Dear Artists: A Message About Support

My daughter manning the mailing list and merch table after my artist collective Liberated Muse performed at The Baltimore Theatre Project during Artscape 2015
My daughter manning the mailing list and merch table after my artist collective Liberated Muse performed at The Baltimore Theatre Project during Artscape 2015

To my fellow artists, entrepreneurs, people doing good things: Don’t ever waver because of what you perceive as lack of support from folks you know.

It is not you. But, it could be your perception.

When people I know are reluctant to spread word of my music or plays, refuse to refer to me by my stage name when I am performing or basically refuse to support or acknowledge anything I’ve done since they met me in high/middle/elementary school, or at work, or since birth (if they are related) I chalk it up to it being their own personal issue and not about me.

When we are proud of ourselves, we are easily proud of others. Also, sometimes, some people are really incapable of seeing people in a different light if they met them at a certain point in their life. For instance, most people don’t see their parents as sexual beings or even as people who have regular thoughts, dreams and aspirations as them. Most people would find it ridiculous if President Obama left office to go and become a blues singer, even if they thought it was cute that he routinely sang at public events once or twice during his presidency. If people met you as their kid sister or the geeky nerd in 3rd period, it may be hard for them to transition to seeing you as the glamorous singer or ambitious small business owner. Many are attached to their initial perceptions. So, don’t let the opinions of others dictate how wide you spread your wings.

You have work to do. Worrying about other people’s opinion of you is not part of that work.

On the same token, realize that everyone’s support does not look the same. Some people will come out to shows, some will purchase work, some will refer others to your product/service, some will offer advice or kind words, and few will do all of the above. It’s on us to recognize that everyone is different and capable of different types of support. Someone you are discounting for not coming out to your shows may be that person who buys all of your products. Or, that person who gave you your first gig may not ever buy anything else from you, but, they set you on the path that are on now, so they added value to your journey nonetheless.

So, in short, value what you have received and keep it moving. All that other stuff doesn’t really matter anyway.

Keep shining.

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