Discussion with a singer yesterday who is ready to rejoin a tour got me thinking...
The irony of working in the business, is how do you keep your creativity alive when you DO get a job?
We work on craft, on discipline, on technique in all aspects of what is required of us as a working artist. Then we get work. Now what?
It is so easy when we book that show or that tour to fall into the complacency of "going to work" every day. Or in some cases, twice or even (god forbid) 3 times a day!!!
As artists, it is even more important once we have booked a show and are working regularly to keep the creativity and study and the discovery alive!!!
I see too often artists/performers who, once booked, don't study regularly or discover regularly.
This is so sad.
It is even more important to keep your craft vivid and your muscles active while working.
It's like going to the gym: you start doing the same thing day after day for too long, and after awhile, your body just gets used to it and there is no growth/development or change.
Our artistic life and our technical behavior life is the same.
We work to be able to sing/act/dance the roles we are hired to do. If that is ALL we do, we get stuck. There is no growth.
If you are in a city that allows you an opportunity to stretch your voice with a teacher - DO IT. Even if it's not every week, it is so crucial to work with a professional REGULARLY in order to make sure you aren't falling into bad habits by repetition and fatigue.
Are you discovering the other passions in your life while you work? Are you reading? Going to museums or galleries? Are you writing? Are you listening to music outside of the realm you are performing? Are you stretching your creative muscles by cooking or tasting? By painting or drawing? By writing songs? What passions and creative outlets are you ALLOWING for yourself WHILE you work and create a character night after night?
Are you looking after your physical instrument? Do you claim the gym or yoga or pilates or martial arts or a dance class for fun or something to keep your body strong?
Are you looking after and feeding your spiritual instrument? Your emotional instrument?
ALL aspects of you need to be fed, as you feed your job of creating a character for others.
If you are on the road and changing locations frequently, you need to be creative in discovering your creativity!!! You need to bring your creative outlets with you and find ways to explore the artistic-ness of the places you visit. Get out of your comfort zone and see what's out there - and who!!
As a singer, do you have your teacher with you? What do I mean? Do you have practice CDs or recordings so you hear your teacher's voice and work with her/him via recording? Do you stay in touch with them via email/skype/ichat while on the road to keep you fresh?
Do you have creative ways of keeping your space YOURS while on the road? Do you bring with you those things that give you comfort, give you energy, give you grounding? Do you bring "home" with you?
Do you allow time for yourself each day to create? To breathe? To stretch? To sing because you WANT to and NEED to, not because it's a job and you HAVE to?
Do not let the job get in the way of your creative spirit!! That spirit needs nurturing each day in order for you to feel as if you infuse your job with integrity. Do not assume that just because you are working that is enough.
Journal, write, read, sing, stretch, laugh, taste, smell - keep studying!!! Keep re-studying! Keep realizing! Keep discovering and growing!!!
Do not allow the JOB to stop you from being a developing artist!!! It is more important NOW than ever to discover what else you can DO so when the "next" reveals itself, you are READY.