Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sustaining a career when you're not 25

This article, courtesy of Nsaa, brings up something very close to home for me. There are so many different opportunities available for those 25 and under to develop and flourish, yet relatively little for mid-career artists or those coming to the theatre later in life.

I didn't choose to dedicate myself to theatre until I was 30, which meant there's been a lot of development doors that have been closed to me over the years. I think of my friend who is nearing 60 who has a talent for the stage but feels there's no way she can make it happen for her. And then there are so many playwrights who quit theatre in the prime of their careers (Jason Sherman immediately comes to mind) because they're not making a living at it. Amongst all the celebration of the young artist, what about support for the rest of us? I'd love to see some suggestions.

4 comments:

Obsidian Theatre said...

I really don't like the phrase "emerging artists'. It implies that everything coming out of the cocoon must be pretty. How about "young in craft". That way age doesn't matter but your time in craft does.

Philip

Aaron Talbot said...

Orson Welles was 25 when he directed Citizen Kane.

Sam Beckett was 42 when he wrote Waiting for Godot.

Age means nothing. The work is what remains.

lindsay said...

I feel sometimes, actually most of the time, it's not the artists just starting out who need support, it's those us in our thirties and forties, trying to sustain a career.

There are a myriad of contests and opportunities for those under thirty. What about over thirty?

And how to survive? Research niche markets (the high school market has been very, very kind to me. Bought me a house)

Figure out how social media can work to your advantage without sucking up all your time.

And learn how to promote yourself. We're not just the writer any longer....

MK Piatkowski said...

Phillip, love "young in craft" - I'll have to start using it.

Aaron, absolutely agree. Age shouldn't make a difference. Practically however, there are many more avenues for you if you're a young artist.

Lindsay, absolutely agree. Still trying to make this social networking work without eating up all my time (didn't happen today). I think you're right, niche markets have to be the way for those over 30 to make things happen.

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