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Arts & Culture Seen Thought Leader

An Open Letter to “Struggling Artists”

By Brian Clowdus

I don’t know about y’all, but I am sick and tired of hearing artists complain, while finding every excuse in the book as to why they are not fulfilled or successful
“My headshots aren’t right.”
“They never hire anyone outside of their favorite regulars.”
“I have reached my bandwidth.”
Guess what folks: people with really busted headshots work on Broadway.
People like to work with people they like being around.
The most successful artists don’t have the word “bandwidth” in their vernacular. (It’s hard for me to even type it, folks!)
Does this mean you shouldn’t have a good headshot? NO!
Does this mean you shouldn’t pound down the doors of people you want to work with? NO!
Does this mean you shouldn’t protect things in your schedule that are important to your sanity and well-being? NO!

Miss Saigon Serenbe Playhouse Photo credit BreeAnne Clowdus

If you can’t tell, folks, what I am getting at is to get off your booty and make stuff happen if you truly want to have a career as an artist! There is no magic sauce or secret other than you can’t be lazy and negative and blame others for your shortcomings. The most important thing I ask peeps when they say they want to be in this industry is, “Do you want to be famous or do you want to be a theatre artist?”  Those are two very different things!
I wanted to be a famous actor in NYC with a Tony Award…that didn’t happen; but now, I am famous in a small circle and working towards the Regional Tony Award! My goals and path have simply shifted. Does that mean I didn’t achieve my goals or I somehow failed?
Sleepy Hollow MA Photo Credit BreeAnne Clowdus

Sleepy Hollow MA Photo Credit BreeAnne Clowdus

It means I didn’t let an industry dictate my future—I dictated it myself by having my eyes wide open and listening to my gut. Stop making excuses, get off your tail, and decide if you want to be a star or a theatre artist.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t do both (because my ultimate dream is to be a B-list celeb), it means the path just might take longer or have some unexpected U-turns and parallel parks along the way—so strap on your seatbelt and LIVE! I have my eyes on the prize, until I see a different path that punches me in the gut and says, “How ya durin, go that way next!”
I suggest you listen to your gut and do the same thing…what we do is so precious and the only person in charge of your destiny is YOU!
See you all on Dancing with the Stars in a few years!

Brian Clowdus
Founder & Executive/Artistic Director of Serenbe Playhouse
CEO of Brian Clowdus Experiences

Top photo: Carousel Serenbe Playhouse Photo Credit BreeAnne Clowdus


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