The pandemic has introduced a new creative challenge for unwitting artists & treps to deal with: Boredom!
Whaaat? Artists & treps never get bored! Our minds are too active, our imagination too wild, and our non stop stream of great ideas & creative solutions never runs dry!
Still, a few creatives I work with are asking the question: What the heck am I supposed to do with something I’ve never experienced before?
Answer: Shift your POV.
Think of boredom as an opportunity. Because without boredom our minds could not wander and our imagination could not run free. Without it there would be no empty space for new ideas to reveal themselves. Without it our fantasies would be fleeting, our daydreams would be dampened, and the light bulb over our head would be forever dim.
Important because without our new buddy boredom we would not ask the question “What should I work on next?”
I wrote 55 blogs & stories this past year; some great, some so-so, but each of them had a prompt, a poke or a prod. Here are 5-nuggets I pulled out of my 2020 archives to help inspire you to keep your head in the game, keep your mask on your face, and keep pushing that boulder up the mountain. By the way…never forget…the boulder is real, the mountain is an illusion.
1) Revisit, reimagine and reconsider that which you say must be completed, resolved, manifested or begun. Remind yourself what it is you really want. Remind yourself what your biggest most important dream/goal is. Remind yourself what truly matters to you. Then ask yourself, “What am I committed to?”
2) Assess Your Strategy. If you continue to repeat the same work habits or marketing schemes over and over, convincing yourself that you’re doing something different, your fans, customers and clients will move on to something new, your numbers will start to drop, your results will continue to decline and that dream you have of growing will eventually begin to dwindle…just when you were expecting it to peak. Not budging from your tired old strategy is a lousy strategy.
3) Review your support team and inner circle, including staff, agents, managers, bandmates, sales team, coaches, consultants, techs, partners, etc.. I know it can be a heavy scene to split with people you work with (and like). However, a heavier scene is continuously putting up with the pettiness and incompetence of others at such an emotional, physical and monetary cost to you. Don’t flinch or choke on this one. If issues need to be addressed or personnel changes need to be made, don’t be afraid to pull out Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. Truth be told, YOU are the CEO of your world. And the goal is to work with the most talented people who are aligned with your vision and committed to the task at hand—not to wait around for people to change or grow up.
4) Don’t complain about how hard it is. Everyone who has ever made it in showbiz worked hard. Rather, revel in how great it is to work hard on something worthy of giving it everything you’ve got.
5) Give it back! Giving and receiving are different aspects of the same energy. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep that energy circulating in our lives.
Important because Don’t Do Anything Stupid! You’re an artist, an entrepreneur, an independent, crazy, creative genius! I know it can be tough; however, it’s a GREAT life, and the only life for you! Don’t screw it up!
It’s a powerful honest statement. If you were sure, then you probably weren’t creating something unique, or making a risky choice that could take you further along.
If you were sure, then your expectation for a specific result would be fixed, with no chance for any other outcome.
If you were sure, it would mean you probably played it safe and followed the rules of predictable protocol.
No true artist or entrepreneur is ever sure, even when we say the work is finished! It doesn’t matter if we’re composing music, writing a script, shooting a scene, or making a risky business decision. “Certainty” is yet another obstacle to greatness. And when we remain willfully and confidently unsure of the outcome, even a little, that leaves us wide open to unseen opportunities and unlimited possibilities.
Important because there are no sure bets when it comes to creating art or manifesting big dreams. In fact, originality demands an absence of certainty. And if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that it’s okay to proceed (confidently) with uncertainty leading the way.
Somewhere in the world an exceptionally talented artist or entrepreneur, with much to contribute, wakes up in the morning to hesitation and uncertainty. However, even though the resistance is strong and the doubts are convincing, she knows that in order to succeed she needs to be a fully confident and committed participant in the game. So she proceeds to her creative space determined to do her best work.
Somewhere in the world an equally exceptionally talented artist or entrepreneur with much to contribute, wakes up in the morning and is hesitant to proceed, vacillates in indecision, and is secretly doubtful he has what it takes. He permits impatience to set his pace and distraction to steal his focus. So he proceeds to his creative space dubious and disordered.
