Hi there! Welcome to The Artists’ Feast. Thank you for joining me and taking time out of your day to read this blog. I hope you find some great takeaways for yourself.
The Artists’ Feast comes from my own passionate belief that you don’t have to be a ‘starving artist’ to live the creative life of your dreams! Through the website and this blog I’ll be sharing great stories from people in the creative industry (from writers, actors, singers, artists, dancers and everything in between) who share how they’ve turned their passion and creativity into profitable businesses and careers. You’ll also receive weekly tips and tangible steps of how you too can get creative and join the feast. Or just contact me direct to chat!
But before we get into all that, I wanted to share my story….
From the moment I saw my first Fred Astaire film ‘Shall We Dance’ (1929 by TCM), I knew that I wanted to be involved in the business of ‘song & dance’. It was simplistic, yet beautiful, joyful and full of hope. I then worked my way into the golden era of movie musicals – all the 1940’s and 50’s films with the greats; Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Howard Keel, Vera Ellen, Cyd Charisse. My dream was to work in films or on the stage just like them! For me though, it wasn’t so much about the role of singing and dancing itself, but rather the idea of ENTERTAINMENT & ESCAPISM. The films of that era were designed to give people ‘a break’ from the war, and fill them with happiness, hope and the ‘dream life’. It was this break from everyday realities that so appealed to me; the idea of providing someone who needed it with a much needed outlet of pure joy.
Throughout my teenage years my focus became entirely on developing my singing career, as I am a classically trained singer This is something I still love and thrive on. I even still teach singing!
When I finished my high school education I naturally wanted to go to the best musical theatre school in the country… I auditioned and was rejected. The advice that was given to me was to get some life experience then come back in a year. So for me, school was over and I was thrust into the working world. I fell into work mode and never went back for another audition.
To keep the rent paid I worked up to 3 jobs at a time. My first job were a cleaner in a retirement home, waitress, an usher at several prominent Melbourne theatres, a receptionist at a dance school, and a bartender.
In 2008, I found myself in the position of event manager for one of the nightclubs I bartend at, which was something I had never even considered as a career in my life, but was something I found I had an aptitude for. Skipping ahead, I outgrew that particular company and took on a new role at an upmarket Melbourne venue/events company. Initially, I juggled this whilst still trying to make it to musical theatre auditions, take dance classes and singing lessons. As I rose up the corporate ladder in my job, the demands forced me to put my creative pursuits in the back seat. I was sad about this, but I had also been given a taste of corporate life and corporate income.
I reached the tipping point when I was 24, I realised that I had given away 6 years of my life to a career I had never desired, and what was meant to have been just for ‘paying my bills’ whilst I focused on singing – but the job actually had PREVENTED me from singing and pursuing my dreams. On top of that, I had learned to live to my means rather than saving money, so was also not making any real progress financially in my life. I had to make a change. I enrolled in a part time Diploma of Music (and I LOVED it!!), and left my ‘safe’ event management job.
Timing was in my favour as an opportunity landed in my lap from a professional colleague who owned a small corporate entertainment company. It was still event management (great! Because that was now my corporate experience and skillset), but focused entirely on entertainment (my passion!) I seriously couldn’t believe my luck!
This may sound idyllic, but I actually struggled for 1.5 years in this space. I didn’t know how to ‘sell’ bands and djs for my job, and whilst I was loving my Diploma of Music – I ultimately didn’t finish it. I had taken up too many part time jobs to fill the income hole left behind by my old corporate job, and once again let work and ‘safe jobs’ take over from my creative pursuits – with no real win! I was also dealing with personal issues within myself and my relationship at the time. I had begun my QUARTER LIFE CRISIS!
Sparing some of the more personal details, I spent a year overhauling my life. I took a good look at what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be, reading as much as I could, listening to podcasts, and surrounding myself with a positive mindset. Finally, I remembered what started off my passion and creativity in the first place – the desire to give people a unique escape with pure joy and entertainment!
That revelation and sense of self gave me the confidence to step up in the entertainment company (that I am proud to say I have been with for 5 years), and capitilise on my talents in the direction of creating bespoke entertainment experiences. These experiences allow me to let my creativity fly, as well as collaborate with some of the best talent in the industry!
During all of this I’ve always kept one foot in the performance world. For the past 8 years I have been actively engaged in the pole dancing, burlesque and vaudeville scenes, as well as being a hobbyist costume designer/maker and a singer. I predominantly performed as a performer in a musical comedy duo, but also as an MC, a vocal coach, an actor, a dancer or whatever I could get my hands on! I would volunteer to help out at competitions and events run by my pole dance school – anything to let me put on a costume and be in the world!
An absolute highlight of mine was also vocal coaching & performing with a youth theatre group with which I have toured twice throughout Europe! Performing has taken me around the world!
Each of these platforms gave me experiences of working with artists and assisting them to build their careers. Some of the people I’ve worked with and coached have gone from working full time desk jobs, to part time day jobs, to now being full time actors & performers! It’s an amazing feeling to help others achieve their own goals without sacrificing their creativity; and to help set other people free from their ‘pay the bill job’. Why can’t your ‘creative job’ pay the bills?
This is why I have created ‘The Artists’ Feast’. I do hope you enjoy it and the journey of freeing yourself from a ‘pay the bills’ job, a ‘safe’ job or an ‘until I make it’ job.
The Artists’ Feast is all about building a supportive community for creative professionals, and offering professional and personal development for those wanting to take their life or career to the next level!
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