In this latest podcast episode, we hear Anthem Salgado’s interview on David J. Diamond’s radio show. The program, “Satisfying Careers in Show Business,” explores the questions about how to create the artistic career that you want for yourself. Twice a month, guests take your questions and share news and information about what is happening in the performing arts.
David J. Diamond is a theatre consultant, producer and career coach for theatre artists. As a career coach, David works with individual theatre artists assisting them in goal setting, strategizing and actively pursuing their chosen career. Clients include directors, actors, designers, playwrights, musicians, visual artists, administrators and producers.
Mentioned in this episode:
- David J. Diamond, career coaching for artists
- Satisfying Careers in Show Business
- Theatre Communications Group
- La Mama, experimental theater
- Blue Avocado
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David Diamond: Hello good afternoon, good evening, good morning, wherever you are in the world I welcome you to Satisfying Careers in Show Business, a unique radio show here on International Life Coach Radio. We could alternatively call it creating your life as an artist. We also call today’s program Art of Hustle, Marketing the Artist. Our special guest this week is Anthem Salgado who runs the company Art of Hustle. And he will share his wealth of experience about how artists can put themselves out into the world in authentic ways. This is a place where you can participate in a conversation about working in this field, about being an artist and about having the kind of life that you find satisfying and fulfilling. I’m David Diamond, a theater artist, teacher, and career coach for artists. For those of you who don’t know me you will find a longer bio and more information about upcoming projects on my website, www.davidjdiamond.com. I’m continually fascinated by the variety of paths taken by artists as they navigate through their careers. Why do some people find it a struggle and for other people, they can find joy in it every day and make the progress they want to make in a rewarding and satisfying way? I want you to know, all you listeners that you are welcomed here and your ideas and comments and questions are welcomed whether you’re interested in creative endeavors, whether you consider yourself an artist, a teacher, an administrator, whether you’re a producer, a student, an audience member, an observer, whatever your age, affiliation, lifestyle or relationship to the arts you’re welcomed here and your input is encouraged. I began this show a couple of months ago to provide a place for those of us who are pursuing careers in the arts can share their issues, problems, insights, solutions, and ideas with others in our community. It can be a really lonely business, or it can seem like that sometimes. Not everyone else out there understands what it takes to live a creative lifestyle, not always knowing which direction to move in to get where you want to go. This is a place where you can talk about going on in your career, what the challenges are and where your colleagues and our guests may call in with their comments and suggestions. Our telephone lines are always open. During the next hour Anthem and I will be taking your calls and moderating a conversation between you, us, and your other colleagues calling in who may be in different countries. I understand I have an international listenership which is great, different time zones, that’s definitely true, different states of mind, but what we all share, I hope, is the desire to create the most satisfying life we can doing the work that we love. So to ask a question or make a comment call 1-347-637-1960, so that’s US, meaning one or plus one if you’re outside of the country 347-637-1960. You can also send a private chat by clicking on the chat button on the right side of your computer screen and ask questions there as well. 1-347-637-1960 and share your point of view. Okay, so I am really proud and happy to introduce Anthem Salgado to all of you. If you don’t know him Anthem founded professional development program and web brief source Art of Hustle, which provides training and consulting for independent artists, creative entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organization. He focuses on marketing, helping maximize on referral building, social media, and cogeneration opportunities. His experience spans 15 years across industries including art, education, nightlife, cultural and community affairs, and more. He’s been employed to market the programs that intersection for the arts, Kearny Street workshops, Center for Asian American Arts, Kularts Inc., and Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center among other organizations and projects. He’s given lectures and workshops at Foundation Center, Network of Ensemble Theater Summit, UCLA, San Francisco State University, University of San Francisco, California Institute of Integral Studies, Sonoma State University, Napa Valley College, and Mills College. He appeared on many panels including those hosted by social media week, emerging arts professionals, and Asian Art Museum. His awards include Arts & Culture Fellow at Rockwood Fellowship Institute, Philippines Fulbright-Hays scholarship, Sonoma State University’s North Bay International Studies Program, Fellowship to Behance’s 99% Conference, and title of Young Leader of Color by the Theater of Communications group for those of you who didn’t know that information, that is Anthem. Welcome Anthem, I’m so glad you’re here.
Anthem: Thank you so much David. I’m thrilled to be on the air with you. I appreciate it a lot.
David Diamond: That’s great. Well I should let people know how we originally met and that was at the La Mama Umbria International Symposium for Directors, do you remember what year that was?