Both are equally talented and have much to contribute. Both have doubt. Both have fear. Both are uncertain about the future. However only one is committed.
Important because “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy and the chance to draw back. Therefore, concerning all acts of (creativity) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and plans: that the moment one commits oneself, then providence moves too.” — W. H. Murray, Scottish mountain climber, writer, artist.
1. Your advisory board. Those few people (or that one person) in your life who you can count on, confide in and consult with for opinion, perspective, and inspiration. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned actor, a successful songwriter, an independent artist, or a savvy CEO, the last person you should consult when you’re stuck in indecision or faced with arduous options is YOU! You may be the one in the trenches, however the benefits of running the details by a knowledgable mentor, assures clarity, diminishes doubt, and provides the confidence necessary to make a wise decision.
2. Your incomplete to-do list of unfinished tasks, abandoned goals and postponed projects. Add to that your wildest dreams and strongest desires. They lead, you follow.
3. Your unique abilities, exceptional talents, impossible ideas, and that uncommon quirk that no one else in the world has but you. Without them you’re toast! Add to that, the remarkable skill you have to create your way out of crummy circumstances. Without that, you’ll be constantly stalled by crummy circumstances throughout the year.
4. You’ll need some form of secure, digital proof that you got the vaccine. No matter who you are, what you do, or what you believe, you’ll undoubtedly be working with others, whether it’s in the studio, on the set, or in the board room. And trusting the health of those around you will now be a required asset. At this moment, several tech companies, including Apple, Google and Microsoft, are scrambling to create apps that would include vaccine and coronavirus testing info. Plus, a digital vaccine passport for travelers will soon be introduced by the International Air Transport Association. (Source: Healthline, Washington Post, CDC).
Important because the only thing you won’t need in 2021 is proof that you survived 2020.
As self-reliant, independent artists & entrepreneurs, the one thing that incessantly troubles us, the one thing that mercilessly crawls under our skin, the one thing that causes us to anxiously fidget and squirm the most, is that continuous nagging voice between our ears that relentlessly reminds us of what we haven’t achieved, what we haven’t attained, and what we have yet to accomplish!
Important because without the coaxing of the Nag, we’d never get anything done!
It is now apparent that the dark cloud that has hung over our lives in 2020 will finally be obliterated with a painless, double shot of much needed hope! And many of the artist and treps I know are celebrating by rearranging their furniture, slapping paint on the walls and redesigning their creative space to clear out the dark energy and make room for new exciting projects in 2021.
It makes me think that you can redesign your studio with the coolest gear and the latest technology, and surround yourself with awards, citations, gold statues and platinum records. You can even create a cool creative vibe in your space with inspiring posters, meaningful artifacts and memorable chachkies. However, it’s your greatest ideas that will ultimately be the most imposing energy in the room, and your most important unfinished work will be screaming at you the minute you set foot in the door!
Important because when you take a look at the genius, brilliance and talent that has come out of small, dusty garages (from tech giants to rock stars), it becomes evident that your great ideas and biggest dreams could care less whether you do your work in a small cubicle, a dusty garage or an elaborate studio. The only thing your best ideas want is to become meaningful, relevant and alive in the world.
Somewhere, between the urgent disruptions, the thought-robbing distractions, our screaming to-do list, and the continuous lure of breaking news, there are openings where we can slow down, slip through the cracks, and actually find enough peace of mind to get some creative work done. Some days, the openings are so wide we can spend long hours catching up on our most important projects and goals. Other times the days are jammed with a boatload of responsibilities or unexpected urgencies and there are no openings to be found anywhere.
However, what I’ve come to learn is that manipulating our busy schedule is easy, because most of us artists & treps have our own favorite software, or built-in time-management system that helps us triage the storms of the day. But finding that time to contemplate, create and manifest our imaginative ideas, can be illusive.
