As a performer the stage is your home. You feel like the you-est version of you when you’re under the bright lights, music echoing around you as the crowd reacts. However, despite the stereotype that you can either be artistic or business-minded, your talent doesn’t exclude your from showing off your shrewd and strategic side within your own creative business.
Creatives have an unfair rep for being all about the beauty and leaving the boring business stuff to others, but no matter how whimsical your medium, you need some business savvy to make sure you don’t end up yet another starving artist. In last month’s blog, we explored what it takes to turn your talent as a performer into a fully-fledged career. Making the leap from performer to businesswoman requires similar things – you need dedication and an acceptance that it won’t all be fun and games – but the biggest difference is a shift in your perspective.
As a performer, you’re primarily focused on what you contribute as an individual and how your performance feeds into the bigger picture. However, when you’re running a creative business, you have to consider the needs and aspirations of your entire team and make decisions that will benefit the company as a whole. This can be a challenging adjustment, but it’s an incredibly rewarding one, as you can directly see the impact you have on the lives and careers of your fellow artists.
When you take up the challenge of becoming a businesswoman, you have to start thinking about things like the marketing, finances and logistics as well as the performance aspect of your work, which changes your relationship with the art form itself. You’re no longer simply the vessel through which art is expressed because you now have the added responsibility of creating the conditions for art to thrive.
And while that responsibility can be daunting, it also comes with creative control. When you run your own creative business, you get to share your artistic vision with the world through every performance. You can let your imagination run wild as you explore the possibilities, resulting in something memorable, original and alive. You also get to decide on your own standards, define your creative business philosophy and determine what good looks like for you and your team. This can help raise the bar for the industry as a whole, and in turn, shape and influence the next generation of performers.
Most of all, making the leap from performer to businesswoman is about freedom. Professional freedom to work how you want. Creative freedom to invent how you like. Personal freedom to be your own boss and do what feels right to you in the moment. It establishes longevity for creative minds who have outgrown the lycra and late nights and it’s a great way to build legacy in the hyper-competitive world of entertainment that extends far beyond the final curtain call.
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