self, we begin to expose those who pretend the emperor has clothes when he doesn't! We begin to find out what it will take to be seen, to be heard, to be called back, and to work and still create the art that is most important to us!
We find the balance between giving and receiving vs. taking and selling. We create an energy of purpose and a freedom to speak our thoughts and our visions, not trying to be a know-it-all.
If you have the artistic goods - if you are building craft and it's time to build business, you are NOT selling out. You have made a decision to make a living. Do not assume your talent is enough. It is not.
If that girl or guy in the audition line is driving you nuts cause they seem to always get called back and you don't know why, make it your business to find out why!!! What are they doing? What can you learn from that?
So if you KNOW you have something to offer, then get your bootie off the couch and DO it. Get that audition book ready, and GET OUT THERE. Learn how to hustle...learn, ask, be ready to take the jobs that will lead you to the roles you will eventually play.
Don't take rude behavior or disrespect - FROM ANYBODY. Lead by example. Show your integrity in how you act, behave and respond to those around you. Your business integrity will lead from your artistic integrity, because if you are an artist, you will form this!!! This is what will give your business DEPTH!
The Hustle is not superficial - it is real and necessary to develop your business. Your business is your craft in action. GO DO IT!