Being an artist is a battle.
Not a clean-cut-win-or-lose-type-battle but a weary and drawn-out fight-for-your-life kinda battle.
The media and entertainment industry specializes in mind-fuck warfare. If enabled, she will chew you up and spit you out.
While the rich are drinking champagne out of each other’s belly-buttons and polishing each others knobs. Artists are scratching around like feral cats in a kitty litter.
Every day I battle: I battle to make a living doing what I love. I battle to sell columns. I battle to get auditions.
I battle a shitload of rejection: from gatekeepers, newspaper editors, magazine editors, publishers, producers, film directors and casting agents.
I battle dark thoughts. I battle excessive fear.
Fear — that I’ll be de-platformed for speaking out against group-think ideologues.
Fear — that my agent will dump me because I’m not making him any dough.
Fear — that I will never get to where I want to be as an actress or writer.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful that I get to write for famous magazines and newspapers.
But realise that if I don’t turn this inch into a mile. I’ll be back at one of my shit-kicker jobs tomorrow.
The yellow brick road is paved with heartbreak — with a few crumbs of victory sprinkled along the way.
I signed up for this battle over two decades ago and take full responsibility for choosing the road less travelled.
But let’s face facts.
Artists face unique hurdles compared to other occupations. A large percentage of employment in the media and entertainment industry is either contract or freelance.
Which means it’s more difficult for artists to access bank loans, credit cards, rental properties and capital.
Australian actor, Neil Pigot who’s had a 35-year acting career recently said:
“Australia is one of the few countries in the world where you can be signing autographs in the street and be on the bones of your arse.”
And the thing is — artists battle to get paid.
Some businesses take between 1 to 3 months to pay an invoice — which is fine if you’re not on Struggle Street.
In 2017, I was owed $1200 for a series of columns I wrote for a magazine. And while waiting to be paid for my work, I found myself lining up at the Salvation Army for a food hamper.
Being an artist is worthy of respect. What do people do when they arrive home from work?
They turn on their TV.
They read a book.
They listen to music.
We turn to the work of artists for comfort every single day yet we are not willing to treat them with the reverence they deserve.
It’s fucking disgusting!