Friday, August 20, 2010

A More Noble Profession

Over the course of my first year out of school trying to make a career out of dancing, I have gone to bed many nights wondering what the hell am I doing?

It is largely agreed upon that I am an intelligent young woman who has the capability to do whatever I want. Many of my peers are all entering and enduring graduate school, working toward JDs, MDs, PhDs, MBAs. I too, could acquire any of these letters behind my name. But I chose MFA, for a myriad of reasons that have benefited me immensely in the past year of working in dance in the "real world."

Still I can't help but think should I have chosen a more noble profession? One that is widely respected by all? One that makes money? Offers security? Am I wasting some of my capabilities?

American culture, while it loves to boast its arts, certainly does not support it (put its money where its mouth is). The result? A number of American artists going abroad to work because they can count on a bi-weekly paycheck, like a banker can here.

Best Friend and I had this conversation the last time he visited. He was sad to leave New York and go back to his steady Canadian pay check. His friends and real livelihood are here. He enjoys the artistic work he does in the city immensely, but he can't count on it to survive, and hates the hustle. So, he boarded a plane and went back north.

There are those who believe being an artist is the most noble profession of all. That it is art that makes life worth living.

I agree.

I just wish everyone else did.

Do you?


Alyce said...

Being in law school has made me yearn for the arts. I have probably spent more time in museums, writing and reading books and dancing than I ever did before I spent all of my time in a world where the arts are basically nonexistent.

Stan said...

You've set out on a road that will not be easy to navigate for many reasons. But Bottom line, you have to be happy with yourself. If you can do that and make a living, then I say go for your dreams. You have youth on your side. Even 10 years from now you can still go get some of those letters behind your name and do something else. But if this road map/business/personal plan that you've put in place for yourself is burning a hole in your soul, then you owe it to yourself and then the world to give it your very best shot! God's Blessings, I'm looking forward to the successes of your hard work and thoughtful planning.


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