Okay, so this is a real life big girl post, but I think it’s really important, especially considering the number of artists in my tumblr fam. I feel like it’s very common as an artist to feel not only undervalued, but to feel that you should be over the moon about ever single opportunity no matter how crappy that opportunity may be.
Recently, I’ve been working really hard on valuing myself as an artist. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I think I’m objectively very good, but it does mean that I respect myself enough to say ‘hey self, you have a lot of experience doing the thing and if people want you to spend your time and effort doing the thing, they should pay you decently and treat you well’, which honestly is not that much to ask, but it feels like it is most of the time.
Yesterday, a company I’d worked for before reached out to ask if I wanted to take a contract with them again this year. My initial instinct was no because last year, we were underpaid and overworked, but then I was like, PAUSE. They are reaching out to you. They want YOU. You can express yourself and ask for what you need without being an asshole because you’re not an asshole, so do it. The worst they can say is no.
SO, I spent yesterday in surprisingly pleasant negotiations with the company manager and explained my hesitations and what I would need in terms of money, breaks, food, etc, but also expressed that I understood that I may not get all of these things, but it was best to ask because if I could get these things, I would feel much more capable of giving the best performances that I could in the best mental and physical health - which is good for them too, at the end of the day.
CUT TO: This morning, I got an email from the stage manager and THEY AGREEEEED! I am taking the contract and making more money doing fewer shows and also serving as an asst. director because I’ve done the show before and honestly, I’m just so proud. My therapist and I have been working hard at me understanding the difference between being selfish and asking for what I need and I think it’s really paying off.
Moral of the story, YOU ARE WORTH WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE YOUR ART.