Important because the cracks we need to slip through, are the ones between our busy thoughts, where pure creativity lives, not the ones between our busy schedules, where time-management lives. And the only way I know to slow down my frantic thoughts, just long enough to slip through the cracks and experience that illusive, creative peace of mind, is to sit in a private space, for 10-20 minutes, close my eyes, and allow the cracks between my thoughts to open up effortlessly, so that I can slowly slip into the deep end of the pool. And for over 30-years, the balance I’ve found in my life between the hoopla of showbiz and the silence of my soul is astounding. I’m not sure who I would be without this one simple, daily practice in my life. As Leonard Cohen would say, “that’s where the light gets in.”
Nothing is more damaging to a career, destructive to a business, or catastrophic to a creative spirit than an inability to pivot, an unwillingness to change, or a resistance to remain flexible. Especially when our comfort zone, and the circumstances that we are accustom to suddenly collapse and shift.
Important because the way we have always dealt with our industry, our business, our careers and our world is in the midst of a massive paradigm shift. And by definition, “a paradigm shift calls into question the rock-solid assumptions on which the previous paradigm existed.” And shrugging our shoulders at the many new eccentric ideas and unique possibilities that are currently swirling around between our ears, will continue to make it harder to thrive during this big shift.
Narrow the influence of the narrow minded.
Quiet the mantra of toxic chatter.
Reject the attraction of pointless distraction.
Resist the temptation to aimlessly click.
Important because artists and treps need all the clear, headspace we can get.
Possibility is never razor sharp. It’s always a bit blurry and out of focus.
When we imagine what’s possible in our life and career it looks a lot different than looking at it through the lens of reality. It also has a completely different impact on the choices and decisions we make (when we act on what’s possible instead of the same o’l song & dance).
And while others strive to live in predictability, artists & entrepreneurs spend their entire lives surrounded by uncertainty, which is where possibility lives, which is actually very familiar territory for us. Kinda like when King Arthur asked Merlin the Wizard why he always wore robes with moons & stars on them? Merlin replied, “Why it’s because everywhere a wizard goes he is always at the center of the universe.”
When we finally come to realize that possibility and uncertainty are at the center of our universe, we find ourselves standing in a limitless, unbounded creative space, from which we can pivot at the drop of a hat, and perform our work from an absence of formula. That’s what makes us different from the others. Not better, just different.
Important because fortunately for us, living, navigating and operating our creative lives in the space of possibility is actually how we come to discover what’s possible in the first place.
Today presents a profound opportunity to revel in your win, succumb to your loss or sit frozen in your fear. Huh?
Today also presents a profound opportunity to wake up your creative spirit and harness your emotions, whether they are excitement, sadness or anger, and express your unique talent, produce your best work, flaunt your best art, and exploit the very best version of your creative, independent self!
I’ve said this before, this is what artists and entrepreneurs do: we use our emotions and “gut feelings” as a lens to see what’s missing, to see what’s wanted & needed. Then we use our precious gift of creativity and our incredible talent to provide it and manifest it.
Important because “I’m thinking in a brand new way…I’m starting up a brand new day.” —Sting
There is a reason why us artists, writers, musicians, actors, editors, directors and creative entrepreneurs are eager for this current political season to end. And it’s not about money, or the pandemic. It’s about truth. All of the creative work we do is about truth. Creativity itself is all about expressing and manifesting your truth through your creative skills, talent and expertise. Heck, most of us rely on expressing our truth for our livelihood! And we all crave it like a drug. Especially during these dark days when fiction, falsehood and cock-and-bull stories are so transparent, making it clearly obvious who’s trustworthy and who’s not.
And if we want to send a clear, personal message to the current leaders of fabrication then voting is the best way to do it. So if you haven’t voted yet, go out and vote like you’ve never voted before! Vote like the future of your awesome creative lifestyle depends on it. Vote like you would vote if you were the only one voting!
Important because turnout is everything and your POV matters. And we’ve all learned the hard way that it’s not only about who votes, it’s more about who doesn’t.
Some interruptions are necessary, some pauses are helpful, and an unexpected break in our routine can be valuable. However, some other disruptions really suck! Like career setbacks, money loss, project flops, personal heartbreaks, pandemics, politics, media overwhelm, etc. And getting our motor running again, at top performance, during a dramatic, drawn-out slowdown can be an effort. Why? Because the brute called “mayhem” will keep you wallowing in the mire, and the thug called “resistance” will stop at nothing to prevent you from doing anything about it!
