There was an era I think that people of many different businesses were able to spend the majority of their time perfecting their craft. It was much more simple when someone who had an ability, talent, or skill could get a loan, rent a shop, put up a sign, and provide their service. When someone was really good at their specific ability, they were recommended. If they were especially good, they were challenged by big thinkers and creative minds trying to bring something different to the world.

Sadly, although I enjoy spending this time sharing my insanity, I am an example of what the world has required of people trying to make a living with their skill. I don't have the ability to ignore this relatively new responsibility to post something on Facebook, or Twitter, Instagram, this blog... but the amazing truth is that time has not gotten longer. In many ways time has gotten shorter. So now instead of me being able to hone in my craft when someone comes and asks for a style I've never written, or to improve my overall sound quality on many different levels, my time has been split with postings and emailing, and marketing in a way that didn't exist not too long ago.

So what does Sergei Polunin have to do with Beyonce, or Sia, or Bruno Mars? Not much except that they are all extremely talented and successful artists that inspire others art. So in my own effort to try to showcase whatever abilities I have to create somewhat diverse music in very diverse visuals, I put together a video with these incredibly talented performers.

What has this venture yielded? I have no clue... I, like many other people in many other business do whatever might catch the attention of someone and say, "hey that guy isn't so bad at his job, maybe we should give him a call?". All of us "starving artists" and entrepreneurs, particularly in the fast moving and trending world of entertainment, have been forced to split our time piercing our way through all of the people talented or otherwise doing the same thing we're doing.

At the end of it all, I'm extremely happy that I put this "dance demo" project together and particularly grateful that there are such inspiring people out there that help inspire me to be better and current and make the attempt to perfect my craft.

It's all about keeping the momentum and enjoying the process!!



The Artists Sickness

For some reason it's known around that world that even the most talented artists throughout time struggle with the sickness of self doubt. I'm hoping that one day scientists will find the secret ingredient to eradicate this ailment. I know I would take a pill if it existed. It seems as though this mental defect filters our interpretations in the worst way.

If a family member tells you how talented you are and keep on going, we might say to ourselves, "they have to say that, they're family". If it's a friend we just accept that they are being supportive of whatever we want to do. If it's a professional, we might shrug it off as "thanks for the compliments but where's the money. It's almost like we can't tell ourselves that we're on the right path until whatever idea we've put in our own mind that equals "success" happens.

When it starts to feel like the bottom's falling out and I can't make any headway, just about every person who's opinion I value tells me to keep on the course and that something huge is about to break loose. I can't say how much I appreciate that confidence and support. I can even say at times it's the only thing that separates me from being the guy who puts his gear in the closet and gets a job in a cubical. That is an extremely fine line most of the time.

I'm hoping that the next time I breach this subject I'll have the ability to say to anyone in my position to hang in there, keep going, and stay focused because you'll eventually get the break you're looking for. Until then, I'm trying to listen to the ones who can see the forest while I'm still in the trees. I know that my perspective is skewed and I'm not a fair judge of my own path.

What I know is that I love what I do... or at least attempting to do and the thought of doing anything different is more mind bending the the attempt to keep moving. Maybe I'm making all the right moves with just the right amount of momentum to manage. Unfortunately the Artists Doubtistitus illness gets a hold every once in a while putting a cog in the wheel of success.

If anyone has the right prescription I'm all ears.



The Artist and Introverted Extravert

I've learned that apparently there's a description for people like me and likely most artists called an "introverted extravert". Like any other service oriented business, it's all about relationships and the only way to establish a relationship is to talk to others. It seems to me that most writers, editors, certainly composers, and any other creative business that requires us to be immersed in our work for any length of time, that is not something that comes especially naturally to us. The truth is that we would love much more to be in our "cave" creating art than finding a way to connect with a complete stranger.

So you might ask, how is that an introverted extravert... just sounds like an introvert? But I think most artists would agree that we need people just as much as we need the quiet. After all we are inspired by art in general and people are the ones who make it. So we need an interaction with others to open our perspective, to add to our own contributions, and to keep us relatively normal.

Beyond that we need people who have what we don't have, and those who have what we need. That might be a partnership or collaboration, but specifically a project that will get you paid. The difficulty I'm still trying to master is once you've broken out of the cave to get yourself to the right environment, how do you translate that relationship into a job. Personal relationships never work when they're forced, and I believe that it's inherit of an artist to be sincere. Given that quality, I'll call it, we tend to have to rely on people liking us enough to give us a shot. The good news is that sometimes it only takes that one shot. The bad news is that many times it requires a lot of shots. In other words, I always hoped that work begets more work, but it's been confirmed that isn't really the case. Just because you have one good gig today doesn't mean you have a good gig tomorrow.

Thus we are all required to be introverted extraverts. There's no way for us to do our job well solely as an extravert because we would constantly need social stimulation which contradicts what we do as an immersed artist. But there's also no way for us to find a place for our art without the people who need to know it exists without leaving the cave.

There are a few things to hang on to in this business and one of them is that I was told by a composer named James Venable a long time ago, "the only people who don't make it in this business are the ones who give up". Keep going, keep learning, keep perfecting the craft, and keep being a likable person, and one day you'll be where you want to be. The other is that I'm not sure what else to do in life. I'm sure there are many things I can do, but there aren't many things I'm good at. I know there are many more talented people than I am in this world, but that's true in every aspect of life. There is always a more talented scientist, smarter finance analyst, skilled artist, precise surgeon, home builder, light designer... you name it there is likely always someone better than you. So if that's true, which no matter how egotistical you are it is, then we all have to find a way to provide what it is we do best to the people who need it for the sake of our own art.

That is if you want to do what you love for a living!!



New to New York

Something I've learned over the years is that almost everyone in L.A. will tell you they're "in the business". Every bartender, server, driver, grocery clerk, and nanny wants to be an actress, producer, director, writer... you name it, they do it. The truth is that if they were any of those things then they wouldn't be serving me drinks. The people who actually work in Hollywood have a tendency to get out of L.A. and make their way to big festivals like Sundance, South By South West, and Toronto. This year I decided to make the journey to Tribeca in New York. I have to admit it was a little intimidating thinking about getting my way around the city at 3am, but a very good friend of mine recently told me the key to success is to get out of your comfort zone. I have to say it has been one of the best experiences I've had at a festival so far.

The entertainment business is a tough nut to crack. There's no clear picture on how to get work, when you do have work how to get the next job or keep the one you have going. At the end of the day, as with most things in life it's all about people, about building relationships and being an enjoyable person to work with. Of course also doing your job well. Like many artists there is a constant struggle with some kind of consistency and getting paid what you're worth, but if feels like festivals are a good start to meeting the people who can provide you with the connections we all need to start those relationships.



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