Songs for the Struggling Artist

Cowboys, lumberjacks and dancers
November 24, 2008, 6:34 am
Filed under: art, business, dreams, Entries with songs attached, theatre

In the interest of making the struggle a little less struggl-y, I’ve been going to the Actors Work Program for some career guidance. At the Job Search session, the head of the program talked about this survey that some big work agency did. They asked people what was desirable in a job and what was undesirable. Based on their findings, the best jobs were accountant, hospital administrator and some other job that sounded so boring to me, I couldn’t even keep it in my brain. The worst jobs, again based on what most people wanted, were cowboy, lumberjack and dancer.

And almost every single one of us at the table (actors, designers, writers, directors, etc.) dropped our jaws at this news. We all were WAY more interested in being cowboys, lumberjacks or dancers than hospital administrators. There wasn’t even a question of which jobs we’d choose. The facilitator of the session told us that she’d told us this story to illustrate that artists think much  differently than most people. The implications of this are still reverberating with me. Is it really true that most people would choose to be hospital administrators or accountants when they could be a cowboy? Really?!? It’s like I can’t even believe it. My whole world looks different. I thought I was metaphorically roping steer with my brothers, home, home on the range or felling towering trees or at least, circling the dance floor with my fellow dancers, but it turns out I’m roping steer in the accounting office. Stapling steer? Filing trees?

It’s a brave new boring world.

A song about what it’s like to keep believing in cowboys when everyone’s administrating hospitals:



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