Anthem: I believe that was 2009, so it’s been a few years now.
David Diamond: Yeah like four, five years ago and that experience lead us both to I think appreciate what each other was doing and lead to a continuing, on going relationship. So I’ve been following your career as I can through what you’ve been sending out and I’m fascinated by how it’s changed and grown since we met at Umbria. So I was wondering if you could just start off by telling us about your own career path and with any particular places along the way where you made significant changes that maybe were unexpected.
Anthem: Well I think the whole thing has been pretty unexpected. I should probably start from the very, very beginning so people get a sense of where I’m coming from. I originally graduated from school with a visual arts degree. And as a visual artist I participated in just about every genre you can think of beginning as an illustrator, drawing and painting, dabbling a bit with photography on manual camera and film. After that toward the end of my college career I focused a lot on installation and conceptual art. And after having graduated from college I found myself hanging out with a lot of cultural workers, social justice folks. And a lot of them doubled as poets. So at that point I also fancied myself a writer and a poet delving into prose, story, fiction, memoir, and a lot of my writing I very quickly realized was first person narrative and that became an easy segway for me towards writing and performing for theater and doing a lot of solo work on that stage so to speak. And throughout that entire span of time I supported my artistic habit with a lot of art admin work. So that was a skill set I was developing along side a lot of my creative endeavors and I feel like that really helped bring me to where I am today which is coaching and consulting for artists and art organizations. It’s that sort of project management and all that marketing insight that I’m bringing to the table these days and how I’m mostly participating in the art world today.
David Diamond: What lead you to attend the La Mama Umbria Symposium in Italy?
Anthem: My inspiration was that I was invited to perform my first full length solo show at Brava Theater in San Francisco by at the time artistic director Raelle Myrick-Hodges, and it was a really great opportunity and I was nervous as all heck and I just wanted to make sure that I had every tool available to me and I just needed to get back into my body and get loose and feel just an electricity come back to life and I really wanted to do everything I could to nurture that to make sure that whatever I ended up writing and performing on stage had the full benefit of any kind of workshop I could possibly attend leading up to it. And so the La Mama Symposium was definitely part of that process and I was also invited at that time by Daniel Banks who is somebody that I met at a PCG conference and we had a really good conversation about theater and about hip hop theater and he said, “You know if you want to come to this thing I’m actually going to be leading a portion of the workshops.” And so I figured you know what maybe this is a kind of calling and I should go, and I went. And it was an amazing experience. Really I recommend it to everybody.
David Diamond: Yeah I appreciate that. I think it can be extraordinary to learn from such a variety of artist and Daniel certainly a great artist to have as a teacher. When you work with artists these days what is the most common issue that they bring up to you as being a challenge for them?
Anthem: Fear, plain and simple it’s fear. I find a lot of people have hesitations around doing certain parts of professional work and a lot of times it’s because of the unfamiliarity that some people might have around business and marketing. And so yeah I mean plain and simple it’s fear. I could elaborate on that but I could go on for days.
David Diamond: Well I know we’d like to go into it a little bit more just in the aspect of for example somebody comes to you and they’ve never done any personal marketing and they’re afraid about it, what kinds of approaches do you find that you can use with them that make it easier for them to get past the fear?
Anthem: Well I just like to remind people that a lot of times when people have a fear around marketing it’s because they have a misconception about what it is and that they’ve placed negative value on it. And so naturally when you place negative value on something we have a sort of identity crisis around it. And we’re not going to do anything that’s not fit for our identity especially if it goes against our ethics as we have designed them. So for a lot of artists we equate marketing with advertising and of course our first thought about that is it’s evil and that it brainwashes people and that it’s the cause of so many problems in the world. And so —
David Diamond: Equating marketing with advertising equates it with evil, that’s —
Marketing is Storytelling
Anthem: Yes, exactly. And so what ends up happening is we develop a discomfort around it but I like to remind people that really marketing, the way I define it for myself and whenever I give workshops, this is how I tell people to think about it, is marketing is basically story telling and we all tell stories. I also think of marketing as a way of letting people know that the store is open so to speak meaning that there are all kinds of services and products and offers in the world that if they weren’t available to us, would it in a big way affect negatively our lives? And the one example I like to give is let’s say hospitals and doctors and all kinds of caregivers had anxiety around marketing themselves, well a lot of people would just die because we wouldn’t know how to find the people that could help us. So I like to remind artists that if there’s anything that you create that could possibly bring benefit to the world, can make someone happy, can make someone think, can engage somebody in some new and interesting ways, then really it’s our responsibility to make sure that that work gets out there. Whether someone buys into it or not becomes their decision as a potential patron but I think at the very least it’s our responsibility to get the word out. Otherwise we’re doing ourselves and the entire world a disservice by not letting people know what their options are when it comes to what art they want to take in in their own lives.
