Tag Archives: Artist
A student of mine said recently that while she’s driving around town she often asks herself, “What am I doing with my life?”
We can all relate.
But when we ask ourselves that question, we often do it out of panic and undermine how much we’ve actually accomplished. We beat ourselves up for where we are, comparing our lives to some idealized fantasy. We denigrate our real journey of being an artist just because we don’t have everything lined up exactly like we thought it would be. Our questioning almost suggests that the pursuit of acting – or any kind of art – is futile and therefore a waste.
Who you are as an artist is not the sum total of the jobs you book. The means do not support an end. The means support the means. The act of doing, the act of expressing, the act of celebrating who you are through your work – which is really your art – your life is your art – are the reasons for doing it.
Don’t denigrate yourself for going for things that make your heart feel alive even if there is struggle and rejection and the media’s portrayal of what success or achievement looks like hasn’t yet been bestowed upon you.
Many people think artists are “crazy.”
We’re considered crazy because we allow ourselves to feel. To emote. To dream. To pursue something we love that makes us feel deeply alive in spite of the odds against us. That takes bravery and a certain amount of foolhardiness. Passion and guts. Patience and play.
It’s called being human.
I think it’s how other people who call us “crazy” wish to live. They want to risk. They want to be more freely expressed. They want to feel. They want to be liberated from the burdens of living life like a “business.” But the paradigms of seeking security and living a stable, “normal” life are hard to break if you’ve been told you have to have those things to be safe.
The irony is, if you’re seeking security you’re not going to find that even when you find a “secure” job; a “safe” life.
No one is secure on this planet. The things we amass that make us feel safe – the titles, the cars, the money, the “stuff” – are all illusory.
Security implies being shielded from the things that affect humanity. But even if you have financial security – and everything else – you still won’t be immune to the inherent insecurity of simply being alive: loneliness, despair, rejection, termination, getting old, loss, heartache, desire, falling in love, conflict, death.
The poet David Whyte says “Anything or anyone that does not bring you fully alive is too small for you.”
So remember that the next time you tell yourself “What am I doing with my life?”
What you’re doing with your life is . . . living it!
52 WEEKS & 52 WAYS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE, GET ON PURPOSE & BECOME THE ARTIST YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE (AND BOOK THE DAMN JOB!)
(Yes, that’s You! Whether you’re an Actor or Doctor. Musician or Banker. Sculptor or CEO. Singer or Stay-at-home Mom.)
We’re all artists. Every one of us on this planet. And what makes you an artist is your life.
Your LIFE Is Your Art.
Your artistry extends beyond the jobs. The events. The bookings. The titles. The notoriety. Those things don’t make you an artist. Being an artist has nothing to do with what you do for a living. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in an acting class in Los Angeles or have your art shown in a gallery in Brooklyn.
It’s an expression of your self in all things. In any given 24-hour period, you have an opportunity to start being the artist you truly are. Stop waiting for the phone to ring or the agent to sign you or someone to give you the job to confirm that you have something of artistic value to contribute to the world. Give yourself to the world now and watch what happens.
So, as I’m setting forth to create a blog that has come out of the work I do daily at my acting studio in Los Angeles, I hope it will help the artist in each of us to live a more empowered life and change the way we think (and look) at ourselves and creativity.
There’s gonna be homework. Do it! Sometimes, I’ll use the blog to share thoughts or philosophies or ideas to help bring about change and other times there’ll just be something to do. But all of it is working toward re-shaping and re-thinking your life!
# 1 – Declare You’re An Artist (an Actor, Musician, Writer, Poet, Dancer)
Homework: When someone asks you this week what you do for a living (and invariably that will happen because we’re living in America where so much of who we are is defined by what we do) proudly say that you’re an artist. Don’t say, “Well, I’m kind of an actor.” Or “I’m trying to paint.” Or, “I’m just bartending right now but what I really want to do is…”
Declare what you are. It doesn’t matter that right now you’re slinging hash at the local diner. You’re an artist! Say it. Feel what its like to claim that ownership. Without feeling guilty or shameful or weird about it. So what if you haven’t booked a TV show yet. So what if you don’t have an agent. So what if you haven’t sold a painting or written a hit record. So what if the largest percentage of your income doesn’t come from your art yet.
You’re an artist. Say it.
It feels good, doesn’t it?
“Life is what happens while you’re busy planning other things.” — John Lennon