Someone reached out to me recently to chat about a dilemma they were having. They wanted to be a part of the music industry, but they didn’t like most of what they knew about the environment that surrounds musicians. I listened to the distress in their voice as I related to every word. It reminded me of a time in my life when I was faced with the exact same thoughts. Any person that has been so deeply affected by music in their life understands the necessity for the creator to make content that is impactful on a consistent basis, and they want to be a part of that. There are things about the industry that can challenge many people morally, physically, and otherwise. While certain aspects are stigmatized, there is a line in the sand that many musicians have to cross to put themselves in situations most likely to breed success. Whether it is changing their musical content to include subject matter that goes against what they believe, associating with unsavory characters, or sacrificing boundaries ones have set for themselves, the grey areas start to pile up. But there is light at the end of the tunnel!
When you are watching a movie, most of your attention is probably going to the actors. Understandably so, but what about the directors, producers, camera, sound engineers, set constructors, and so much more? When we think of certain segments of the creative industry we tend to minimize the amount of work that needs to be done in order bring a quality piece of content to each consumer. If you feel like music is such a part of your being, that your very heartbeat waits for the drop in your favorite song, then don’t shy away from exploring that passion. You don’t have to be holding the mic to do what you love for a living, and you wouldn’t be making pennies to do it. You could be a musicians’ agent and make a six-figure salary very realistically. If you are inspired every time you watch your favorite breakdancer on YouTube, you can explore being a choreographer and make 42k to 46k per year.
Not every job function in the creative industry is glamorous, but if you are passionate about it, explore it. If you love something, chances are you will become good at it. If you are good at it, someone will pay you to do it. Don’t trade who you are or what you believe in exchange for an opportunity. You will find yourself unfulfilled and regretful. Instead, allow your passion and character to create your opportunity.