Friday, March 26, 2010

What are you wearing right now?

No one is going to take you seriously if you can't dress professionally.  Has anyone ever gone to a cross-industry networking event and noticed that everyone who works in the arts is looking well, a little shabby compared to the rest of the business world?  Yeah, me too.

When you're at the theater or in the studio, working on your production, or in your space, dress however you feel comfortable and is appropriate for your work environment.  I understand that often as arts professionals we end up doing multiple jobs, some of which may or may not come with the risk of ruining an outfit.  It's important to wear something functional, but please, PLEASE, I beg of you: when you go out into the greater world to seek funding, or network, or market, or whatever, you are representing not only yourself, but your organization, and all other arts professionals. 

Many people in corporate America have never met an arts professional.  They don't get it, they're not sure what that means.  Are you an artist?  Are you a businessperson?  The fact of the matter is that you are both, and your presentation should reflect that.  If you're not dressed professionally, a traditional businessperson can't take you seriously, because they are trained that appearance reflects professionalism (or lack there of) in their offices on Wall Street & Park Avenue.

I know you're an accomplished professional and successful businessperson, so how about we show that to the rest of the world!

(both photos borrowed from

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Know When to Say No

Image borrowed from                      
So for New Years, I resolved to not over-extend myself and to write twice a week to prove it to everyone. Well, I haven't been very good about this (as evidenced by the fact that I'm writing on a Thursday), but don't give up on me yet!

I've found that I have been saying NO a great deal more, but I've also had a great deal more opportunities come my way.  I think that triaging opportunities is the most difficult thing you are presented with in this business of theatre.  Whether you're a producer, actor, designer, musician, manager, or one of the many other players in the theatre, you have to decide which projects to work on, how much (or how little) you're willing to work for, and even how to best spend your time on a day to day basis.

As artists we often work for ourselves, no boss, no teacher, no time clock.  It's just you and your priorities.  So how do you choose what's most important?  Everyone's answer is different, but I can tell you with complete certainty, that the most successful people in our business know when to say no, and when to say yes!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Own Your Spotlight!

The forecast is gloomy for the weekend.  Brighten it up with a little pampering and shop for a good cause at my very first fundraiser!

The event consists of shopping, free make-up consultations, networking, and just some plain old fun times on a rainy day.  The best part is that when you buy something, we'll be donating part of the proceeds to Project Peru, a part of Manos Solidarias, an org that works to improve the quality of life for children and families living in poverty.  What could be better than getting stuff and making a difference!

The fun starts at 2:30, don't be late! RSVP HERE!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


(image by J. Howard Miller borrowed from
I ran track once when I was 12.  I hated it.  I refused to run any race over 200 meters, and I was constantly walking at practices.  Finally I got tendonitis, so they stopped trying to make me care.

Lately I've gotten it into my head that I'm a runner.  I've been running give or take 15 miles a week on and off for a few years out of sheer necessity (no money = no gym = no pool, no elliptical, no dance classes), but something finally clicked for me and now I'm training for a half marathon.  Um, WHAT?

That's right folks, I'm going to run 13.1 miles... in a row... on purpose... and I'm excited about it!  I've been able to turn something I'm bad at into something I love, and now I'm getting pretty good at it.  How?  Affirmations..... and lots of practice.

For better or for worse, the human brain is really powerful.  It has the power to convince you that you CAN or CANNOT do something.  Anxious about a test?  Tell yourself you're not going to do well and you'll probably live up to your expectations.  Tell yourself you're prepared and intelligent, and I bet you'll ace it.  Don't like approaching investors?  I bet you won't pick up that phone and set those appointments half as often as someone who enjoys pitching their show.

Not all of us are born good at everything (Shocking!).  Some of us have to work at different aspects of our jobs and lives.  While nothing replaces good old fashioned practice, affirmations speed up the process and make it a heck of a lot more pleasant.  So next time you approach that task you're not good at, tell yourself,
"I can do this.  I am (smart/strong/able/accomplished/etc) and I will make it happen."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bringing Broadway to Students

Full disclosure:
This article is about the Early Stages Program, a nonprofit that brings NYC public school students to Broadway and Off-Broadway performances.  I happen to work here :) so I am biased.  I think it's a great organization that's doing wonderful things for NYC students AND for the future of Broadway.  Actor Matt Cavenaugh thinks so too.  You can read his article on Early Stages in Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine (spring 2010).

Check it out!