Important because if you can just get your head on straight and remind yourself what is most important to you, and reconnect with whatever it is you are committed to, then your ability to navigate the mayhem becomes effortless, and your resolve to push through resistance becomes ruthless. Once that happens, getting back in the groove becomes exhilarating…actually intoxicating…actually “heady!” And if you’re really smart, the choices and decisions you make during your big “slowdown” should actually put you further down the road than you were before. Why? Because you’re not starting from the beginning, you’re starting from HERE.
—Asking for career direction, especially in the entertainment industry, doesn’t mean you’re a new kid on the block. On the contrary, it could mean you’re a seasoned pro and you are once again, standing at the crossroads of choice.
—Asking for tech support doesn’t mean you’re unskilled or tech deficient. On the contrary, it could mean you’re eager to learn something new, or figure something out so you’ll know what to do next time.
—Asking for more info on how and where to vote, or where to drop your ballot doesn’t mean you’re dance’n in the dark. On the contrary, it could mean you just want to get it right, so you can finally move past the rhetoric and move on to the results.
Important because asking for help doesn’t mean we’re not ready. On the contrary, it means we’re ready to move on.
If we wasted money the way we waste time, we’d all be busted, broke and bankrupt!
Important because we can always make more money!
(Inspired by experience)
Of course it’s about the journey!
But “The Journey” sounds like a Sunday drive in the park, a pleasant Hawaiian holiday, or cruising up Highway 1 with the top down, listening to “Panama!”
That popular comment is usually made after someone slams into brick wall and a supportive friend tenderly says, “don’t forget, it’s all about the journey!”
Why don’t they say the truth? “Don’t forget, it’s all about the bumpy Jeep ride through the forbidden jungle of doom!” Or, “it’s all about the rubber raft ride up the root canal.” Or better said, “it’s all about a glorious quest, fighting an unbeatable foe, and dreaming an impossible dream!”
Important because while “the journey” promises an experience, which promises a boost in knowledge and wisdom, a “glorious quest” promises adventure, achievement, and a march into hell for a heavenly cause…no matter how hopeless, no matter how far!
The Los Angeles Lakers just won the NBA Championship! It’s like a Grammy for best group vocal. It’s like an Emmy for best series ensemble. It’s like an Oscar for best picture, and it’s like winning the World Series. And LeBron James also won the MVP award. It’s like being voted best artist of the year.
King James joined the NBA right out of high school at age 18 (he’s now 35). He’s played 17-seasons, and 14 have gone to the playoffs. He just became the all-time leading scorer in the history of the NBA playoffs, surpassing Michael Jordan for the top spot, and he broke his best friend Kobe’s record for most career points scored. He also has four world championship rings, and he’s not done yet.
During a postgame interview LeBron was overwhelmed with lights, cameras, reporters…and emotion. And when asked what motivates him to keep playing, keep pushing, keep climbing, and keep reaching for that brass ring when he already has so many of them? King James paused, and then said, “The thing that motivates me the most is doubt.”
He went on to say that he reads all the reviews about how great he is, and what a champion he is, and how he has become the greatest player of all time. But he said deep down inside he doesn’t feel that way. He still has the same feelings he had when he was a kid shooting hoops in the park. “That some day I’ll make it. But not today, I still have more to learn. I still need to improve.” He said that doubt motivates him to work harder to be a better player, a better teammate, and a better man.
Important because for whatever reason, it’s hard to get that our heros have doubt, or they procrastinate, or they question their talents or abilities. We place our heroes one level above ourselves, and then we are surprised when they reveal a side of themselves that is well…just like us. And the more you listen to the acceptance speeches of actors, musicians and champions, the more you realize that doubt follows artists & treps around like a fly on honey. A reminder to all of us, that the main ingredient in the DNA of every artist and entrepreneur is honey.
“Me and all my friends
We’re all misunderstood,
They say we stand for nothing and
There’s no way we ever could,
Now we can see everything that’s going wrong
With the world and those who lead it,
We just feel like we don’t have the means
To rise above and beat it.
