Hello and welcome to the 73rd episode of The Spark & The Art creativity podcast. Thank you for subscribing to our weekly podcast, where we alternate between interviews with creative folks from all different career levels and insight and inspiration episodes. All with the intention you’ll get the inspiration you need to get your creative projects started and, more importantly, finished.
I’m your host, Tucker and this week is insight and inspiration and I’m going to talk about what it takes to succeed.
In last week’s episode, we talked with Richard Sirgiovanni, a lifelong musician and visual artist. He told a story about playing at legendary music clubs CBGB and Max’s Kansas City, sharing gigs with the likes of Madonna and Cyndi Lauper. I asked him what he thought made people become artists like Madonna and what made others, well, not be Madonna. His answer was the people they brought on their team. Because he remembers Madonna not standing out at the gigs. She was just another act on the bill. No better, really, than the rest of the artists in the room. This doesn’t surprise me. I know spectacular musicians who make a good living but may never find the top-level, number one success that some artists find.
In an early episode of the podcast, I interviewed John Jonston (episode ???). John is an improv actor but his day job is a Business Analyst at a large communications company. He told a story of how when he was in college he was in an acting class with actor Kevin McKidd. Kevin is an actor in the television series Grey's Anatomy as well as feature films like Trainspotting and Disney/Pixar's Brave. I asked John what he thought led two people from the same acting class in college to such different paths of acting career. John's answer was, "There is one thing more than talent more than anything else in the world … you have to really want it. You have to really want that lifestyle … it's not about success or fame, you have to really want to be an actor. You have to want to be a performer."
He then went on to say, "I will never regret never being an actor. What I would regret is never doing another performance."
So, that thing you do. That one thing that is only yours. That talent you have. What would it take to earn you a living? What would it take to take you to Madonna and Kevin McKidd levels? As far as I can tell so far, it's:
1) The right people to support you in both your business and creative pursuits. And I don't just mean financial support. I mean spiritual, deep down "you can do this, kid!" kind of supoort.
2) The desire to live through whatever circumstance that career path takes you down.
Here's where you get to do some thinking
- What do you want from your talents?
- Are you looking to earn enough to break even on the projects?
- Do you want to support yourself or your family?
- Do you want your own jet to fly to your own private island?
- How much do you actually need to live on right now (rent/mortgage, food, utilities, etc.)?
- What can you cut out of your expenses to really simplify your life to as tightly as you are comfortable with?
- What do you need help with right now?
- Where could you find the people with those skills?
- Do you want a partner or an employee?
Hmm... this one ended a bit more business-y than I intended. But we, as creative folks, need to look at the bare minimum of how to cover the costs of our creative projects.
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Thanks for listening, and remember: you won't get the art without the work and you won't do the work without the spark.