Songs for the Struggling Artist


New Victory, NYFA and a Space Grant Rejections
October 17, 2016, 11:24 pm
Filed under: Rejections | Tags: , , ,

I’m tending to cluster these rejection posts these days. I figure they’re less overwhelming in groups. So here are three

New Victory Rejection

Whenever I make a show, people tell me “this would be great for children” and so I apply for things that help support making Theatre for Young People. One time, this worked out. But the one venue that would make the biggest difference in this arena in NYC has never accepted me. I apply and apply. But, alas, no…again, no.

It’s alright. I understand. Award-winning Broadway director/designers apply for this same thing and of course they are accepted. See also, why people give awards. It is a bummer, as ever, to be rejected – particularly from the place that has the potential to make the biggest difference, not just for me in the city, but worldwide – as the New Victory has a reputation for leading in the International Performing Arts for Youth community. But no. The answer is no. Again.

SPACE GRANT REJECTION

It was probably greedy to apply for another space grant when I have one already. But the one I have is such that I can’t actually use it enough to really make a piece – so I needed a supplemental space grant that would not require additional staff funding for the venue (a cost that is more than renting rehearsal space) But probably the fact that I already HAVE a space grant elsewhere did not help my case when applying for this new space grant (which, in case it wasn’t clear, I did not get.) I will say, though, that there are companies who GOT a space grant who have their own spaces, like THEIR spaces…so maybe I’m not the greediest applicant.

Also, side note from those who DON’T make theatre in NYC – a space grant is a gift of theatre or rehearsal space. It’s not a GRANT in that it’s not money but it is a gift of free rehearsal or performance space, depending on the grant.

Given the difficulties of securing rehearsal space in this city, they are tremendously important.

NYFA

I’ve been doing this Rejection documentation project long enough now to have multiple years of rejections of the same thing. This Fellowship I just got rejected for is one I have applied for in multiple categories – fiction, playwriting…maybe even something else and I just, of course, like 99% of the people who applied, got yet another rejection.

Are we bored of rejections yet everyone? I am tired of writing about them, I know that much – And I have failed to post as many as I’ve written. That’s the thing. It is a grind to get rejected again and again. One does cease having interesting things to say about them.

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*Wondering why I’m telling you about all these rejections? Read my initial post about this here and my patron’s idea about that here.

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You can help me weather the storms of rejection by becoming my patron on Patreon.

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Click HERE  to Check out my Patreon Page

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Writing on the internet is a little bit like busking on the street. This is the part where I pass the hat. If you liked the blog and would like to give a dollar (or more!) put it in the PayPal digital hat. https://www.paypal.me/strugglingartist



Henson Rejection and also a Residency
September 27, 2016, 11:43 pm
Filed under: puppets, Rejections | Tags: , , , ,

For the I-don’t-know-th time, I got a rejection from the Henson Foundation. The first applications we ever filled out as a company – almost 15 years ago – were for the Henson foundation. We were so sure we were going to get those. (We did not.) I have a bit of nostalgia for those applications – the ones we poured our hearts and souls (and drawings and writings and so on) into because we were 100% sure we were going to get them.

I can never apply for something with that sense of surety again. Even when the acceptance is a given, I am still not 100% sure I will get it. Even if it’s already been offered to me. This is not because I am inherently cynical. I’m not. I’ve just been offered things that were then rescinded…so until the acceptance letter is in my hand, or the check, or I’m standing in the space, I don’t fully believe any artistic offer.

But I did once have so much belief in my own ideas that I was 100% sure every one would be accepted. That first one was for the Henson Foundation. And it was also the first rejection. And the most recent!

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And a French Residency…

Residencies used to not really appeal to me. The thought of extracting myself from my community, taking myself out of a work loop, with no way to make money in the interim…it all just sounded like more trouble than it was going to be worth. I don’t have too much trouble making time for writing in my daily life – so I didn’t think I needed a retreat to do it.

That was before I wrote a novel and then tried to edit it. Turns out I can write in my daily life but I cannot edit. I can make myself edit a play when I have a process or production on the horizon but my fiction…well…I need to go AWAY to deal with that. The novels are just too easy to ignore, to let languish. So the LNAF residency in France seemed like a great solution. Beautiful. Focused. International.

Got their biggest pool of applicants ever this very year. Of which I am, shockingly, not among the accepted.

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*Wondering why I’m telling you about all these rejections? Read my initial post about this here and my patron’s idea about that here.