So we keep waiting (waiting),
Waiting on the world to change,
We keep on waiting (waiting),
Waiting on the world to change”
— John Mayer 2006.
That song reached number 1 on Billboard’s Hot Adult Contemporary chart, and remained there for over a year. It is Mayer’s most successful single to date (both in sales and chart positions).
When you listen closely to the lyrics of the song, it’s spooky. They are as profound today as they were in 2006. In fact, more profound today. That’s the difference between something good and something great. The moment greatness is recognized by the herd, it jettisons to the top of the heap, and stays there indefinitely. Doesn’t matter if it’s a song, screenplay, video, book, performance or product. If it’s great, word spreads fast and we all clamor for more.
Important because throughout history, even in the darkest of times, people were inspired and enriched and often dependent on art to help get them through tough times. And thank God we have an abundance of great art and plenty of outspoken, higher-conscious artists & treps, like you, to help us get us through the tough times we face today.
“Hi diddle dee dee, an actor’s life for me,
A pot of gold in a sea of glee,
It’s great to be a celebrity,
Hi diddle dee dee, an actor’s life for me!”
—Song from the 1940 Disney movie, Pinocchio.
Sorry Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio was right: The independent life of an artist/trep is truly an extraordinary, worthwhile adventure. Actually, a lifetime career in any area of entertainment is more like a magnificent, meaningful mission. A mission that is filled with unpredictable chutes & ladders, which lead to an illusive, ungraspable brass ring. Like the song says, it’s a great life, and the only life for you and me!
That said, every single minute of every single day during this dark time, we have the choice to either sit it out and watch, wonder and wait for our industry to recover and our lives to reset. Or, we can re-adjust our focus, modify our circumstances, and start making the tough choices and decisions that will ultimately manifest our own new future. Not like Marvel fantasies or Disney magic. More like every wobbly stand we take, and every uncertain choice we make sets off a chain reaction of interrelated events that ultimately link together and determine the outcome of our goals and dreams. No wonder people are always so fascinated by, and in awe of artist & entrepreneurs!
Important because while you’re manifesting your destiny be sure you are registered to vote!
The problem is not that you’re not talented enough. In fact, by now, you’ve probably mastered your craft, and your level of talent far exceeds the level at which you are currently playing. The real problem is a personal, deep-seated trepidation that has always stopped you from going any further, playing any bigger or making it to the pinnacle of your particular profession. And if you’re not willing to take the plunge into the deep end of the pool and discover what it is that’s really blocking the road forward, then you’ll forever be parked on the side of the road where you’re sitting right now, which for some may be further down the road than others.
Important because where most people stop has less to do with gatekeepers, management, timing, age or connections, and more to do with some long-standing, deeply personal reluctance to advance to “the bigs.” And now is the perfect time, while we’re in the midst of this pandemic, and while our awesome industry is in the midst of reinventing itself, that you could take steps to reinvent yourself too. Only from the inside out! Perhaps you could go deep with a trusted confidant, a reputable coach, or a personal consultant. Anyone but you! Because the last person you should consult with about this is you!
Someday, it will happen. At least that’s what we tell ourselves. It’s the mantra of every artist/entrepreneur: “Work hard, never quit, and someday I’ll get there.”
Back in the day, it was the gatekeepers that got in our way. More recently, it’s the challenge of mind-numbing, non-stop, exponential technology, and the total transformation of our entire industry, caused by the disruption from the global pandemic.
However, for an aging artist or entrepreneur it’s the challenge of time—the push to achieve our big goals & dreams before we run out of gas. Many artists & treps find themselves growing older with an ever increasing fear that the biggest opportunities have already passed them by, and the only thing left to do is settle-in or toss the towel. To others it’s no longer about getting there, it’s now about staying there. Even the word “dinosaur” has shifted from a jurassic zoo animal, to a personal insult to anyone approaching 50.
That said, I think the biggest time-wasting mistake we make is waiting; waiting for the economy to turn around, waiting for a vaccine, waiting for new leadership, waiting for the kids to grow, waiting for the phone to ring, waiting for an offer, waiting for things to return to normal, or waiting for that breeze to blow in, and that ol’ second wind comes along!
