Monday, July 07, 2008

Looking for Your Big Break?

Roland Tec, writing at the Extracriticum blog, explains just how insidious the Big Opportunity mindset can be for the theatre:

There's a destructive myth floating around out there and it affects
actors, writers, directors... pretty much every creative artist working in this business. I call it the "big break" syndrome.

The myth goes something like this:

If I can just bide my time doing this "small time" work until I get
my "big break" I'll someday have a "real" career. The problem with this thinking is it's an obvious psychological trap. Because this belief system puts all current work—the production one is currently rehearsing or writing or whatnot—into a 2nd class category, while reserving the stamp of "significant" for some future dream job.
By buying into this "if only someday" mentality, the artist cheats whatever work he or she is currently involved in and by so
doing, cheats him or herself of a successful career.

Why? Because one job leads to another and another and so on. We are living and working on career paths. The quality of your work today will directly influence how you are viewed by your colleagues today, many of whom may be in a position to hire you tomorrow for that "dream job." By cheating the present for an imaginary future, we cheat ourselves of both.

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