A guidebook for aspiring performing artists to help them navigate the business side of showbiz.
The economic landscape for performing artists is shifting. Technology, evolving tastes, and the financial trouble of institutions like the New York City Opera, which closed in 2013, are changing how performing artists maintain their livings. With this uncertainty comes a greater need for the new generation of artists to understand how their training is equipping them—or not—to deal with infrequent gig cycles and programming that skews more toward popular culture. As Moore, the president and CEO of the Los Angeles Music Center, explains, her experience speaking with young performing artists in schools and at the beginnings of their careers has proven that they are mostly ill-prepared for the realities of the business aspects of their trade. To remedy this, the author has compiled a handy guide that addresses issues as wide-ranging as intellectual property, networking, and self-branding for the betterment of the future of the arts. Moore’s advice is steeped in her professional experience as an arts administrator and enlivened by her experience as a professional ballet dancer. With a genuine passion and desire to help other artists, she outlines her keys to success for a sustainable career. One critical chapter focuses on financial management. As more and more performing arts jobs move freelance, writes Moore, it is crucial that artists understand how to personally manage their incomes, deduct estimated taxes, and plan for periods during which jobs are scarce. Aside from the entrepreneurial tips, the author makes it clear that her most important principle is self-affirmation. The success of any artist, she claims, is dependent on the artist’s ability to remain confident in the face of rejection and not undercut his/her value through needless self-deprecation or comparisons to other artists.
A hopeful and optimistic treatise that will surely be required reading for performing arts students.