Craft & Contract
An Entertainment Career To Fill Your $oul
by Dr. Sandra Colton-Medici
The ups and downs of any career can be nerve-wracking, but a performer’s nerves are those of steel, right? Dancing in shoes two sizes too small, rejection at every turn, and yet, still finding a way to smile, engage, and move the needle for adoring fans and digital audiences. An artist cultivates their craft, and drills down on the details on pointe and prerequisite posture.
A question each performer must negotiate is the space in which they receive recognition and that in which they reap the financial reward. Wealth management is not something entertainers are taught regularly. As a whole, the arts community is not valued like other industries and companies (i.e., Tesla, Google, or Apple). The money mindset is not at the forefront for dancers, because the love of the craft and our ability to create work that speaks to people, is the reason why we do what we do.
The intersection of feeding one’s soul and contributing to one’s savings is called Craft and Contract. It is the stop light you reach at a certain point in your career, where you look right, left, and right again – seeing no other cars on the road, but your own. You are the person who can ignite a fire within an audience. You are the person who determines your worth. When you look right, left, and right again, the path you curate to an inner happiness may not include becoming a billionaire, but the ability to fill your soul by way of making a living through dance.
I often feel like there is an unseen pressure to sit back and let others assess your value and performers take what they are given, no questions asked. In a recent podcast episode of Sweet Bytes with Sandra, my guest, Colonel James Minnich (Ret.), talked about laying down your ladder, not fighting for what you want, and the importance of actually trying something or putting yourself out there. His interview made me think about how many performers simply allow their careers to take shape without being in the driver’s seat. The craft at the heart of one’s career can be positively impacted by contracting and reevaluating the path you are given.
To disenthrall from this hamster wheel rotation, (i.e., the Hollywood award show cycle, the convention/competition season, dance recital countdown, etc.), reexamine each opportunity, and also re-up your value-add to each project initiated. Keep your path, the one you choose, top of mind. Seek out what can make an impact on others but also sustains the vitality of your career as well. We are constantly evolving and this means that a performer’s work is never done.
The undoing of the contract is when you find you are not filling your own cup. You may even want to recharge with a SuperSoul conversation. I firmly believe that your best work is always ahead of you. Many people like to look to the past to point out milestones, but to carve out your path today, in real-time, is exciting, a challenge, and motivating in a way that past clips of dance footage cold never be. In an ever-changing event space, performers must adapt to a new way of connecting with each other in a socially distant world, but also connect with themselves. Now is a time to look within to find what matters, moves you, and makes magic.
About the Author:
Dr. Sandra Colton-Medici is a digital strategist, online business educator, and author. Sandra has toured as a backup dancer for Rihanna, appeared on Lifetime's hit show Dance Moms, was a top finalist on Season 1 of FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance, has performed on Star Search, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno singing backup for both Paulina Rubio and Katharine McPhee, MadTV, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show with Justin Timberlake, worked with Beyoncé and choreographer JaQuel Knight on Black is King, in music videos for Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake, Chelo, The Game, Katharine McPhee, Raphael Saadiq, Marie Serenholt, Cascada and Too Short. Her resume also includes work as an actor in The Day The Earth Stood Still, national commercials for Fruit of the Loom, Subway, and Nationwide Insurance.
More from Sandra: www.sandracoltonmedici.com
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