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You can help me weather the storms of rejection by becoming my patron on Patreon.

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Click HERE  to Check out my Patreon Page

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Writing on the internet is a little bit like busking on the street. This is the part where I pass the hat. If you liked the blog and would like to give a dollar (or more!) put it in the PayPal digital hat. https://www.paypal.me/strugglingartist



Cool Rejection and a Job
July 31, 2016, 6:11 pm
Filed under: Rejections | Tags: , , ,

Cool Rejection First:

There’s a “cool” theatre space that does “cool” shows in the city. We rehearsed in the theatre for our first show back in 2001 – before it became the “cool” space. And that’s the last time we were there, except as audience.

Over the years, I’ve applied there for many things – performance slots, festivals, development processes and have never once been accepted. I’m not surprised. I recognize that “cool’ people aren’t necessarily my audience, being not particularly “cool” myself. I mean, I’m cool. No doubt. But I care about stuff a little bit too much to be “cool.”

This year, though, they were doing a festival that a show I’ve been trying to promote would have fit quite easily into – so I went ahead and gave it another shot. Cool or not.

We didn’t get it.
I’m not shocked.

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And, now –  two, two rejection posts for the prices of one!

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University of Cincinnati Rejection

You guys. I do not remember applying for this job. It must have had some really exciting aspects – like maybe it was a Devising position or a Shakespeare one – or I don’t remember. But I do know it must have had some good qualities because I don’t PARTICULARLY want to move to Cincinnati.

Though now that I think of it, I do remember thinking that Cincinnati might not be so bad. A whole bunch of folks I knew moved there right after college – started a theatre company there and were generally cool. I think some of them are still there. I think I may have even done a little search-a-roo to see if there were enough arts in town to make it live-able. It must have been that there were. And if I’d gotten an interview for this gig, I’d have gone – because it can’t hurt to explore these kinds of possibilities.

But – luckily, I don’t have to worry about it. For the forseeable future, I will be here in unaffordable sweetly exhausting NYC, which, of course, I love – even when I hate it.

raspberries-1494081_1280*Wondering why I’m telling you about all these rejections? Read my initial post about this here and my patron’s idea about that here.

You can help me weather the storms of rejection by becoming my patron on Patreon.

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Click HERE  to Check out my Patreon Page

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Writing on the internet is a little bit like busking on the street. This is the part where I pass the hat. If you liked the blog and would like to give a dollar (or more!) put it in the PayPal digital hat. https://www.paypal.me/strugglingartist



Hedgebrook Rejection
April 22, 2016, 11:11 pm
Filed under: Rejections, writing | Tags: , , ,

Twice Rejected now. Hedgebrook is a residency for women in the Northwest. It’s funny because I was never really attracted to women only spaces before. I’ve been a feminist for forever but never really felt drawn to single sex experiences. I didn’t consider a women’s college for even a second. (An option I now think might have been a really good one.) I didn’t go to women’s festivals or go to women’s groups.

But I now recognize that all of these sorts of institutions actually do help advance women’s lives. I came to understand that with the difficulties at hand in making my artist’s life – that there might be a great deal of benefit in leaning into the “minority” status of my womanhood. I’m interested in Hedgebrook, not because there are only women there – but because it exists to help support women in overcoming the cultural obstacles before them. I need all the help I can get in that department. So. I keep applying. And if they keep giving these residencies to people like Eve Ensler, Sarah Waters and Gloria Steinem, I guess it’s not too likely I’ll get it anytime soon. But I support the idea of it. So… it’s already worth a shot. And I would NOT be upset about getting to hang out at a writing retreat with Gloria Steinem.

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*Wondering why I’m telling you about all these rejections? Read my initial post about this here and my patron’s idea about that here.

You can help me weather the storms of rejection by becoming my patron on Patreon.

 kaGh5_patreon_name_and_message

Click HERE  to Check out my Patreon Page

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Writing on the internet is a little bit like busking on the street. This is the part where I pass the hat. If you liked the blog and would like to give a dollar (or more!) put it in the PayPal digital hat. https://www.paypal.me/strugglingartist



You Win Some, You Lose Some
March 30, 2016, 10:37 pm
Filed under: art, Rejections | Tags: , , , , ,

First, the customary news – I got a rejection notice from the MAP Fund. The MAP Fund is hilarious because they have an EPIC application process. The first stage is a letter of intent. (LOI.) In most grants I’ve seen, the letter of intent is just that. It’s a letter you write to say you’re interested in applying. The MAP Fund’s LOI is like other grants’ whole application process. There are so many questions, things to fill out. It is not even close to being as simple as a letter.

