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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Universal Need for Artists: Business Know-How


I just read a blog post by Fractured Atlas (FA) where they give information from a survey they sponsored on the universal needs of artists. Not surprising, “Business Skills” were a part of that list:

7) Need for business and managerial skills – Many artists feel disempowered when dealing with the business aspects of their career, because they have not been given a cursory education in this field of knowledge. They want to better understand the “fog of business,” in order to confidently chart their path and navigate their journey.

This is exactly why I created The Actors’ Enterprise- I felt there was an immense need for business support for actors, and I wanted to create a service that filled a niche and made a difference in the artistic community and the community at large.

Then, FA followed up the article with a second article about how business needs vary based on level of experience.

Emerging Artists feel like they know how to make art, but are ignorant about the operations and infrastructure of their own industry. They don’t know what it really takes to be a working artist... They feel the lack of information is very disempowering and causes a perceived loss of control. Therefore, emerging artists especially want an education in industry structure, functions, vocabulary, and norms; which can be a source of empowerment and create a sense of career control.

Established Artists need help getting “unstuck”, overcoming worries about peaking, taking control of their careers, taking actions toward getting the next gig, managing their “brand”, getting emotional support when their social network changes, and overcoming the negative aspects of the industry.

The Actors’ Enterprise does similar work on a private (one-on-one) basis- which allows for detailed support and service no matter what level the actor is starting from. I specialize in helping both beginning actors chart their first course, and veteran actors who feel stuck and want support getting to the next level. I am so very passionate about empowering actors, and my low rates and community-minded service reflect this passion and commitment.

Fractured Atlas was publishing this information for their own purposes- they are a non-profit service organization for artists and arts organizations. They are looking to improve their services and are using this survey to strengthen their programming. They have other wonderful services as well- access to health insurance, grants for self-producing artists and umbrella non-profit support. This is especially useful if you are planning on starting your own theater company.

The lesson to be learned here is that ACTORS WANT ACCESS TO BUSINESS TOOLS AND INFORMATION. And very few companies offer this kind of service. Luckily, companies like TAE and FA are here to give it to you!

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