Tag Archives: art

Oh maturity…

…why do you show up now, when I could’ve used your lessons a full decade ago?

(answer: You did. I wasn’t listening. Whoops.)

I don’t have any real bitch about growing wiser and older simultaneously. Heck, I’m one of the lucky ones – someone who makes a living in a field for which I feel a strong attraction & affection. But the field wasn’t my first choice – in fact, my audition was a bit of a Hail Mary pass. How very fortunate I was to have been given an entré! And how hard I’ve worked to stay in, stay relevant, find the niche that most closely reflects my affinities and talents.

I stumbled across this article in Fast Company that resonates with me, about choosing “must” over “should.” When we opt for “should,” the author Elle Luna argues, we choose other’s views of us. When we choose must, we choose our own unique path.

Should is how others want us to show up in the world–how we’re supposed to think, what we ought to say, what we should or shouldn’t do. When we choose Should the journey is smooth, the risk is small.

Must is different.

Must is who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self.

(Side note: am I the only one whose heart says a little cheer when big business recognizes wisdom from the arts community? Because HOORAY!)

We all have the opportunity to decide how “must” and “should” manifest in our daily life. I’m going to try to listen to that small voice a little more closely this week. Join me.

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It’s so difficult to represent ourselves accurately on paper. When you’re trying to move from a performance résumé to an academic CV, or from the professional world to academia, or from performing to the non- or for-profit worlds, it’s hard to reframe experiences in a way that makes sense.

Linda Essig has a lovely outline for artists trying to put together a CV for academia. It makes sense to me – what do you think?

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Profile Friday Roundup

Greetings from San Francisco! (I bet that curtain weighs hundreds of pounds...)

As I try to acclimate myself to the west coast (it’s been three days and I’m finally waking up at 5:30am, rather than 4am. Progress!), I hope you’ll skim through the profiles that we’ve featured here over the last few months.

(Listed in order of appearance.)

Mark Bradley Miller

James Lynn

Melissa Collom

Joseph Craig

Jennifer Empie

Tonya McKinny

Sean McAuliffe

Kim Pensinger Witman

Tracy Cherpeski

Vic Muenzer

Stephen Brody

Annie Burridge

Tom Wright

Peter Zimmerman

Gia-Ninh Chuang

At the very least, there are some salient points to be taken from each of these journeys. At best – and that’s personally where I think these stories and intentions belong – they’re tales of discernment and courage.








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One of the great things about school in the arts is that, at an amazingly impressionable and optimistic age, we’re suddenly surrounded with people interested in the same things were are – but who often have wildly different backgrounds and preferences. Conversations can traverse light years, bouncing from pop culture to Nietzsche to a musical theater melody to dreams to memories to expectations in mere minutes. We’re consuming information and putting it together almost as nimbly as we did as small children…navigating the way our worlds worked, learning how to communicate. And the more disparate influences we have? The more interesting our projects become.

I find myself nowadays using that interest in a million things to multitask just to get the mundane things completed. Work, laundry, feeding myself and my family and making sure All Of The Things get done. Creative? Only in the ways I save a few pennies or streamline my errand running or trips up the stairs. (Yawn. I might’ve just bored myself to sleep.) So I’m drawn to this graphic note by Nick Cave.

I started googling the names I didn’t know (and I’ll be honest, I have many many more to go) and wondering whether the smudges were made by condensation from a glass? Tears seem too sentimental, but maybe?

I’ll be honest, I thought that I was going to contrast this idea with this OpEd piece in the Times written by David Byrne’s daughter Malu, a glass sculptor (!) and jewelry maker. She writes about needing to leave the city to really access her creativity. And I thought here! Here is an example of conflicting advice! The constant barrage of cross-pollination versus quiet inspiration. Genius!

But that wasn’t so much the focus of her writing.

She says that in the city there are too many distractions; the amount of non-creative work needed to sustain an artistic lifestyle; the cramped spaces; and the constant stimulus allow for very little time for reflection or incorporation. She is seeking out a new area from which to create, to find her individual voice.

So, she’s not running away from the connections, but is running to find a space in which to process them…in which she can actually create.

A crowded page. A bucolic landscape. Why not both?

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