Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Of Day Jobs and Artists

 I particularly have feels for this article that popped up on my FB news feed. It was an article from Rappler:
What's Your Day Job? by Joey Ramirez.

 It's not new to me, the way artists are generally viewed in our society. The way the word "artist" is usually associated with the word "starving." And if you happen to be an artist who can actually make ends meet with your craft, people think it's because of the money, sheer willpower and discipline you've put into it. Don't get me wrong: willpower and discipline are admirable traits but they're often an exhaustive source of an artist's efforts to get their creativity going. As for wealth, yes there's a certain amount of investment required such as classes, training, supplies, or mentorship (depending on your craft) but not everyone is lucky to have access to such things.

  Being an artist- dancer, writer, painter, sculptor, singer, filmmaker, actor- in this country where fame and image is lauded over quality, originality, and talent, is a challenging dillema. Joey Ramirez sums up and makes a distinction in one part of his article:

"And I wish to differentiate it from the current obsession of young people to become artistas (celebrities). Yes, they dance, sing, act, but the companies that mold and train them do so with the view that these people are products, and are "training" to sell records, movie tickets, etc.
The prevalence of reality shows that are supposed to showcase budding actors and singers worries me, as most of the time, the "winners" are determined by text-voting, a clear-cut indication that their "appeal" is more important than the actual talent they supposedly bring to the table. The siren song of fame proves to be irresistible, judging by the number of young people who line up to be part of these shows."

  You guys ever wonder where the good singers are? I have a reason to believe a huge percentage of them are in Musical Theater or in the indie scene. When I went to an open audition for this musical theater production company, you can hear the singers through the thin walls and 95% were amazing and the rest were good.

Me after discovering this alternate universe.
I've been to auditions for TV singing contests- you can only easily point out a few good voices in the herd. But holy shit if you've ever been in auditions for musical theater, it's like you've stumbled in an alternate universe and discovered where the truly talented people are. Classical, pop, rock type of voices- they were there. And that's comforting to me.

Why haven't these people lined up for reality shows even if they got the entire package? I think true artists are looking for creative endeavors that would earn them respect from the creative community. They are artists who choose to be human than be products. They're admirably taking the harder but more fulfilling road. After all to be human is to be creative (and the other way around).

And now a little food for thought:

"Look around you. People are taking digital pictures. They're recording their own songs. They're shooting, editing, scoring movies. They're scanning artwork. They're writing essays. They're sharing stories and recipes and patterns and ideas. They're supporting each other, inspiring each other, feeding and cheering and promoting each other.

The only "problem"? Oh my God, no one's making money off all these blogs and personal websites and chats. So they can't be real. They can't count. If they were any good, they'd turn a profit, right?

Just like cave painters had three picture deals. Just like Shakespeare had licensing partners. Just like Mozart was a millionaire, Van Gogh was pursued by paparazzi, Nijinski had his own MTV pilot- for most of human history, creative people made creative things because they had to. Now, perhaps, we're getting back to and understanding of how essential and how human that is."

-excerpt from the essay "If You're So Great, Why Aren't You Rich?"
Note: I forgot who the author or which book this came from so forgive me, I failed to take note which is unusual 0_0. If anyone knows where this essay came from, I'd be eternally grateful.


Btw guise, here's another cover I recorded. Cee-lo's "Forget You", Pixie Lott's acoustic rendition. Enjoy!


  1. I had so many feelings reading this considering how bumhood is treating me. I partially think this country's both the best and worst place to develop your craft. The best because the independent scene is amazing (at least the one I know here in Manila) but the worst given the general train of thought many people in our society (and that also includes most parents) is that it's 'useless'. At least in the sense of trying to make a living out of it.

    I half fear that maybe we're all just young and idealistic like what my mom tells me. That I only think this way because I don't yet realize how important money is how success just means getting a job that pays big. :\
    For the sake of me, I hope damn well that this isn't the case.

    In other news, gah, your cover. That opening. You really brought the sass in this song. G'job, dear! :D

    1. I agree that the indie scene is amazeballs. XD Other than that, aside from society thinking that artistic endeavors are useless (unless you turn yourself into a product lol), I think they should also rethink the definition of success.
      Success has long been equated with moolah, but for what purpose? Bragging rights? To show you can pay the bills and buy things? Well shit, ain't nobody got time for that.

    2. Also, thanks for listening to my cover trololol.

  2. This is particularly true as well in the education field. People have this great - but really annoying notion - that getting English as a degree wouldn't get you anywhere. They throw questions like "what would you do with that?" which, for me, equates with the query, is that a lucrative job? Students have lived college life with a mind set that finishing a good degree means landing a lucrative job. It's a senseless thing for me to think that getting a degree is just about having a handsome remuneration. Have they ever not realized the value of real education? College is not just about credentials and job. It's about getting what we want and loving it.

    1. EXACTLY. Education is suppose to help you be a better person and help you develop the skills and attitude in pursuing your passion. If people look at education as a means of making your resume attractive to employers and companies, what's the point?


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