Reporter's Notebook

The art and science of the interview

Service versus Promotion

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There is a thin line between them.  If you’re offering anything to anybody, you have to know that if you don’t care, then you don’t do a good job.  And if you don’t do a good job, people will know you’re faking.  They’ll know your heart isn’t in it, not because you’re not capable, but because you’ve lost your love for it or you’ve lost your love for them.  But if you ever could do it, and you can’t or won’t do it now, it’s because the love is gone.

So if you do love it, you want to do it well and that passion is what makes people want you to do whatever you’re doing for them too.  But you don’t want to be a starving artist either.  I think of Basquait, who was a genius, died young and whose work in the hands of new owners made them rich beyond the dreams of averice.  The operative word there, though, is died.

So, you decide you can’t exist just on the plane of the pristine.  You realize you have to sell yourself while you’re alive even if that feels a bit like personal betrayal.  You promote.  You hawk.  You don’t want to.  You’d rather create.  That’s why artistic people are NOTORIOUSLY terrible at managing their business.  They’d much rather do what they love.

So when they get the clue that they have to promote too, they don’t always like it, and they’re not always good at it.  They should ask somebody.  And they should keep asking and screening until they find somebody.  In the meantime, they can’t be shy about promoting their work, which is really broadcasting their passions in such a way that also allows them to feed themselves.

Don’t be shy, actors, authors, dancers, singers, musicians, scupltors, painters, writers, poets. designers, illustrators, et al.  If somebody can make a boatload of money off a thing that does nothing but spin a sucker, then your passion can give you a livelihood.

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Written by Interviewer

March 14, 2013 at 23:53

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