Following on from the thoughts about being a freelancer, the issue of being strategic in taking on projects also comes to mind. If a performing artist chooses to build a strong track record in his or her field, he or she needs to go through a wide range of experiences on the way. Is the aim of this way of working to simply have the rubber stamp of approval or validation from being involved in many processes, or should it be about expanding one’s expressive range?
Nowadays, one can’t automatically make assumptions about the motivations of individual performing artists. There is no doubt that the terms of reference have changed in the last few decades and there is nothing wrong with individuals wanting to have comfortable personal lives. The key issue that many of us sometimes forget in our rush to get the next well paying job is what the arts are actually for.
One very successful actor described working in theatre as a sort of gym for building strength in a performer’s muscles. Is it possible that many performers don’t realise that it is usually discipline and dedication to craft that pays dividends in luminosity and successful personal branding? The same can be said for musicians or dancers working in whichever genre they choose or find themselves in.
There are also issues to be considered around one’s ambitions as a creative or interpretative artist (or both). Being watchful for opportunities and making the most of them are sensible things to do. Having an overview on what one aims to do in the field is probably of more importance.
Does the overview need to remain the same through the years? This is a question that can only be answered by each individual, but the usefulness of what we have to offer cannot be easily defined in the short term.