What does it look like when you’ve become a “successful” artist? Does it get easier? Does there come a moment when you finally get to coast? The answer: Heck no.
I remember seeing Johnny Depp in an interview and he confessed that every time he makes a film, he worries it might be his last. And from the outside, from the perspective of the ordinary fan, you’d think, “No way. You’re Johnny Depp!” He must just be trying to be modest or something, right?
But in reality, though he is famous and that fame may lead to employment opportunities (though not necessarily – look at how many American Idol “stars” disappear into obscurity not long after the season closes), his situation is still very much like any of ours. Going from gig to gig, always trying to keep the momentum going. In fact, the bigger the game, the bigger the moves you have to make.
A favorite saying of mine, from productivity guru, David Allen (author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity), is:
“The better you get, the better you’d better get.”
This reality is best portrayed in (you may be surprised to learn) the documentary: Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. I highly recommend seeing this film. Besides that it will earn from you some new found artistic respect for this iconic entertainer (yes, truly!), this motion picture also does well in the arena of myth busting, which I love and which I believe serves to educate all of us about our preconceptions on the business of art and the art of business.
Some of its worthwhile takeaways:
Besides all this hustle business, the film is great too in that you will gain insight to Joan’s beginnings as a cutting-edge artist, an edge you will see she hasn’t lost one bit. Beyond her current fame as a cosmetic surgery poster girl, you will be reminded that this woman is a super seasoned, no-holds-barred, absolutely hilarious, and professional funny woman. Rent it at your local video store. Or queue it in your netflix.
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