Let me be clear from the start of this post.
I grew up with all the illusions/delusions of most artistic souls. And had a family that reinforced these illusions/delusions from fear.
What am I speaking of? The beliefs that stop us from making a living as solo performers, writers, actors, coaches, directors and producers.
By the way, the above list is how I have made my living in entirety for the past thirteen years. I have been doing the work longer, but it is since then that I have kept the food on the table and the roof over the proverbial head by means of who I am in authenticity.
What were my personal belief's before this set that limited my thinking? Do you share any of these thoughts?
1) I will never become a professional theater person outside of NYC (false belief)
(TRUTH) I have made more money in New Mexico than I ever did in NYC. I now am hired to work in NYC at least once a year and others fly into work with me internationally.
2) I need to get a big break or be discovered by someone else to make a living (false belief)
(TRUTH) I have all the power I need to create my own opportunities.
3) I do not have a brain for business.
(TRUTH) I had not been trained in business in acting school, but I was perfectly capable of learning the skills to run a successful creative business. And yes, it took a long time.
I was well into my thirties before I began to make a living for basically being myself. At 31, I did my first solo show and actually made a few thousand dollars (no small feat in this small town)
But hardly enough to support myself or a daughter.
There were many skills I had to learn. But as they say, necessity is the mother of invention and I was under the gun when I got serious. I had no real marketable skills for a job. And even if I had, I didn't want one. I had a 2 year old at home with me in my small town in the Southwest. And I wanted to be with her. And in retrospect, I see how much my love for her motivated and inspired me to figure it out.
First I began to learn about publicity and marketing. I began to teach classes in solo performance (long before it was trendy or popular)
I continued to write and perform my shows using them as leverage to get people to take my classes. I began to get asked to direct.
From this I began to offer a more therapeutic monologue process and really put the work in to develop it and get the word out about this. From that I had a book published.
And it has gone on like this for the last many years. There have been ups and downs.
I have made many business mistakes, trusted some of the wrong people and sometimes lost money on shows or events.
But much, much more often than this, I have had great success's with shows, making friends and yes, making money.
One has to work hard, follow what one does well and build on that for success.
Let go of the illusions that you cannot make money on your true work exactly where you are with what you have.
I had no savings or investment's to put into my work in the beginning. But I kept going, through everything and it has worked out and continues to work out in a beautiful way that is in service to others and true to my own soul.
No regular "job" will give you that. Go do what you do, be who you are and be willing to learn step by step about the business of art and I promise you, you will be more than ok.
You will live your true life. And nothing beats that.