Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Best Gift You Can Give an Artist

I love looking at gift guides during the holiday season. You know, those curated lists of gadgets, gizmos, and goods for a particular recipient. Gifts for Her. Gifts Under $25. Gifts for the Techie.

I even found a few gift guides for actors and writers --
I considered curating my own gift guide specifically for actors or writers, but the more I pondered the task, the more I realized that there would only be one item on the list --

Faith.

Faith is the one thing every artist needs more of because we are constantly fighting not to lose it. Faith in our talent, faith in our work, faith that we are good enough, faith that chasing our dream is the right thing to do. We need faith to survive and we could always use more.

Because, as I've said many times, the most difficult challenge that all artists face is not losing faith in ourselves.

If you're an actor, writer, or any other type of artist, I'm sure you're nodding your head in agreement. You know it's true - losing faith is devastatingly easy. "My script is terrible. I haven't booked in months. No one will sign me. Why am I even doing this?!?" The self-talk and self-doubt spills into our mind freely and quickly, regardless of what our reality may be.

So if you have an artist in your life, give them the gift of faith. Believe in them. Tell them they're talented and mean it. Give them a compliment on the last role they performed. Congratulate them on just getting the audition. Read that story they wrote, watch that video they made - receive their art and tell them what you liked about it. Encourage them to keep going. Keep writing. Keep acting. Keep creating.

Now some of you might be saying, "What if I don't believe in my artist friends? What if I think they're honestly not that talented and should do something more worthy with their lives?"

If that is the case, give them the gift of shutting the hell up. Seriously. If you can't muster any kindness as compassion to supersede your judgment of what they're doing, then don't say a damn thing. Don't be the person who takes faith away from them.

Because that's what you're doing with all your well-meaning concern and "reality" talk - killing their faith. And like I said, artists need that faith to survive.

So spread the love, people! Support the artists in your life and receive the art they create with open minds and hearts. It's the best gift you can give them.

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