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Finding Balance with a Day Job

 As an actor, I was having trouble finding work, so I took the suggestion of a colleague to apply to be a tour guide, since I’m a huge state history buff. I was hired to became a tour guide on one of the boats and would walk off the boats with wads of cash. Then one day, I got the call for a big acting gig. I went to my employer and said, “I’m going to reject the offer if it will conflict with my day job.” But my employer said, “We love you so much. Go do the gig – your job will be here when you get back.” I felt like this was an example of taking responsibility for this stage of my life and finding balance and steady work that is still supportive of my artistic pursuits. Since then, I’ve continued to do the boats and the tours, and that stable income and flexibility have me time to write, produce, and act in two films. So, I think that’s a success story because it’s about asking not just “How can I look at all aspects of my life and protect the creative person?,” but also, “What are my values? What do I want in my life right now? And how do I adjust so I can set those priorities and be honest to them?”

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I am an Artist Artists Struggle Practice

Waiting for that Lucky Break

What I see as a failure is an artist who hasn’t recognized red flags: you haven’t paid your rent for two or three months and you’re waiting for a lucky break. It’s more like an addiction or gambling, “I’m gonna get that lucky break” but meanwhile the ground is crumbling underneath you and there’s only so much that anyone else can do to offer crisis assistance, but at a certain point if the artist is working in isolation and not open to at least even trying something different, even just to stabilize him or herself, the resources won’t be enough and the artist may ultimately give up.

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I am an Artist Artists Give Up Practice