Performing artists are mostly extrovert people belonging to a tight knit community. This statement can’t be more far from the truth. The truth is, performing artists tends to mostly feel alone. There are various things that add on to such state of not belonging. This is very much true when they are not working (which is majority of the time) and waiting around hence making them pull away from everybody around them. It is not an easy state to be in when the work you do is to make others connect to your art.
Artists tend to isolate themselves from each other and the outsiders. The reason they isolate themselves from each other is due to their own insecurities. Each artist has and will always have insecurities no matter how successful they are. They are petrified of facing other artists and not being able to measure upto them. For instance, if you’re a 40 year old actor and you meet a 20 year old actor who is not as good as you but you can’t help but compare what you were like when you were 20 and how this kid is much better off than you were. It’s just artist’s tendency to do so. Now the reason artists isolate themselves from the rest of the world is a tricky one as they do not know how to connect to them out of their art. They don’t know if the outsiders will understand how artists are a big part of just a waiting game. This gap of not opening up to the outside world just for the fear of being misunderstood can be brutal.
Unknowingly artists have let their value measured by their resumes. It’s a peice of paper that hold back the artists from actually putting themselves out there. Even artists who have their dream jobs and doing the work they want to are not all that connected. They are usually too fatigued and over worked to go out. They hide themselves from the crticisms or shy away from sharing their success for fear of sounding self-absorbed and arrogant.
The simple truth of it all is that we all need each other. People have the tendency to isolate themselves knowingly or unknowingly. The easy way to overcome this tendency is to plan interactions with people. Artists or otherwise. Stick to your plan no matter what. Show up even if the first question is “so what are you upto these days?”. I know the question makes you cringe but it will hurt only for the first ten minutes and then that 30 minute coffee will turn into two hours of getting to know each other better. And it’s worth it. This connection is what will make you better as an artist. Your interations is what will inspire your art each step of the way and your work will touch and connect to others in a way you never knew was possible. Because like it or not, we are all in it together.