David Diamond: Wow, that’s really powerful. I like this whole idea of marketing as story telling because I think you’re right. That’s something that we as theater artists understand. We get the concept of story telling in a very significant way and I think we’re always trying to tell the most effective stories we can. So having marketing be this like way of letting people know that there’s something on offer but we’re not really forcing them or twisting their arm to take it, we’re just sort of putting it out there that it’s available right?
Anthem: Absolutely, that’s exactly it.
David Diamond: And in this kind of story telling way of thinking about marketing how do we know what’s the right story that we want to tell?
Anthem: Well there are rules to it and I think the more I’ve actually studied marketing by itself the more I’ve been able to become a strong arts marketer over all. And one of the basic rules to marketing is to remember who the protagonist in every single marketing campaign is. And I think too often because again artists don’t train themselves in this stuff. They make some beginner mistakes and those beginner mistakes can be off putting and then it reinforces this idea that we shouldn’t be doing marketing. So one of the early mistakes people make is they think that they themselves are the champion in the story that they’re telling when in reality the protagonist in every marketing campaign always has to be the patron or the customer, the person that you’re trying to get involved in your process or your project. And so it’s harder to give a super concrete example but if I can come up with a very commercial version, let’s say Nike. Nike likes to use a lot of big name athletes to promote their shoes but they’re not really saying, “Look at this amazing athlete.” The underlying message is always that you can become this amazing athlete. And so in that respect when we’re marketing our art whether it’s visual art or theater or any other kind of performance or film project, the idea is you’re always going to speak to the benefits that the participant will get from buying into your work whether literally or figuratively. And when you angle it that way, again going back to another metaphor, the doctor metaphor then it’s never really about the doctor. We don’t visit the doctor because he or she is some rock star super star doctor but we visit the doctor for our benefit. So the benefits always have to go back to the patron and if you put it that way then your marketing will be very humble, it’ll be very empathic, and ultimately it will be more meaningful because again you’re taking the focus off of you and putting it back onto the person you’re trying to engage.
David Diamond: Wow that’s a whole different way of thinking about it. That’s really, really interesting. So the protagonist is the customer.
David Diamond: I’m trying to understand. So if I was, let’s say a performance artist and I had put together a show that I wanted to let the word out about, I need to come up with a way of expressing what the patron or what the customer, audience members can get out of the experience, is that right?
Anthem: Absolutely. And I say the same thing too when I help people with copy writing for headlines for press releases, the headline should always be to the benefit of the person reading. And it goes pretty much across the board, not just in the social media or other types of campaigns but even right down to the selection of words themselves.
David Diamond: Can you give an example of that?
Anthem: So the way I look at press releases in that — when we’re writing press releases a lot of times who we’re really advertising to in that sense is the potential writer or reporter because that’s who you’re really sending it out to. You’re not really sending out your press release to the general audience. So in that respect I would say do everything you can to make the reporter’s job easier for them. So the headline should never really be about how awesome your organization is. It should really be about what is so awesome — what is going to make this writer look good if they cover the story? In that sense — so I always say if it’s the first time something is happening say so because you give that writer the opportunity to break the story. If it’s a rare opportunity or rare collaboration, then go ahead and say so whatever it is, like you’re virtually writing the story for the reporter or the critic in such a way that you’re basically giving them something that might resemble a slam-dunk. You’re basically saying here’s the story, it’s already awesome and now here’s your chance to take it and run with it. Where as if you write a press release that maybe doesn’t have that excitement built into it then they have to work extra hard to find the angle. So really what you’re doing when you’re writing a good press release is you’re giving multiple angles for the potential critics or reporter on the story. So that would be a sort of example when it comes to word smithing.
David Diamond: Great, cool. That’s interesting. So let’s say you have a show that you’re promoting and you want to get out to the press but let’s imagine for a moment that you’re an individual artist, let’s say an actor who is going on the rounds of auditions and trying to get work, what do you recommend for artists who want to use marketing of themselves as a tool to getting opportunities to work, not once they got the job but in order to get the job in the first place? Do you work with people on those issues?
