The Artist as entrepreneur – A response

The Artist as entrepreneur – A response

Sumedh Chatterjee

Actors crave empowerment as much as the next person, but entrepreneurship
doesn’t necessarily correlate to success. Business-minded individuals have impulses
that can gain insight from an actor’s perspective and vice versa.

Artists give value to the work they do not however give that much importance to
marketing or promotion, which in my opinion is equally important for success.
Teaching artists self-empowerment is an important process, young artists should
learn the process of taking charge of their own careers. Some universities have
started something called an ‘Arts Enterprise’, which is a good idea. However, I feel
entrepreneurship is given more importance in bigger schools like Yale as opposed to
smaller ones. Entrepreneurship can be taught, however I feel art cannot. It is
something that you discover and experience for yourself. I don’t like how some
groups are merging creativity and entrepreneurship together as they are two very
different things (e.g. Oberlin college).

Teaching enterpreurship leads to maximizing creative opportunities more, however
maximizing profit is also important if you wish to pursue an artistic career path. I
also feel some universities have vague terms for their programs like “Center for New
Performance”. In theory, when you are having fun, “geeking out” (as Michael J Miller
calls it), creating your own work for yourself should be able to survive even if they
aren’t particularly business-minded.

I may argue to say that some actors aren’t “naturally entrepreneurial” as some may
just be drawn to theater as a hobby and not prospective merchandise. Nowadays, it
is said that “theater people” should have an industry-based background in business
training. I feel learning business definitely improves your chances of job success
however I feel it is not an essential component to being a good actor. I do support
creating cultural arenas and bringing third-world actors into the US to improve their
skills and receiving hands on experiences, since there are amazing actors (who may
also be Business students) abroad. I think in the end, making goals and falling
through with them is most important. If you get paid for what you love doing, it is the
best feeling in the world.