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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO VANDAL RAPTOR? UK tour
Say Owt @ Deer Shed Festival, 21st July
Say Owt @ Great Yorkshire Fringe, York: 25th July
Working Title, Lancaster, 26th July
Nerd Punk, Edinburgh fringe @Banshee Labyrinth 19.50 13th August
Poetry Jam, Durham: 4th October
Thursday, 14 September 2017
For a long time I think I bought into the myth, prevalent in the Arts for sure, one day you will 'make it'. You will be the actor/writer/director that you idolise. I sometimes feel, far even beyond politicians, that artists are placed on pedestals. Glorification.
There's a constant phrase bandied around that your energy + time + money will 'pay off'. Well, not always. Some people are just in the right place, and right time. Some people are thrown opportunities at them. Some people have to work twice as hard because their have the world stacked against them in a sexist/racist/classist/ablist world. Sometimes you work hard in the wrong direction. Like a wonky swimmer splashing in the wrong direction: land was off to the east. Sorry, you spent hours swimming to the west and nothing but emptiness.
I wrote about this in another blog about The Land Of Should. Expectations and assumptions are not always healthy for artists. I should be getting paid gigs, I should be working on an album I should be getting up earlier, I should be healthier, I should be better.
And, yes, if you do put a lot of energy into a task you will get better. Practising guitar or a new language. Getting better at free-writing, getting better at learning poems, getting better at mic technique. But career-wise, it's trickier. We talk of 'paying off' like it's a reward. It has its origins as a gambling term from 1905, only in 1951 recorded as meaning 'to be profitable'. The greasy hint of money hovers around the phrase.
When does something 'pay off'? 2 weeks? 5 years? When you hit 30? When you don't worry about money anymore? When you've impressed our 12-year old selves? When you've impressed your parents? When you win the Nobel Prize for Literature?
Essentially, I think there's a difference between a 'goal' and a 'reward' and a 'pay-off'. Rewards imply you are given something for your service or attitude or achievement. There's a power structure (maybe with Christian undertones) that someone with more authority 'rewards' you. I don't like that very much. Goals can be small Goals can be achievable.
So the 'payoff' in a film is when you stick it out, and then something much more exciting happens at the climax. You paid into the film, and the payoff is the end result of your attention. But of course the whole time you are making and working should be a ups and downs and waves and slumps of experiences, not a journey leading to one single point.
I guess this is one of the lessons I need to learn for myself, and use this blog to remind myself: The arts are bloody hard. Don't expect anyone to hand you anything just because you did work in the past. Just because your CV is impressive. Just because you have put loads of time, energy and money into your projects doesn't mean at some fixed point there will be a specific, financial, appreciative career payoff where someone gives you ALL the commissions and ALL the awards and ALL the gigs and ALL the respect. There is no magical point.
It's a road, not a upwards climb to a plateau. But, along this road are many celebrations, victories and successes. Try to acknowledge them.
Monday, 4 September 2017
I was going to post a link to an article, but all you need to do is google 'student mental health' for a whole heap of stats which may be hard, if somewhat unsurprising, viewing.