Anthem: Yeah from time to time I do. And I would say in that instance website is going to play a really significant role. A lot of people surprisingly still don’t have websites or if they do, they have websites that are out of date and aren’t very current. So I would say —
David Diamond: Why is a website important first? Like why is the website important?
Curating an Experience
Anthem: Well it’s just the new standard and ultimately what it comes down to whether you’re applying for an artistic job or a regular day gig everybody is going to spy on you, see what they can find online. That’s just the way it is. That’s what we do. We Google people all the time. And so what you want to do is basically in a sense curate that experience for the person who is looking you up. And so your website is another way of letting people know who you are, what you’re capable of, what your experience is. And for the performing artist naturally you would want to have some kind of real material on your site by way of video. And so that is something to consider and I think the word that recurs is curate. You’re curating an experience. You’re basically showing your best side. And that’s what the website really allows you to do if you maintain it and use it well.
David Diamond: So give an example if you may have — what makes a good website for a then actor, director, play write, what are the elements that you encourage people to incorporate into their websites typically?
Anthem: I think one of the first words that come to mind is clean. I think too often especially for us who don’t have the expertise to make really fancy websites. Unfortunately people still go out of their way to try to make the fancy website and it never turns out well because we’re trying to go beyond our current skill level. So in lieu of having access to that kind of design expertise, I would say just keep your website as simple as possible. The name of the game is to keep really navigate-able. If I go to your site, I should find out really core information very, very quickly. I want to know how I can get in touch with you so that includes your email and or work phone number. I want to know what your biography is so that should be very easy to find. If you are any kind of artist I definitely want to see something resembling work samples. And those would be the most basic that anyone should have and then you can start to add other maybe more fancy things like testimonials or press clippings and things like that but I think in the very beginning some basic work samples, a good biography and contact information.
David Diamond: Right. How do you encourage people to drive people to their websites so they spend all this time creating this website, how do they get people to look at it?
Anthem: Well there’s a couple different ways. I think first and foremost your website should appear on all your publicity and marketing materials. So certainly on your business card and any other fliers that you might have, any printed materials definitely. And I tell people if you have more than one online presence, all your different channels and accounts should point back to your primary website. So for instance if you have a LinkedIn, if you have Twitter, if you have Facebook, if you have Tumblr, or an Instagram or any one of those sites, all of those sites, if they’re related to your art, and I’m being very specific about that. Some sites people use for personal use, then it’s not as important but those are all related to your work then they should all give people an opportunity to come back to your website. So your website should be published on all those different platforms. The other way to do it and I don’t encourage people to do this right away because you have to strategize around it and if you don’t then it becomes a really big time suck, but if you have a strategy around it then I would recommend creating a blog series for yourself which is what I’ve done and it’s really served me well over the years. But again there was a moment there where I was spending way too much time on it and not seeing the return because I wasn’t being strategic. I feel much differently about that for my own type these days so I always recommend —
David Diamond: What changed? What did you learn that changed how you used a blog in order to promote and support the other things that you’re doing?
Anthem: Well let me start with the thing that didn’t change. Blogs are great because they’re permanent content. If you write a high value, timeless material which I always try to then they don’t have an expiration date and they can live forever and people can continue to read and enjoy them and revisit them and repost them to eternity potentially. So that’s what good about blog. Some people who worry about SEO which I think in this day in age no one really should be worrying about SEO but —
David Diamond: What is that?
Anthem: Search engine optimization.
David Diamond: Oh getting your name at the top of the Google list right?
Anthem: Right. So for that a lot of people worry that their website won’t be found and I always like to tell people don’t try to game the system which is what a lot of search engine optimization experts try to sell you is a way to game the system. But I always say there is a natural, more organic, more honest way to do it and that is to always write rich content for your site. And that’s what a blog can do for you. If you are always writing about a particular topic over and over again and you’re getting lots of visits from people who enjoy and value what you’re writing then that generates very natural, very organic, very legitimate search engine optimization and I always advise people to do it slowly and more honestly that way than to try to look for the quick fix because it could turn around to bite you down the road when algorithm changes and it does from time to time. So those are the good things about blogging. The bad things about blogging is that if you’re writing all the time you might only be focusing too much in one department of your company. So I like to tell people, artists and organizations that for any company to survive typically you have management department, you have a sales department, you have a marketing department, and you also have a product development department. Now David if I were to ask you of those four departments which area do you think most artists spend their time in?
David Diamond: I have no idea but —
Anthem: Between management, marketing, sales —
David Diamond: Product development?
