I would like to thank Chris Wolf, Executive/Artistic Director of Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation. Chris also heads up the renowned South Bay’s Got Talent. And one of our VIP judges during WCOPA weeks competition for several years now. Chris has written an excellent essay on 3 Tips to Success.
In my almost 30 years in the business as a producer, director, manager, booking agent and now artistic & Executive Director of the Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation, I have had the honor of working with everyone from headliners to up and coming talent.
In conversation, I always try to ask them what words of wisdom they would impart to young talent trying to find their way in the business. Here are some of the top responses.
1) MAKE ART
It doesn’t always have to be good, or something that you feel inspired to share with anyone else. The key is to create. I’m sure you’ve heard the old joke…”How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice”…. It’s the same idea. Practice your craft. Practice being creative.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks in being creative can be yourself. Self-doubt can creep in. Questioning “will it be good enough”. The hardest thing to do is shut off those voices in your head. By continuing to create no matter the outcome, it will help quiet those voices. It may not shut them up completely, but it will help lower their volume.
2) BE HUMBLE
One of the hardest things to hear is “there is ALWAYS someone better than you”. So I will tell you, there is always someone better than you. Doesn’t mean they will be more successful or creative or do things the same as you… but knowing that you aren’t the best in the industry can help keep you grounded. It doesn’t mean that you should stop what you are doing. It just means that you should be humble. You have a talent. Share it with people. When someone gives you a compliment, thank them. If someone is nice to you… be nice back.
The entertainment industry is all about relationships. People will be more open to you and connections will come easier if you are humble and kind. Those relationships will lead to more connections, which lead to more opportunities.
3) BE AUTHENTIC
Perhaps the #1 response I get when asking artists what advice they would give to young people is “be authentic”.
Create the art you feel inspired to create. Take the gigs you feel are right for you. In short be YOU!
Chances are you will be given opportunities that may feel aren’t right for you. Sure you may need to take them to pay the bills, but at the end of the day, the art you create should reflect who you are. The world already has a Billie Eillish and Harry Styles. The one thing the world doesn’t have is another you. It needs your voice, your expression… your art.