I’m so excited to be posting the first blog on the brand new tiffanyprochera.com site! I’m really pleased with the new digs and I hope you browse around and have some fun here!
So, I was recently reading an article about following your passion can be dangerous – a “nightmare”, in fact. The article, written by Michael McCullough for Canadian Business (you can check out the article for yourself here) suggests that, for most people, their passions are not marketable, they have no value to society and they should instead take a standard job that has a predictable value and outcome and make the best of it and keep the passion to a hobby. The goal is to get over your ego and find out how you can be useful to others.
Well, let’s look at this for a moment, shall we?
To be honest, I don’t necessarily disagree with everything about this notion and, trust me, it’s not the first time I have heard it.
For one, I have met people who feel that doing what they love for a career would put too much pressure on them to deliver results. and they might end up, in fact, falling out of love with the activity. I get that.
There are also those who may not have the skill set to be a professional at something and may not be able or willing to do what it takes to get good enough. At under 4’8”, no matter how much I loved playing basketball , the chances are almost non-existent that I could become a professional player. Heck, I apparently can’t even be a flight attendant because I’ve heard they have a height minimum of 5’2” – I’m assuming that’s so they can effectively deal with the overhead bins. Anyway, there may be some league somewhere that might accommodate someone of my stature but NBA material I am not so I’m better off playing it as a hobby to my heart’s content.
I have also met students who love singing with the radio in the car but when it comes to dedicated practice time, not so much. And that’s what’s required to be a professional performer – the commitment to your craft – so maybe their commitment will change over time or maybe it’s just not going to be their career path and that’s okay.
And there are those whose passion is somewhat unusual and may not have a large market. Even in the realm of music, I once heard someone explain that if you are an out-of-the-box fusion-style artist, you are less likely to get music licenced for film and television because they tend to work within standard genres. So your death metal/funk/country track, as wicked as it may be, is probably not going end up on the next episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
It’s not impossible… and that’s doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for it in the world – just maybe not on a film and television soundtrack.
But here’s the thing. There are also a lot of people who have the skills, are doing something many people could enjoy and benefit from and, to top it all off, it is at the very core of their being. Their passion, their creativity is, in many ways, who they are.
Maybe I’m over-simplifying the message and maybe it just triggered something in me but It’s is thoughts like those presented in this article – the idea that creativity should be relegated to a hobby – that leads to people posting blog comments like, “All music should be public domain”.
Art brings huge value to society – we are surrounded by it every day and cannot help but be affected by it. And I’m not even talking about symphonies and Chekov plays.
You may resist the idea at first, but can you entertain the notion that Zoom zoom zoom is art? That the latest blockbuster movie – heck, even something like The Interview – is art? That the poster that hangs in front of a lingerie store is art?
Because it is. They all use the same skills that have resulted in the most profound sounds, sights and stories ever created.
Yet there are people who believe that, because it’s fun to do it, it has no value and should be free.
Doing what we love, whatever it is, brings us joy. That joy, in turn, radiates to those around us, making the world a happier place.
I’d say that’s pretty useful and valuable – never mind when you add the results of our efforts on top of it!
And, despite what the author of the article and many other people think, different people find joy in different things. Just because you can’t stand doing housework doesn’t mean that someone else doesn’t find absolute fulfillment in coming into a home and putting things in order and making everything sparkle. You can’t just automatically assume that that housekeeper necessarily wants to become an actor or a painter. And wouldn’t the kind of a person who loved cleaning do a better job than someone who begrudges every moment and is just doing it because it’s something they can get paid to do? Just a thought.
But back to the creative pursuits, sometimes it’s a matter of learning how to navigate the business side of things. There are courses that you can take – courses that specifically cater to artists and creative people – that help you hone those skills and make a living from your craft. Maybe, for you, it will be about learning to navigating social media. Maybe your work is awesome but you just need to tweak it a little to appeal to a specific demographic.
You can’t underestimate how important that kind of knowledge is.
You can be the best at whatever you do but you still have to figure out how to get your work out there. Whether it’s learning how to do it yourself or bringing a professional marketing person on board, the two must go hand in hand. Otherwise you end up with a bunch of beautiful paintings stacked up against the wall in your studio or hundreds, or even thousands, of CDs or books sitting in boxes in your garage or storage closet.
How many times have you heard about an album or movie months after its release being publicly declared a flop and you think to yourself, “What? That sounds amazing! I totally would have bought that/gone to see that if I had known it existed.”?
My point is, there are lots of reasons to do or not do something and if you decide not to make a living from your passion, that’s totally okay. And, yes, it behooves us to try and see the best in any situation so we can learn to like where we’re at. But, if you have something you love so much that it is all you want to do, you at least owe it to yourself and the world to set a timeline and make a go of it. Take a look at your obligations, financial and otherwise, and see if you can start off at least part time and make it a side business.
Try investing a little in your passion and see what it gives back to you!
In other Swimming Tigress Music news – as you can see, the new web site is here!
I’m so excited! I love the colours and how it’s all laid out! We’re going to have fun here, people!
I’m currently working on my first children’s album, Ladybug Crossings, to be released under the name Tofaru (see the web page for the 411 on that!) and I’m having a total blast! It’s a combination of songs from my two songbooks, Bad Moods and Brain Freezes and some brand new material and I’m planning on releasing it in June of this year.
But in the meantime, you can check out some lyric videos for the first few songs on the Swimming Tigress Music YouTube Channel.
Oh, and speaking of Bad Moods, this past weekend I had the pleasure of watching a dapper young fellow named Nicholas perform Doodley Doo at a trophy competition during the Winnipeg Music Festival. He did a bang up job! He had moves and everything! I was so pleased and I’m so glad his teacher made aware of the competition so I could check it out! I’ll see if I can get a video of his performance but,in the meantime, you can check out my version of Doodley Doo – soon to appear on Ladybug Crossings – on the STM YouTube below.
Okay, that’s all for now! Have a fabulous, fabulous day!
And if you’d like to add your two cents or a nickel on today’s topic, don’t hesitate to comment below!