Anthem: Yes exactly. Most artists spend their time in product development. And of course the problem with that is —
David Diamond: For product development in that sense for artists would mean like taking care of themselves and learning monologues and going on auditions and things like that?
Anthem: Exactly. But I always like to tell individual artists and companies too that we can’t just be one department. We have to operate in all departments for us to be really complete. So too often a lot of artist focus on just one quarter of their company, which is even if you’re just one person you still have to fulfill all the responsibilities of the four departments. Now the problem with blogging sometimes is people then over focus once they realize marketing is important. They over focus again on marketing and they never get to (inaudible) which is sales. Now for artists, sales could be literal meaning like getting a gig or something like that but sales could also be generating key relationships or securing key opportunities and things like that. And the long way to do blogging which I learned from my own mistake because this is what I was doing for a while is I was generating amazing content but I was never moving the ball forward to the sales department and metaphorically speaking that basically means generating the right relationships and securing clients and developing those kinds of relationships.
Relationships, Relationships, Relationships
David Diamond: Yeah let’s talk about that because I think relationships that are key to artists’ professional development aside from of course becoming astoundingly good and expert at what you do and so you bring to the table the best of yourself every time but aside from that aspect of it, the other side seems to be relationships, relationships, relationships. It’s like who do I know and who can be helpful to me and who is going to hire me over somebody else because they know me. So how do you, as an individual artist develop the relationships that are going to be important? And how do you even know which ones those are?
Anthem: Well it definitely helps to have some kind of mentor if you can have one. I think everyone could definitely benefit from some kind of guidance along the way. And so those folks who are further along in their own career path might be able to lend some really key advice. I think also, when it comes to relationships one of the first words that pop up and again negatively is that of networking. So people know relationships matter so immediately they think well I should be doing more networking and I think there’s another misconception that artists have which is that they should attending META, SIN conferences (phonetic), and all that and I think that’s true to a degree but the most important thing about networking is the one to one relationship. And a lot of people really miss out on circling all the way back to what matters which is that one to one relationship. So let’s say you go to the happy hour at the conference and you have a good relationship with somebody, you exchange the business card a lot of people get so swept up in the rest of the conference that they never end up emailing or calling that person. And so —
David Diamond: Following up with people that you do meet becomes really important.
Anthem: Yes. And not following up in a newsletter which is another big mistake people do. They just say well these are great people I’m just going to add them to my newsletter and that’s okay to a degree but that’s not networking. Networking is really emailing that person, calling that person and saying you know what, “I really enjoyed that conversation. Would it be all right if we connected again in the next week because I’d love to talk to you more about that thing?” And yeah when you prioritize just the honesty and the friendliness that you would, or prioritize the friendliness that you would in a regular friendly relationship then that’s pretty much where the real relationship building and networking happens is that one to one touch.
David Diamond: Yeah I have some thoughts about that too and I’ll get to them in a second. I just wanted to remind our listeners that you can call in with any questions, thoughts, or comments. We encourage you to do so. The number again is 347-637-1960, 347-367-1960. Please give us a call. We’d be happy to take your questions. I’ll tell you a little bit about the way I coach my clients on this whole idea. I also stay away from the word networking because to me and to I think a lot of artists it does sort of generate a kind of glazed look at the best or exactly like you were talking about before worse. What I tell people about is what I call circles. It’s kind of like this whole Google has the circles thing now too but the idea of it is that each of the people that you know, know a circle of people. And each of the people that they know, know a circle of people. So we’re always looking at levels of connection between people who already know each other. And I try to encourage my clients to take a look at who are the people that know you best who are really your supporters, your fans, your audience, the people that will really support you and start with them and see who is it that they know in the business, in the field and that you want to get to know, either other artistic collaborators or people with resources that you may need, money, theaters, whatever. And then start asking the people that you already know who are already your supporters for their help to access the people that they know and then to use the people that they know to help you access the people that those people know. And as you know through Facebook the networks kind of get wider and wider and people get — there are more and more and more people will know. So whenever they say more than six degrees of separation from anybody else in the whole world, and this theater business and this arts business it’s maybe like two. You know we all know people and the people we want to get know, know people that we know. So why not start there with people who are already your supporters to help you get to know other people?
Anthem: Yes, absolutely. And I might add, going back to what we were talking about earlier with the marketing thing and who the protagonist and every narrative is, I would say in those kinds of networking relationships building circumstances it’s always important to also remember to put something on the table and that’s another way to I guess make sure that there’s good reciprocity in those kinds of relationship building circumstances.
