For many of us, deciding to go it alone with our artistic pursuits feels like a necessity. Others around us just don’t seem to have the initiative; and, it felt like we needed to take a proactive stance towards what we wanted to do for a living. We decide we didn’t need others and took the long road towards “progress” entirely by ourselves.
But, then we discover that this type of road leads to little or no real rewards. We realize, a subtle truth, that we do need others to make it work.
We especially need others in our artistic pursuits. We can’t be the lone wolf, all the time, and survive in these at times unappreciative and misunderstood lonely creative woods. After all, wolves hunt in packs and artists thrive with more artists by their side.
There are times during our struggle, that we need to use our own initiative; but, without help from others our work often hears the silent whistle in the woods of little progress.
There are many different communities one can be a part of. An important questions is simple. What artistic passion do you pursue?
Poets find places to connect and write or read work together. On example is a place called Caffeine Corridor. It is an open mic venue where many well-known poets meet to read their work. They build their community of support and provide a venue. This can be a place that help poets find other venues and promote their own work.
How important is community in the poetic realm? Here are a couple of comments:
Bernard Schroeber (author and shark enthusiast) says referring to making an impact and especially making a living at it: But I would say for those I know who make their sole living off of writing, and who don’t have a patron or a spouse who keeps them afloat… I would say community is vital. That it’s not possible, at least on the poetry circuit, to survive without people helping you in the community. Booking you shows, turning you on to submission periods or residency applications, to getting your work out there in the wilderness.
Jake Friedman owner of Four Chamber Press adds: I think success is legitimately impossible without a community (as someone’s advancement in a social, cultural, or economic space is necessarily a measure of their recognition by that community).
Film is also a community where actors, directors, cinematographers and other film crew need to help each other. Films are most definitely a collaborative effort. It is especially essential in the independent film community for everyone involved to ban together.
Some would say a vital part of the community is simply to help others. Tamara McDaniel runs an Indie Film Meet up group and is the owner of Hungry Coyote Entertainment. She says when referring to being a part of a smaller community and not being in LA or NY: I would say that – particularly here – where the community is relatively small and the conditions are relatively fierce we need to stick together because we all need each other. A film doesn’t happen with just one person and so we all need to support each other and work together and help each other because we will all need each other at some point. I hope that answers your question and best of luck on the article.
In theatre, collaboration is extremely important as well. The participants begin to network with each other and can help each other find acting jobs and other venues of support.
In her theatrical experiences Amanda Schaar, Executive Director of New Fortune Company, says even though it is the individual’s initiative, “Community is vital. It holds up artistic endeavors with their minds, bodies and wallets. I would like to say that the arts are equally necessary for the success of a community. Stories, true, fictional or those that happen to us, are the only way that anyone has ever learned anything. The arts show us our own time, where we have been before, and imagine where we can go. No societal advancement is possible without a dreamer first showing the way.”
The same could also be said for the music industry as well. Davis Graves is a musician who hosts an open mic at Sips Coffee. It is a hot spot for beer and coffee. The audience should get there quick because the place is usually crowded. A great networking hang out place for musicians.
Blake Hassebrock musician and singer who frequents Sips Coffee concurs: “Being a part of nurturing the local music scene has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life, the people you meet and the growth you see not only in the community but in yourself… nothing compares.”
Once again, it is easy to get dismayed when you work with others who don’t take it as seriously. Or they don’t finish projects. This leads us down the path where we go it alone.
The answer is to invest in researching groups and making decisions on which to join. It is a better strategy then just being independent all the time. So the answer is obvious; find others who have a record of being productive.
It is easy to research groups or individuals to see if they do follow through on their projects.
Look at their activity in Facebook groups or other forms of social media such as Twitter and Meetup.
In film it is easier because you can look at their IMDB credits and see their history of recorded projects.
So get involved find a scene. Do your research and first see how proactive they are and how much they meet up. What projects have they worked on? How connected are they to the local scene?
Do they push their ideas out there?
In your community or “neck of the woods”, these groups are there it just may take some serious digging to find them .
It makes perfect sense, when involved in a community, to remember a cardinal rule ‘seek out help and be helpful in return’.
Another creative director Robert Conway, filmmaker of Krampus sums it up best, “I guess it takes a village to make a movie.”
And it takes a community to create more artistic options and increase chances for commercial acceptance. The decision is left with us if we decide if we want to make it part of one of our major priorities. The time is now to explore the perfect melting pot of creativity that permeates and awaits daily. For those of us who decide to participate in the community, this collective network best embodies the necessary component of universal support of gathering artists!