...like a musician makes an album

December 11, 2012


2012 is ticking away. I'm starting to think about 2013 (!) and what I want it to hold. I want to grow our business. I also want to set aside time (and energy) to make some art. This time, though, I want to make small dances. I want to make dances the way a musician makes an album. 

What does this mean? I want them to be portable (in my case, no big sets and projectors), easily sharable (short pieces that can be performed as part of a collaborative evening or for at a performance in and of themselves), employ some kind of element outside of the performance that's consumable (like a poster, a t-shirt designed by a visual artist I love), and versatile (the material can continue to be used and manipulated in various ways).

When I was twenty four, my obsession was my friends Kristof and Paul's band Dance Band. I never missed a show. They dressed up in wild outfits (Paul often just wore sparkly underwear, with MAYBE a cape framing his hairy chest), and performed a set of music that made the crowd...dance. It was a sweaty experience that made us all happy and form strange magical bonds with the other people in the room. At each performance they sang most of the same songs. But, we all kept showing up to hear their sweaty dance-inducing message, week after week.

Why spend hours and hours making something to just have it performed once? Why not make it transportable and sharable in various settings for new groups of people? Why attempt to reinvent the wheel, rather than going deeper (and getting better) at one thing?



Musicians record an album and take it on tour. They promote the album endlessly-- collaborate with visual artists and designers to make posters and t-shirts, and take time to talk about the body of work. So, while they spend hours and hours to compose the music and record the album, they get to really leverage the energy they put into making it. 



Any creative person will tell you: energy and time are finite resources.  I refuse to believe that making a living as a creative person is impossible. It demands strategy, though, and a respect for the time and resources it takes to create. 

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Examples of people who are making creative projects... like a musician makes an album:


Candy Simmons-- developing tour-able one-woman shows.

Braid Creative-- an eCourse curriculum that they can offer repeatedly throughout the year.

Emma Freeman-- putting her personal photography in a gallery show,  then an etsy shop.

ARTCRANK-- touring their bicycle-lover-meets-local-printmakers- party around the country (and in England!).

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