by Julie, enjoying “spring” in Somerville.
I am preparing classes in arts administration designed to help performing artists learn/develop their administrative skills so they can produce their own work, or better understand the business side of the art. As I prepare the classes, one thing that keeps coming up is the role of the audience and the interaction between artists and audience. The importance of communication, and not assumption.
A couple of weeks ago Sheila and Barb both used the word “talk” in their blog titles. It inspired me to think about “talking” given my arts administrative lens. Let me explain, since these skills apply to authors as well.
In the arts, it is good to talk to your audience. This doesn’t mean that you change your art depending on what they say. What it does mean is that by talking to them you can make your pitch–let them know and understand why your work is worthy of their time and money. By the way, talking also means listening.
Talking to other artists is a gift. No one understands your path better than someone else who has traveled it. Ask for advice. Give it. Share ideas. Offer support. One person’s success does not mean lack for you. The work is too hard to believe that. So go ahead and talk, share, celebrate, laugh.
At some point you’ll have to talk to an agent and/or an editor (or a director or casting agent). Part of this talking may be to make a pitch about your work (or to audition). But you have to develop relationships with the folks you work with, which means you need to talk to them. Relationships matter.
The final person to talk to? Yourself. Give yourself pep talks. Practice your pitch in the mirror. Read your work aloud, especially the dialogue. Talk through plot problems with your cat.
Any other folks we should be talking to? What do you think, dear readers?