At the recent (official) launch of this blog and the the Tuxedo Revolt website, I also shared a gift with my email subscribers. I wrote a free download e-guide called The Tuxedo Revolt Declaration of Arts Independence (click on the link to check it out!). With this guide, I wanted to more than to send a message of hope about the state of the arts and our careers as performing artists. I intend to empower my readers, and challenge all of us in the arts to rev our engines and power charge our creative lives.
“To bring real change, you need conviction. What do you really believe
about performing with authenticity? What will you do to sustain your art
form? This Declaration of Independent Arts shares the Tuxedo Revolt views
on the performing arts as they are today. Its purpose is to inspire others to
take charge of the art they love and redefine their beliefs about what
performance means to them.” –from The Tuxedo Revolt Declaration of Arts Independence
You need conviction.
You may already have strong convictions about performing. But surprisingly, many performers don’t. A love of the arts and of your particular art form should not be confused with convictions. Take a second to outline on paper what your convictions and values about the arts really are. What do you want most from your career as a performing artists. What are the tenets of your system of beliefs? I used the Declaration as a vehicle to outline what Tuxedo Revolt believes in. Once you identify your values, you are ready to take meaningful actions that will not only advance your career, but make a meaningful contribution to the arts world.
While I don’t stand on a soap box in Times Square ranting about how the arts are enslaved, I do believe that the performing arts, especially that of orchestras and music, have become too heavily reliant on outmoded institutions and their administrations. If survival depends on evolution, and evolution depends on successful adaptation, then organizations like opera companies, dance companies, and orchestras can only survive by adapting to the demands of the present. Remaining under the control of outdated and irrelevant institutions will stifle the changes necessary to survive. In no way am I advocating that the performing arts don’t need administrators and organized entities to manage them. What I do suggest however, is a massive reorganization of performing arts administrations. When we shed our preconceived notions about what an arts institution should look like, then we are able to see possibilities of organizations behaving like a co-op and not a top-down hierarchy.
What can you do?
The first thing you can do is to draw a line in the sand between you and the rest of the world who refuses to adapt to the changes in the arts world. Immediately you’ll separate yourself from an old body of ideas and you will step into a place where you have freedom to make new choices without the approval of someone else.
Take stock of your values and convictions. Find out what about performing is truly important to you, then build your performances around this.
Lastly, don’t give up hope. Don’t listen to doomsday prophecies about the future of the arts. Those negative viewpoint spell out the end of days for those who aren’t willing to be innovative and adaptive. As a creative person, you DO have the natural ability to adapt your art and your craft to meet the demands of today. You must only give yourself permission.
Download this advertisement free version of the Tuxedo Revolt Declaration of Arts Independence and as always, feel free to contact me with your thoughts and comments.
- Imagine a World Where Artists Lead the Performing Arts. (tuxedorevoltblog.wordpress.com)