CSDC alumna Grace Lamberson is our guest blogger again today, continuing her advice to student artists.
My second bit of advice (which applies to any career in the arts):
Anytime you go to a talkback or ask an actor questions about how they became an actor, they always give some super vague reply about how everybody is different and it just kind of fell into their laps.
Stop asking artists how they became artists because literally NOBODY KNOWS. There are many other ways to get inside of a house besides the front door. Between where you are now and where you want to be is a blank space, and you are not going to know what will happen. So, don’t compare your journey to that of other successful individuals or even to your friends’ journeys. No path is exactly the same.
This is all you need to do: live your life. Seek out things that you enjoy. Never ever stop learning and educating yourself. Meet as many people as possible. Be kind and professional to everyone you meet. And do what you love. And find new things to love!
Most of the ways that people get work in the art industry is through connections. You meet someone and two years later they call you up and say, “Hey, we are doing this show, and I think you might be a good fit for this part. Come on over and audition this weekend.” You audition and you get the part. You did not know that show existed or that this person would give you this opportunity. You just lived your life, and when the time was right, things fell into place.
It’s good to have a general idea of where you want to be in the future, but please, please, please don’t stress out about how you are going to get there. It’s not like being an accountant….
What are the steps to become an accountant?
1) Go to college.
2) Get a degree in accounting.
3) Get a job in accounting.
Boom. There you go. You’re an accountant.
How do you become an artist? Well ummm . . .
1) Make art.
2) Make bad art.
3) Make better art.
4) Find other people that make art.
5) Make more art.
6) Life is art.
There you go! You are an artist!
The life of an artist is a loop-de-loop rollercoaster of non-linear progress and inconsistent/unpredictable outcomes. The more you stress out about where you want to be, the more you are going to be miserable.
Young people have this immense pressure to know what they want to do and achieve and to have some great big plan of how they’re gonna get it. And then they have a lot of impatience. Much of the stress of being a teenager is fear of the future and trying to figure out what you are doing. It’s all a lie. Adults don’t even know what they’re doing. Some people don’t find their career until they are 40.
Stay present. Make a habit of staying in the present, and every time your brain goes, “What about this thing . . .?“ you just tell it, “Shhhhh, not right now. That’s not important.” ‘Cause it’s not!
To summarize: hang out with your buddies, enjoy making theatre, and be kind! CSDC allows you to be the most crazy, weird, imaginative kid you can be, and there’s no better place to unleash it!