The Small Stagey Boy: To Be, or Not To Be

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Welcome to a new regular series for The Daily Spectacle. This is a sister series to my Mindfulness 101 series which will soon be restarting. Being someone trying to forge a career in the creative industry I feel that is important that there are people documenting their journeys and the lessons they have learnt through the process. The Mindfulness 101 series is a collection of easy ways to incorporate mindfulness practice into your lifestyle which especially for performers is useful to combat stress.

This first post is themed loosely around the Shakespeare phrase “To be, or not to be” with the question: to be, or not to be a performer?

Honestly, it is probably the question that is constantly brewing in everyone’s mind no matter what stage of their career they are in. This is mainly thanks to the arts being so unpredictable as jobs are never guaranteed or secure. A show could be running for a decade or it could be closed within a day, nothing is ever certain.

So many people decide against pursuing a career or opt out of being in the industry because they believe that their dreams of having a family would be in jeopardy. I recently had a long decision on this exact situation and ended up reaching some ways to help decide whether the risk is personally worth it.

I think the easiest way to decide how much being a performer matters to you is if you think that performing as a hobby on the side of a stable job could make you just as happy. If so, then it is probably the best option. It’s a cruel to be kind statement however it’s needed to be thought over as the industry is tough and you will hear no more than yes. I still ask myself the question every day as I get closer to finishing my degree as it’s daunting how many people there are competing for the same opportunities.

If you conclude that the industry is the only way you’ll be happy then my advice is to take that leap and go for it. I tried a year working in a school, the normal 8 till 4 job behind a desk and in that year I realised that playing it safe wouldn’t make me happy. So here I am ready to tackle the world in as many ways as I can and you’ll be joining me on this journey from the world of YouTube to auditions and the working life.

Ask yourself “to be, or not to be” then make the jump into your adventure.

See you next time.