Important because maybe it’s as simple as changing our mantra, from “What’s in it for me?” to “How can I continue to be relevant and offer my best work, to those who continue to want it?” Truth is, you may not have an audience of 100k, but you still have an audience. Your video may not get a million views, bit you still have viewers. Your company may not have 50k customers, but you still have customers.
In the meantime, Elton John continues to shout his own timeless mantra from the mountaintop: “I’m still Standing, better than I ever did, Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid.”
This year, for many, Rosh Hashanah will be acknowledged without the close embrace of family. Perhaps, making it an even more profound experience, since it is a time of personal introspection and private reflection. Kinda like when you’re sailing in the ocean at sunset, and no one else is in sight…not even land, when your mind starts to deconstruct the day as it slowly reconstructs a new tomorrow.
And as an independent, crazy, creative artist/entrepreneur, reconstructing a new tomorrow is what you do best. And only you can motivate yourself to get up in the morning and construct something that matters. Then, at the end of the day, at sunset, it’s only you who truly knows what creative angst you’ve been through that day, what “inner” battles you’ve won or lost, who or what has challenged your efforts, and whether or not you caved in to resistance and vacillation, or stood your ground and followed your truth.
Important because this extraordinary, creative, independent, life we’ve chosen is truly all about self-motivation, self-dependence, self-discipline, self-confidence, self-validation and self-awareness. And Rosh Hashanah is the perfect time to take a solo dive at the deep end of the pool and rehash our failures, rethink our wins, and reload our impossible goals…whether we’re Jewish or not.
Whatever pisses us off is precisely what we should be chopping away at (not chipping)!
Like a great idea that can’t catch fire, an annoying problem that won’t go away, a project (or a career) that’s been stalled in its tracks, or a critical breakdown in need of a triumphant breakthrough.
Important because unfortunately, it often takes getting pissed to make right an obvious wrong, or to bring to life a worthy idea.
Inspired by civil rights activist Helen Singleton
My art teacher told me, “Don’t draw past the finish line. There is a point when the picture is done. Be careful not to over design it.”
Makes me think:
Don’t over compose the song.
Don’t over write the story.
Don’t over sell your righteous opinion.
Don’t over think your big problems.
As crazy, genius, artists & entrepreneurs, we are all victims of the last minute whims of our inner muse. Just when we think our best work or great idea is finally ready to launch she offers yet another option, another new idea, another POV. And as beautiful as our muse is, her ONLY job is to consistently feed us unlimited options, NOT to tell us when the project is finished or the job is done.
Important because I think being aware and conscious of where the finish line is, is just as important as knowing how to cross it (whether it’s in our work or personal life).
We set goals, make plans, and with great enthusiasm proclaim our boldest intentions to the universe (and those around us): “this I shall do!”
Then we allow paltry distractions to rob our focus, divert our attention and easily tempt us off course, leaving our “bold goals” stalled on the sidelines. Do this too often and we’ll never reach our destination…ever.
Important because we are fools to forget what really matters, as distractions abound and time goes by…
It doesn’t matter if you’re a songwriter, a screenwriter, an artist or a CEO, if you want to make something happen, take a minute and answer these five simple questions:
1) What must happen in your life, career or business?
2) Why do you think it must happen? Why else?
3) How will it happen? How else?
4) Who will be the one(s) to make it happen?
5) When will it happen?
Important because nothing will happen until you resolve these questions.
It’s hard to remain motivated and excited about our big goals and future dreams when there are so many exciting and thrilling nightmares happening all around us!
That said, here are a few reminders that you may have forgotten in the heat & hoopla of these challenging times:
— Progress, growth and success are simply a consequence, an upshot, a byproduct of relentlessly doing the work.
— It’s what we are not doing that could move the dial and make a difference. It’s the confronting work we resist that could produce the breakthrough we so desperately crave.
— Change is not a sin. Denying it is.
— Procrastination can be ass-kicked! At any moment we have the power to quit a mind-numbing, time-crunching, useless habit and choose where to give our complete attention.
— Your Choice: Stand up on your own two feet and declare, “this I shall do!” Or, continue to vacillate in indecision and wallow in the mire.