Always Put Something on the Table First
David Diamond: Oh we got a question coming in on the online chat. So this is a question from Chris and he’s saying, oh my gosh this goes right with what — a little bit about what you were just saying. But he says, “How do you know if you’re being too aggressive or annoying people?” Is there any kind of way to navigate that? I mean you want to be in touch with people and let people know what’s going on, what things that you’re doing or reaching out to people, but you know I think there’s a lot of fear out there with people, I hear this from clients too of people being like oh I don’t want to appear like a stalker. I don’t want to be too much in their face. I don’t want them to dislike me because I’m being too aggressive. How do you know if you’re being too aggressive or annoying and how far is too far?
Anthem: I think you know you’re being too aggressive if you’re asking for something too early. I think that’s a general guideline. So what I would say is before you ask for any favors you have to build that trust and yet another Art of Hustle analogy would be imagine that when you ask for a favor you’re taking money out of the bank at the ATM. Now the money that you put in is basically your investment into that relationship. You can’t really draw on an account that has zero on the balance. You have to put money into it and metaphorically speaking that money is basically the time and the trust that you have developed with that person. So before you even get into asking any favors you always have to put something into it and maybe in the very beginning if you’re asking for someone’s time and they happen to be a veteran or someone you know is very busy, at the very least I would recommend for emerging artists or ceiling (phonetic) artists, at the least you could offer a free cup of coffee or a meal or something like that, just to at least put something on the table and let them know that you appreciate their time. I think too often people ask for things for free whether its counsel or introductions and they don’t put enough on the table to begin with. So at the very least I think it’s great that people are concerned about that and they should be. So practice that humility and remember to always put something on the table first.
David Diamond: Oh I think that’s really correct. I believe in that so much about as much as you want — you know it’s much easier to ask for something from somebody when you’re also offering something. I think that’s exactly right. Chris I hope that answers your question. If you want, Chris if you have a follow up just write back and we’ll take a follow up question to that. And other people, you can either ask questions through the chat on your screen or you can call 347-637-1960. Let’s see, oh I was curious about whether you work with people that are wanting to let’s say break in to an area of the business that they haven’t been in before. Like let’s say you have a stage actor that wants to go into film and television or you have a, I get this a lot I have a lot of actors who want to become directors. Do you have any thoughts about how to shift people’s perception of who you are when you shift your own idea of what you want to be? It’s a weird marketing challenge. It’s like I’m an actor, I’ve promoted myself as an actor for ten years now I want people to see me as a director but every time I see people they’re like oh but you’re that actor.
Anthem: Oh yeah. You know I’ve gone through many identity changes myself. So I’ve been through it. I can’t say I have one over all universal piece of advice on the matter but I think, again because your most public profile would be your website one of the best exercises any person could do is really to start tinkering and editing that language and feeling their own internal comfort with it so that they can more readily project themselves in that way.
David Diamond: So yeah change all the language and change things so that you’re actually presenting yourself as the thing that you want to be instead of the thing that you were. Is that right?
David Diamond: Great well I think that’s a great idea. I think if people do have a lot of trouble though in getting people to change their perceptions. And as you’ve changed your direction a few times and I know I have too, I’m going to start out as a director and became an administrator and then from being and administrator I started writing and I started teaching then I started — then I went back to directing again and then started coaching. So you know it’s a constant shift I think a lot of artists find that we’re always moving between different things and it’s a great frustration for a lot of artist I think when they realize that people have trouble getting them out of the little boxes that they put them into.
Anthem: And you know what I would also add David that sometimes we need to get away from our old communities, do the work that we perceive ourselves doing in the future before we come back and ask people to see us differently because sometimes it’s too soon to ask someone that has recognized you in one format for a long while to ask them to switch lenses that quickly which is why a lot of artists sometimes even leave the country and then come back to get the recognition that they deserve. And a lot of times it’s strategic that they leave, find success elsewhere and then come back. And I’m not saying that artist need to leave the country but at the very least you know sometimes it helps to venture away, make some really good noise with the new work you’re doing and then come back and expect people to see you differently. Does that make sense?
David Diamond: Yeah it really does especially because as you know I believe very strongly in going to different places, traveling and learning how different communities work, how different artists work around the world. That’s been a big focus of my life is bringing artists from different areas of the world together to learn from each other, to teach each other, to share. I think we learn so much about how we can expand who we are and what we do and just be better world citizens by just going to other places and being exposed to different ways of life. I think it’s a very important thing for artists to do that. And at the same time like you said you can start doing something different and once you feel grounded in that new think it’s ready to share it with other people.
