A good friend of mine, Angela Razzano (Artistic Director of InViolet Theater Company) once asked me when I first moved to the city "what is your why?". I had no idea how to answer this question. My Why?, why what? Her question sat with me for some time and continues to challenge me as I discover new outlets of work in this industry. I think it's extremely important for artist (everyone really) to ask themselves this and to focus/ground themselves on it, as we can so easily get discouraged and distracted.
The narrative for this "why" can go some many ways. Why are you here? Why do I do what I do? More specifically, why do I care, why do I get up every morning, why do I create? and most importantly... why am I choosing to be poor a vast majority of my life?
My "why" for this blog is to share insights, tricks, do's, don'ts, stories, advice, etc. but the question of "what is my why" in life, is ever changing. When I first moved to New York City in 2015, I was selling discounted tickets to Broadway shows for some scam company in TimeSquare amongst the (ever so famous) Naked CowGranny (you enjoy that link), and the many ever so lovable off brand Disney characters that roamed the streets for tips. My "why" was to become a big successful Director, then it evolved into running a theater company to impact marginalized lives, and then, to become a Broadway Producer and make lots of money. Then my "why" shifted and I said "forget this industry, I just want to be able afford name brand peanut butter and not this target generic "Up" brand crap (which there's is absolutely nothing wrong with), but in doing so, I found myself aching to be back in the thick of it all with my other starving artist friends.
Ask yourself this, write it out and see what comes out of it. It doesn't matter if you're answer is as simple as " I just want to be a star damnit" or as vast as "to shine a light on cultural injustice" we all have a why. We may even have multiple, but it's so important as an artist to know what it is in your current state, as it grounds you and give you the confidence to audition better, write better, and carry yourself with a purpose.
You may already be living your "why", AMAZING! Don't stop checking in with yourself. It's so easy to settle and get comfortable.
You've moved to the big city, you've got your apartment, your friends to have brunch with, and your awesome temp job at Blue Apron... don't. get. too. comfortable. That isn't your "why", it's part of it, but not it. It's a spring board, to get yourself established, to be able to eat and get to know the city, but remember what that big expensive move was for. You have to hustle and work your ass off in whatever job you have to make connections, network, get to be known as "that theater kid" to your boss, because I guarantee, that boss has a connection of some sort for you, you better be good to them!
Focus on your "why" this week, remember it every day, and see what comes of it!