Twenty five years ago standing in grand central station I was attempting to board a train to Darien, CT. I was a working actor hired for a production of Evita and although it was a union theater, it was outside of Manhattan and I was required to pay my own travel expense. I walked over to the ATM beside the main staircase to pull out cash to purchase a ticket and my card was rejected; I didn’t have enough money in my account. I slouched down on the grand stairway and began to cry. Without the money to travel to work, how was I able to work to pay for the ticket?
What in my mindset allowed me to take a job for so little money it couldn’t even cover my travel?
For a long time I was stuck in the belief to be a true artist meant to be a starving, struggling one.
Where did that come from? Rarely do we think of creatives as wealthy or even successful. Jokes are cracked about how you’ll never make a career in the arts, humanities, or for God’s sakes the theater! Growing up I heard from well meaning counselors, teachers, friends, and even my parents that I had better have something to fall back on. Perhaps I should be a lawyer, instead! That was a favorite. I can’t even tell you the number of times I would get a disparaging look from someone I met when I told them I was an actor. They’d laugh and offer the condescending, “Oh, yeah… what restaurant?”
There are tons of examples of very successful and monied artists and yet culturally we pretend they are an anomaly. There are people across the globe making steady money as artists and creative entrepreneurs. Still, at the time I believed the stories I was told. That moment in Grand Central Station was my turning point.
Twenty five years later as a successful creative, I’m tired of hearing this false narrative. As a community It’s time to shift. It takes all of us. And I’m ready to take on the charge. Are you?
A great creativity practice is that of abundance. In the abundance theory there is a mindset that views the universe as offering us endless possibilities.You’ve probably heard of the law of attraction from the book and film The Secret. You think about a car and suddenly you receive one, is the famous take away. That is really only part of the story. The part that is missing is action. You can wish to be a life sustaining creative artist but without the act of doing, nothing will change. The universe rewards ACTION, so as creatives it is VITALLY important we take some. We must move past the anxiety, fears, depression, procrastination, and laziness of distraction and and into the art of creation and yes, marketing. You must sell yourself. "My work will speak for itself” is utter B.S. and a sure way to keep you stuck. There is so much noise out there, how do you stand out? That is part of your work as a modern day artist.
Here is how you start:
Stop doing work for free. You must be paid something. Flourishing artists know this to be true. An energy exchange must occur. Learn your worth and wait to be paid that rather than selling out early to the lowest bidder.
Take jobs that support your art. Many starving artists believe they should do only one thing. We no longer live in that kind of economy. All truly successful artists are business people and all successful business people will tell you to maintain multiple streams of income.
Start collaborating with others. All successful people are surrounded by other successful people. Like energy attracts like energy.
And finally, stop worrying about money and start believing it’s here for you. Worrying about money brings about more worry. Meditate, visualize, change your vibrational thought patterns around money and abundance. The story doesn’t change until you change the story.
Your mindset can only be affected by others if you allow it to be. A large aspect of your job as a creative artist is to trust yourself and keep your vibration at optimal performance level.
The train to financial abundance and freedom is leaving Grand Central. I’m getting on that one way with a golden ticket, are you?