Anthem: Yeah exactly.
David Diamond: I got another call; this is from Paula in California. This question is about what’s the best way to make money while I’m pursuing acting? What’s the best day job? Do you have any thoughts about generating an income while you’re in this precarious world of the artist?
Anthem: I think one of the things I would advise for folks is to find a job, especially if you’re an actor that gives you a lot of flexibility because as most of you guys who are in that work know, especially when it comes to screen acting, you don’t get the audition notice until the day before a lot of times. So it really helps to have a job that would be super understanding of that flexibility in schedule. The other piece of advise I would give would be to find work near the arts and by that I do recommend if it’s a match to find work in admin work near arts because at the very least there’s still a lot of learning that can be done and I like to tell people it’s almost like a paid internship or something because once you’re at an organization where you get a chance to at least study how people get booked and things like that then that can lend to your own process even if you’re not necessarily getting booked by that organization.
David Diamond: Yeah I think you and I are both evidence of that. We both worked in arts administration for a while before venturing in and out again of actually doing the artistic work ourselves. I think that’s a really good point, understanding how it works from the other side can be a huge benefit, for actors, understanding how directors work, for directors understanding how arts organizations work, and artistic directors, like how do artistic directors select their seasons and how do they pick their directors are really good things for you to know if you’re a freelance director and you’re going to be venturing into that arena. Oh I learned that they’re looking for somebody with whom they’ve had a previous relationship or somebody who’s a friend of the writer. Somebody will want to get to be more friends with writers or whatever you learn about how those things are done from the other side can just inform how you reach out to them. And let’s go back to your protagonist thing, you understand the protagonist better if you live with them for a while.
David Diamond: I think that’s a really good point. But I also think well jobs that are flexible is a great one and jobs in arts administration are really good. The other think about jobs I think are to be really careful about jobs that are so inane and boring that they stifle all your energy so that you don’t even have, even if you have the time you don’t have the energy to do the work that the artist needs to do to move themselves forward because you’re just so exhausted from doing something that’s mind numbing. So I often encourage people to look at what their other interest and values are and to try to find, if you can’t find a job with like arts organization and you’re really into arts but you’re also passionate about lets say the environment maybe you ought to find a job working for an environmental group where you’re doing something that is so passionate for you and so interesting for you that it energizes you. And by the time you leave your job there and you’ve been doing all this really positive work for some thing you believe in you have a lot of energy left over to do the work that the artist needs to be doing as well.
Anthem: That’s actually a really good point. I mean I am very firmly against burn out of any kind. So the more we can take care of ourselves physically and psychologically, all the better.
David Diamond: Yeah do you have any other thoughts of how artists can take care of themselves better?
Anthem: I think, gosh I have so many but I think a lot of it has to do with just, at the risk of oversimplifying it, making sure (inaudible) holistically and —
David Diamond: You broke up there for a second. I’m not sure if everybody felt that but I thought you dropped out for a second so could you say that again, right before holistically?
Taking Care of the Creative, Physical, and Emotional Body
Anthem: Yeah, just living more holistically is what I was getting at and talking about basically prioritizing not just your creative intellectual self but also like your physical needs. I think often times there’s another, going back to old artists myths, a lot of times intellectual folks don’t like to believe that their physical selves are as important and you know where you have that traditional jocks versus artists mentality from high school but in all reality we are physical as well as intellectual and creative and everything else and we need nurture all those parts of ourselves. So sometimes simple things like remembering to hydrate, it sounds silly but it’s important. Remembering to get some amount of exercise even if it’s just walking more can be hugely beneficial to how you maintain your tool which is ultimately your mind which is housed inside your body so the more that we can just remember to nurture all facets of ourselves the better.
David Diamond: Absolutely. I totally agree with that. I think the work of the artist is to maintain the best vessel for art creation that we can so that when you get into the room you have the facilities at your fingertips for what you need to do to be a creative person.
David Diamond: Anthem, are there any resources that are out there that you would recommend that people look at either online sites or books or organizations that would be useful?
Anthem: Well let’s see, well there’s my own site. I encourage everyone to visit.
David Diamond: What’s the URL?
Anthem: That would be artofhustle.com and you’ll see that a lot of the writing is divided up into four sections. They all happen to be alliterative, so management, marketing, mindset, and money, which I believe, are the main obsessions for most people in the arts. Every now and then for more non-profit kind of perspectives I might visit Blue Avocado which is another fun site to hear about arts admin type stuff. I think for books, gosh, there are so many but I think, yeah I might have to get back to you on that one David because I could probably name my whole library if I talk about books that have been influential in my process.
