There’s a joke within my circle, “Did you send an email?”... when I say yes the single word is, “Forward!!!”.
I’ll never be the biggest person. I can’t claim comparison to the Ninth Wonder of the World, Future Hall of Famer, Chyna, but I do not stand down to injustice...ever. My friend calls me her modern day Clarence Darrow, and while that’s too great an honor I gladly boast the title, “Fearless Scrapper”.
Stove, Mother, Steve Wilton informed me I will have written 5x52 columns on UltimateWarrior.com come April.
I have never once missed a week. I believe writing is my art and purpose. Words are powerful weapons and when used correctly our ultimate influencers. My children have read everything I’ve written over the years and sometimes the emails I wrote to advocate for them. I have been gobsmacked over the number of adults shirking their basic responsibilities in stations of authority. Often my emails make my friends laugh at the simplicity of common sense laid bare. Denise says I need to publish a book of every email as a “how to” guide for those a little more tongue tied. One thing is for sure; I’ve raised kids capable of self advocacy as Indy displayed defending her Senior Project.
“To Whom it May Concern,
I found it both interesting and ignorant to be asked the age old question, ¨What about money?¨ when reviewing comments from my senior project essay on the importance of an arts education and viable careers in the arts post high school. The question posed was shallow and ill conceived. The most simple answer can be found with a google search. This most basic search will prove artists do make money; in fact the starting salary for most corps ballet dancers being $40,000. That sum is nearly double the poverty line for a family of four. In furtherance and dispelling financial queries: principal dancers make well over $100,000 per year.
This being said there are much better ways to answer such a question than simply stating facts. To truly answer this one dimensional question more relevant questions must first be asked.
Where does happiness weigh into the equation of choosing a profession?
When five o'clock rolls around and the work day comes to a close countless people leave their unhappy work environment and go home unfulfilled. These people goto bed each night only to wake the next morning and do the same, unenjoyable and monotonous work as the countless days prior. Their bank accounts may hold numbers in sums well over six figures but where is their level of happiness? Fulfillment and joy is so important in the living of life and theirs may be at an all time low. Some accept this life and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Still, there are others more daring in their career choices. Those working not solely for the motivation of money but for something far greater: Happiness.
Yes, it is true that in order to support one’s self and live independently one must make money, but in order to lead a life one truly enjoys one must also endeavor to be happy. Money is not everything. Money is most definitely not living. It is important to make a living but more important to wake up each day with a purpose and drive that motivates one to be their most successful and happy self; to live a life.
What about passion?
I believe each and every person comes into this world with a purpose and a story to tell. Each and every person is passionate about something whether they care to admit it or defend it. Some people are intrigued by math and finance and others become enthralled with the arts. How these people choose to express their passion, be it a hobby or a career, is a completely personal choice that should be free of judgement. One should never be deterred from artistic expression and freedom based solely on the platform of perceived income. ¨What are you passionate about and how can you use that to choose a career path for yourself?¨ is a much more relevant question to ask. If the purpose of my senior project is to make me “think” I hope, too, the recipient of my hard work takes a moment to think about thoughts posed to me.
In the future I hope more effective questions can be asked about choosing to pursue a career in the arts. Asking how one can make money as an artist is ignorant and outdated. Any outdated handwringing over a sincere query can be remedied with a quick online search. It is unfortunate to think adults discourage young, impressionable, minds from pursuing careers that they are truly excited and passionate about due to their own lack of education and false assumptions.
Luckily, I know there is more to life than just money. Although I will indeed be making a comfortable amount of that it is richness in a life lived with passion and happiness I seek. Perhaps our papers should be read and graded by those who have not given up on the idea of dreaming big and believing in dreams realized.
As for me, my life is bigger than a senior project. I’ll take bumps with passion and a bank account with deposits happily made of varying sums. My life IS art and I am its only artist.
ballerina. artist. joy filled. rich.”
I believe only in dreams we are willing to defend. I believe in speaking one’s peace at any age. I believe in every scrappy word my daughters have ever said in the face of unthinking adults. I believe in words, and their ability to change perspective, in emails, or otherwise...Always!!!!
Dedicated to the greatest writers I know ...those who advocate for their kids until they are old enough to be their OWN ULTIMATE ADVOCATE!!!!