A week or so ago, I cursed being a modern again. Dancer D was talking about his upcoming choreographicopportunity - to be performed at a really nice theater and to be reviewed by major critics. Not to mention the handsome honorarium that he'll pocket for the gig.
I want that gig. I want his opportunity. Problem is I'm not a ballet choreographer and I'm not a part of the ballet world.
Dancer D has become a choreographer because he was given the chance; not because of some driving inner passion to craft movement. It's an opportunity (paid) and well, why not?
Knowing this I momentarily cursed not pursuing ballet professionally. That's where the big bucks are for concert dance. Then I cursed my breasts. My body actually could be fit for ballet. I've got the legs and the feet and the thickness we've witnessed melt away, but the breasts... I can't be rid of them. That's what stood between me, pointe shoes, tutus and the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. That's what came between me and that honorarium equaling my current total monthly income!
I know there are a multitude of contributing factors to the discrepancy between financial rewards of ballet and modern artists. I haven't done any research to list them right now, BUT it is frustrating to see Dancer D luck upon creating a work for hire, and I'm not there yet. In fact, I'm paying other people - lots of other people - to make my work. It's the most backwards thing. Ever.
I recently took a business course for artist-entrepreneurs in which I was guided through writing a business plan for my emerging dance company. The biggest question I've been pondering all summer is how do I make money when I am not (and not interested at this moment) a self-producing artist? I'm trying to build my choreographic resume and make a name for myself which means I want to be in productions of various NYC people and venues. To do this though, usually I have to put out dough to reap only the benefit of making a new dance and exposure. Meanwhile Dancer D gets a wad of cash to make his choreographic exercises (his words, not mine).
I have my MFA! I'm getting ready to do my first evening-length work! I make dances because I love it! WHERE'S MY MONEY?!
(Totally having a Jerry Maguire moment. Too bad Tom Cruise isn't negotiating contracts for me. I'd be paid.)