Sunday, July 15, 2007

Do you know how many comedians are out of work?

I recently read Jim Key's new blog. I saw this posting thanks to EdgeNet.

Jim is the 2003 Toastmasters International World Champion of Public Speaking. What an awesome title and Jim is an awesome guy. He will be at the Improv in Addison, TX on Wednesday, July 25 mic night. Below is my comment concerning bringing PASSION into your life.

Hi Jim,

So why did I hear about this blog in Edgenet?

I don't know the answer to your question in the title of this posting but I know that when I was interested in being an actor that only about 3% of "actors" were actually making enough to support themselves.

I knew several amazingly talented folks who went off to New York or Los Angeles and who found no or limited success as actors. Now some went on to backstage careers or found work in the studios behind the scenes but only one ever made a even a limited living as an actor.

Lots of people go after glamour careers and some who are incredibly driven, talented, and fortunate do "make it".

By all means, if you want to change your life, then do something different! Bring that passion into your life, act-do comedy-speak publicly ;-), even pursue it as a career...but bringing the passion into your life whether or not you end up making a living at it is what counts.

Think about actors who "make it" and now spend their days on, say, a soap opera (and there is nothing wrong with that) or doing dog food commercials (and there's nothing wrong with that, either).

Compare that to someone who pursues that dream as an avocation rather than a vocation. They still have the activity they are passionate about and the opportunity to play some of the great roles in theater history in Community Theater.

And there are lots of ways to make money in theater or acting or comedy...starting a non-profit theater as the creative director, doing local commercials, or videos for local businesses and organizations.

For example, I have appeared in and done voice-overs for some state government agencies. I even did a character portrayal as a gig for a whole year for the Michigan Department of Transportation's Centennial in 2005. (MDOT is my former employer.)

I kicked off several events, appeared in parades and at Greenfield village, participated in media day at the Detroit Auto Show, met the Governor, walked the Mackinac Bridge Walk in character as "Good Roads" Earle.

So bring that passion into your life...and don't worry too much about whether the money will follow. Do Something...Different!

Michael Erwine

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Is this off subject?

Peter Mulvey is biking to work for about 10 days in September. That's quite a news flash isn't it? And who the heck is Peter Mulvey?

Well, Peter Mulvey is a musician, a singer/songwriter and a dynamic performer. So, for Peter, biking to work, means traveling to different venues, guitar in tow, literally. What a great idea. Check out Peter's My Space site for details and to sample some of his songs.

If you have the opportunity to see Peter live...Do it! He is great!

I've had the pleasure of catching Peter's act here in Lansing, Michigan and attend a songwriting workshop Peter gave at in town at Elderly Instruments. (If you play a fretted instrument, guitar, banjo, mandolin, you also owe it to yourself to check out Elderly, too.)

Peter is doing something different so I guess it's not off subject after all.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Try this on for size.

Let's say your aspiration is to start your own business. Your problem? You've never run a business. Well, don't quit your job and spend your life savings starting it up.

Instead, find one of those direct selling companies (like Avon, Pampered Chef, etc.) that let you get started for next to nothing and try that for a while. Hey, it's small, easy, simple, and right now. Boom you're in business.

Here's what this does for you. It gets you information. Most of these companies give you a manual of information about how to get started. They show you how to keep simple business records and how to market yourself. All valuable business tools.

One great idea is to make a list of 100 people you know and then contact them to tell them about your new business. Yes it's simple but how many actually do it? Sometimes building a business is one warm call (not coldcall, cold calls suck) at a time.

At least you'll get your feet wet and find out what you like and don't like about business.

Friday, July 6, 2007

The Gaping Void

Talk about small, and simple, and right about a guy does his art on the back of business cards?!?

That's what Hugh MacLeod on the backs of business cards. Simple, easy, small, now!

Check out cartoons on the back of business cards. Hmmm...what could he possibly be thinking!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Do something...small!

Do something small, so small your natural resistance to scary new things doesn't wake up, a nanoaction (TM). Conversely, do something audacious too get exited enough to take action. Whichever path you chose, and it may be different at different times or different tasks, the goal is to take some kind of action toward your aspirations.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Five books to help you do something different!

Five books to help you do something different!

Wishcraft: How to get what you really want

Barbara Sher's great book on getting what you really want in life.

How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci

by Michael Gelb. Sometimes to get what you want you must be creative. This book will help.

The Artist's Way at Work

by Mark Bryan and Julia Cameron. Ditto for this book.

Getting Business to Come to You

by Paul Edwards. If what you want is something... entrepreneurial then this book will really help.


Refuse to Choose.

by Barbara Sher. Gee, I just don't I want to do this...or this...hey, this looks interesting. If this describes you then check out this book.