In the last 12 years I’ve made good money as a performer and song writer. Besides singing, dancing and writing, I’ve had to use a variety of skills to be successful, from people management to marketing, from IT to customer service.
The world doesn’t owe me a living, I have to work for it.
The entertainment industry is in turmoil, but it’s no different to any other industry. Demand for products and services fluctuates. Many of us have careers that are at the whims of the market. When people stopped going to restaurants, restaurants had to pivot, and get better at delivering into peoples homes. When Uber came along, we all jumped in and left the professional and well-trained black cab drivers out to dry. Many had to re-train.
Many people end up in the arts because they are encouraged to ‘do what they love’. It’s a tough road though. The arts are competitive, and to make it, you have to work your absolute ass off.
So do what you love, but if things don’t work out, don’t expect people paying their taxes, often doing what they hate, to keep you funded. My good friend, performing all his life, has now picked up a toilet brush for £10 per hour. If we all got to ‘do what we love’, our toilets would be the public health crisis that would shit all over Covid-19.
Artists refusing to adapt, and demanding that the taxpayer support them are elitist, and give the rest of us a bad name. We’ve compromised things that we love; security, money, family and freedom to have a shot at this industry. We chose this, we knew it was risky, and we live and die by it.
We are not your problem. We don’t need handouts. Those of us with the right attitude and determination will be back when the market comes back.
Any artist who is afraid of up-skilling, hard work, re-aligning, or who thinks the world owes them a living because they are especially talented, I am pleased to say will be left behind. The rest of us sure as hell aren’t afraid of getting our hands dirty.