If you are a creative person doing creative work for a living, a deeper part of you always wants to be better, wants to create better, wants to give more. Unfortunately, the world we live in is filled with people who request your services and do not want to pay for what its worth.
They’d even go as far as ask you to deliver your work in a substandard way that makes it cheaper for them, or even at no cost at all. Free.
As performers, we are constantly face with this dilemma.
People spend so much money creating Music shows but do not want to spend money on the artistes delivering the music.
And if you let them, this would go on and on and on.
So what do you do about this if you are an up and coming artiste seeking the chance and opportunity to showcase yourself to the world?
Do you turn down the shows because they are free or do you look for other ways to make the situation work for you?
As an artiste, you must begin to find ways to create value for yourself especially when others do not value you.
When someone says ” Come perform. It is a free shoe, but it is a platform for you.” Is this of any value for you as an artiste?
Ultimately you are the one who is going to have to decide that.
How do we determine how much of a platform this really is?
What they never tell you is the fact that it is still up to you to make a platform of the so called platform that is being presented because its never really a platform until the artiste makes it so.
How do you do that?
You are going to have to look at what they have and compare that side by side with what you need. If what they have is able to answer to what you need and you can get them to commit to your plans, then yes, it is a workable platform for you.
So for instance, a club invites you to perform and entertain their guests at a certain event. They tell you to come because ‘it is a good platform for you and you need the publicity.’
What do you do?
It is important that you leave people to their folly.
Yes you need the publicity no doubt but performing at their event isn’t all the publicity you need to become successful.
How is this a platform for you except the fact that they say it is and then rub it in your face how you need the publicity?
I want you to be careful to see it at face value when people try to make it seem like you are the only one in need, when in fact they really need you too.
They need you.
Never forget that. Good luck to you if you have worked your way to the point in your career where people are asking you to come perform at shows. It means you are doing something right, it means you have value, it means they need you.
So do not play into their game too easily. The easier and cheaper they get you, the less they value you.
Make the platform become a platform indeed by aligning your needs to what they have. A club. A space.
You are an artiste.
Do you need to host your own private event with your fans! What day of what month can they give you the club to Do as you please? Maybe your own gig where you charge for tickets, sell your CDs, make some money for yourself.
Remember it is only a platform if what they have plays into what you need and they are able to give that to you.
If they can’t, then there’s no platform, they just want to use you. And while people using you is okay when you are just starting out, you are going to have to decide how long you , to be used for and when its time to grow up and demand value for yourself and your art.