— Behind every great jaw-dropping success there’s an artist or entrepreneur who faced a difficult internal struggle at a critical moment of choice: choose risk, and possibly become a legend. “Flinch” and possibly become an unexceptional footnote.
Important because in the heat of the hoopla, never forget who you are as a crazy, creative genius. And lean on all the experiences you’ve had, the knowledge you’ve acquired, the talents and skills you’ve learned, and your unique ability to create, invent or dance your way out of any crummy situation.
Right in front of us, staring us right in the face, is an entertainment industry that is currently in the process of intentionally disrupting itself; rethinking, reinventing, reimagining and rebuilding a 21st century global show business aimed toward world domination. And there are crazy, committed showbiz geniuses with unlimited resources, who are right now gazing into a future beyond the pandemic, and building a bigger, stronger, more tolerant, more profitable and more (politically) influential industry. And while the dazed and doubtful scratch their heads and wonder what to do next, those crazy committed showbiz geniuses are at work extending their reach, forming partnerships, growing global relationships, improving and refining the craft of making great entertainment, in all it’s forms, and hunting and gathering compelling, impactful content to produce, record and distribute to a prepped, primed and eager global audience.
Also, right in front of all of us artists & treps, starring us right in the face, is an unexpected chance to move forward. A chance to move up. To define our new normal. To return to our work with a renewed purpose; a chance to begin producing, performing and writing songs, scores, screenplays, scripts and visual content that reflect the plight of our times and the mixed feelings and jumbled emotions that we, and all of those around us (and in the world) are experiencing today.
If ever there was a time to be involved, entangled and embedded in a career in show business, today is that time. And you should be proud and excited to be part of it. And you should take advantage of these unprecedented, historical times to step up your game, master the new elements of your craft, and study, research and learn every aspect of our new, expanding entertainment empire.
Important because throughout history, even in the darkest of times, people were inspired and enriched and often dependent on art to help get them through tough times. Not just as an entertainment experience, more like a spiritual uplifting. And I think all artists, entrepreneurs and crazy, wealthy showbiz geniuses are being called up to a higher purpose at this time of global darkness. Not like a heavy responsibility, more like a profound opportunity.
Wall Street says, “The trend is your friend.”
But the buck doesn’t stop there. Whatever the trend is it will continue in your life until YOU alter its course.
If money and good fortune gravitates to you, most likely it will continue.
If inspiration, creativity, and good ideas easily bubble up for you, chances are they will continue.
If you enjoy the company of many friends, that trend will continue.
If good health always follows you around, it’s very likely that will continue too.
It’s not about being lucky, it’s about being aware.
Important because unlike the stock market where you are at the mercy of social, cultural, industrial, political and global trends, YOU are in control of directing or redirecting the predictable trends in your creative career and independent lifestyle.
In the past five months of the Covid lockdown I’ve Zoomed with lots of clients, friends, family, artists, treps and geniuses. The only person I haven’t Zoomed with yet is Billy Zoom! Here’s what I’ve learned:
If you Zoom with musicians you’ll learn that practice is paramount, success is illusive, who you know is everything, and if your audience can’t come to see you perform, you should figure out creative ways to bring, stream or present your live performance to them.
If you Zoom with actors you’ll learn how to bond with your agent, live with rejection, and embrace home-casting and self-taped auditions. You’ll also learn the true value of Masterclass!
If you Zoom with graphic illustrators or painters you’ll learn about that deep compelling tug that provokes pro artists to create with total abandon. Then you’ll be envious.
If you Zoom with a screenwriter you’ll learn more about creating a great pitch than creating a great character.
If you Zoom with agents or managers you’ll learn more about behavioral development than career development.
If you Zoom with an Attorney you’ll walk away pondering “what if” for the rest of the day.
If you Zoom with a business owner you’ll realize why tiny beads of sweat dance on their upper lip when they try to explain why it’s not working.
If you Zoom with a marketing expert you’ll long for the good ‘ol dinosaur days when simple magazine advertising worked.
Important because we should Zoom with artists & treps who are looking forward to trying new ways of doing old things. We should avoid Zooming with people who can’t wait for things to go back to the way they were.