 

If they accept your LOI, then you have even MORE application to do. What those things you have to do in the next phase, I have no idea. I’ve never gotten that far.

 

This is one of those grants that, if I weren’t engaged in this accounting of my rejections sponsored by my patrons, I would definitely not bother to do. But if I were to get it one year, it would be super fantastic so I should probably keep at it. Rejections are the norm. Acceptances are the exception.

 

If I were giving advice to someone about taking on this sort of life, I feel like they should know that. That it’s not a win some lose some situation. It’s a mostly lose, and every so often, if you’re lucky, you win one. It’s not even like you get 1 out of 3. You get one out of 35. For me, it’s not You Win Some, You Lose Some. It’s: You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You WIN one! You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You WIN one! You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, You Lose Some….

 

But I am grateful for the ones I win. The one I got most recently was the Colleen Porter Artist Residency Award which allowed me to go to Montreal for the International Performing Arts for Youth conference. It was a great opportunity, a great experience and also so gratifying to get a “yes.” And an enthusiastic yes, at that.

My spreadsheet of applications and rejections is a pretty solid block of No. The Yes is so good.

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*Wondering why I’m telling you about all these rejections? Read my initial post about this here and my patron’s idea about that here.

You can help me weather the storms of rejection by becoming my patron on Patreon.

Also – this blog has been turned into a podcast. If you’d like to hear it, click here.

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Click HERE  to Check out my Patreon Page

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Writing on the internet is a little bit like busking on the street. This is the part where I pass the hat. If you liked the blog and would like to give a dollar (or more!) put it in the PayPal digital hat. https://www.paypal.me/strugglingartist



International Rejection
March 17, 2016, 6:19 pm
Filed under: Rejections | Tags: ,

One of my ambitions is to be working internationally. The problem with this goal is that generally, you have to have some success NATIONALLY before you can stumble into an international market. My work generally feels out of alignment with what sells in my country so I’m always on the look out for other ways into an international experience.

 

With that in mind, I applied for a fellowship to attend the Global Arts Leaders conference which happens here in NYC. The fellowship pays for people to come and meet international arts leaders from around the world. I thought it would be great to go and make connections. I also thought that since I live in NYC, I might be a cheap candidate to accept. Others would need airfare and a hotel, I could go for subway fare.

 

But…alas..the rejection notice arrived only a couple of months after my application. We’ll have to keep looking for other ways to achieve the international goal.

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*Wondering why I’m telling you about all these rejections? Read my initial post about this here and my patron’s idea about that here.

You can help me weather the storms of rejection by becoming my patron on Patreon.

 kaGh5_patreon_name_and_message

Click HERE  to Check out my Patreon Page



There are More Rejected than Accepted
March 5, 2016, 11:46 pm
Filed under: Rejections, writing | Tags: , , , ,

I belong to several playwright groups. A post went through on one of them that said something like, “Just got my rejection for the Lark!” And a dozen people replied saying either they had or had not yet received theirs yet. I was one of those who had not yet received that particular rejection email and I found it strangely comforting to get the news of its imminent arrival this way. It was a little like a nurse saying, “”You’re going to feel a tiny pinch in a moment,” while he’s preparing your arm for the needle. It’s like a tiny bit of anesthetic for the pain.

 

It also helps to feel how being rejected in this sort of context is so much more common than being accepted. So many people become a part of the rejected club and the only people who are excluded, the only people who can’t join are the people who actually got accepted.

 

It’s a nice way to turn that dynamic around. It pays to remember this in terms of numbers. Every time I get rejected, I am accompanied by so many people having exactly the same experience.

 

For some odd reason, rejections seem to come with a tiny brown paper package of shame – a little visit from the failure fairy. It’s an experience we’re supposed to have in private. But having it publicly helps with that shame piece. Having it collectively helps, too.

 

There is power in numbers.
In a fight, the rejected would definitely be able to take the accepted in almost every scenario. Then we’d see who the winners are! Ha!

Power to the rejected people!

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*Wondering why I’m telling you about all these rejections? Read my initial post about this here and my patron’s idea about that here.

You can help me weather the storms of rejection by becoming my patron on Patreon.

 kaGh5_patreon_name_and_message

Click HERE  to Check out my Patreon Page




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