David Diamond: Yeah if you send me a list I’m happy to post it on my website as well so that anybody who’s looking there can see, get an access to any recommendations that you have as well. I wanted to mention that to anybody that if there’s any follow up, anybody can email me through my website and post any comments about today’s show. You can ask any questions, you can get any resources that I have listed there as well as access to all the previous podcast of all the radio shows that we’ve done so far in the last few months. This is going into our third month of shows so we have a bunch there that are ready to be accessed. I thought I’d mention that as well. Anything else coming up for you in the near future that you want to mention? You told me something about a new thing starting in the New Year. You want to talk about that?
Anthem: Oh yes, I previously launched a project called Art of Hustle University which is going to be a series of online classes that help artists with their artist kit and some marketing basics. The platform I was using I wasn’t so satisfied with so I decided to take (inaudible) build it from scratch which is what I’m working on right now. That’s one of my main projects. And I’m hoping to have it go live before the New Year.
David Diamond: Fantastic well we’ll all look for that. And wow my god this hour is almost gone and it’s gone by really, really fast. I can’t believe it. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your ideas and information, wisdom with us. I wish you all the best in your upcoming projects. I will have a little chance for you to give some final words in a moment but I want to tell folks about what’s coming up here on International Life Coach Radio and for my show. Our next show is on Monday, December 9th at six p.m. eastern time. You won’t want to miss that one. It’s for the first time anywhere — this is a first time that you will have access to not one but two David Diamonds. Yes my colleague and friend from Vancouver, Canada named David Diamond, artistic and managing director of Theater for Living will be on the show and you’ll have the opportunity to hear from both David Diamonds and if it’s not too confusing ask us questions about theater for social change, theater of the oppressed, and other topics so you won’t want to miss that. The other David Diamond who has been involved in theater for many years, we’re always getting confused with each other anyways so I thought well why not have us both be together and you’ll get to hear from both of us. So I think that will be really fun. I’d also like to mention other upcoming events of interest to the field. So for those of you who are in the Los Angeles area, SCC Foundation, the Pasadena Playhouse and East West Players are co-hosting a workshop called Diversity Through a Director’s Eye, a dynamic discussion focused on the state of diversity in southern California theater which will take place Monday, December 16th at 7:30 p.m. pacific time at the Pasadena Playhouse. And the panelists are great, Tim Dang, Sheldon Epps, Jessica Kubzansky, Marc Masterson, Michael Ritchie, and Seema Sueko, moderated by Michael John Garces. So that’s through SCC Foundation my old launch where I used to be executive director. So please go to that event if you’re interested. Also coming up here on International Life Coach Radio on December 6th at eleven a.m. you can hear Reclaiming Space joining clutter coach and holistic organizer Tracy Pierce for her monthly show where she discusses clutter, its effect, and ways to help yourself reclaim space for what matters most. Then on December 8th at one p.m. the Zenberry life with holistic health coach Emma Galen (phonetic). You can also find out about more exciting on the new network Life Coach TV Network which is a YouTube station and that is at YouTube.com/lifecoachtvnetwork, all one word. To reach me with responses to this program and other questions and to see other resources, go to my website at www.davidjdiamond.com. You sign up for my mailing list I’ll send you a free assessment of 20 questions to consider as you move your career forward and you can also sign up for private coaching by phone or in person. Thank you so much for listening today. It’s been great. We hope you’ll join us again on December 9th and I’ll give Anthem a last opportunity before we end for some final thoughts.
Anthem: Well I guess the thing I’d like to say is that more than anything Art of Hustle isn’t just the URL, it is in a sense a philosophy and mindset. And I wish you all the best practice in your own Art of Hustle in your creative lives. And hoping we all get to reconnect again whether online or in real time.
David Diamond: Great, well Anthem it’s been terrific, lots of great information, lots of great resources. I hope everybody will visit your site and get to know you and get to know your works so that they can benefit and get over this fear a lot of us have of marketing, gosh that’s the one think I don’t want to do. But I think thinking of it as telling a story puts a whole new spin on it and so I really appreciate you sharing all that information with us and I hope you have a very happy holiday.
Anthem: You too.
David Diamond Coming up I wish everyone a happy, happy Thanksgiving and happy Hanukah to everyone and I look forward to hearing from you all again soon. That’s the end of our show for today, good night everyone.