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Lessons Learned About Un-paid Gigs From Seasoned Artists!

Lessons Learned About Un-paid Gigs From Seasoned Artists!

Here are some lessons learned from experienced artists who have ventured into the realm of un-paid gigs. Of course, this advice will never be a substitute for real experience, but it might just give you a jump start in your career!

The question asked was “What is the best lesson you learned [from un-paid work]?”

Learn how to say “No”

“I have learned to judge people, especially those who come and approach you for work. Some of the good projects gave me good mileage and the bad ones taught me to say the word “No” when I feel in the back of my mind that this project is not going anywhere.”

~Arundhati Singha

“Do what you love, but don’t be cheap. Always be humble. You must find that point at which you expect payment or a form of compensation. It can be difficult, and you may feel super depressed when you do actually reach that point of needing to have bus fare to get to unpaid rehearsals. In the long run, it’s a good thing to experience because you know when to put your foot down.”

~Melissa Lineburg

Look out for yourself

“Never trust anyone in this industry and always have a backup plan. Everyone is always looking out for themselves only.”

~Chris Gooley

Know when you have to make actual money

“If an artist struggles financially, after a while they may become frustrated and this does not serve their confidence.”

~Joanna Pilatowicz

Stay focused

“My mentor in graduate school told me to just keep dancing, keep focused regardless of age or circumstances. She is in her seventies, directs a Modern dance Company and still performs…A role model to us all.”

~Sharron Rose

Take in the basics & absorb

“Most of the best lessons I learned are ones we have all heard and/or put into practice at some point or another. ‘All the world’s a stage’ and ‘If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.’ and, of course, ‘THE SHOW MUST GO ON!’”

~Lauren Ashley

Make contacts

“There are a lot of things you can pick up from doing this kind of [un-paid] work, but for me it was the simple aspect of learning the varying ways the business works and making contacts that will help you to move in the right direction as opposed to wasting a lot of time with unnecessary work.”

~Bobby Blakely

 

By Zachary K Miller

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I would like to thank the following people for sharing their insights and life experiences for this article, without them, this would not be possible!

Christopher Gooley @gooleychris
Arundhati Singha | @arundhatisworld
Joanna Pilatowicz | www.ifnotdance.com
Sharron Rose | www.sharronrose.com
Melissa Lineburg | www.moveiusdance.org
Lauren Ashley | www.urbanartsexposure.com
Bobby Blakely | www.gforceshow.com
Ben Schiffer | www.djbenno.com

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