Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Feeling Cheated

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day, and she put into words perfectly how artists feel.

"Cheated. We all feel cheated and undervalued."

The more I thought about this word, the more I felt she had it spot on. That is exactly how every person feels. The honest to god truth is, if we were all living comfortable - making as much money as our lawyer and engineer and finance friends instead of struggling day in and day out to make ends meet doing something we supposedly love, I doubt any of these "wars" would happen. The musician feels cheated because they are not getting enough from a performance where they see endless amounts of people coming through for a performance. The dancer feels cheated because they are spending hundreds of hours creating and choreographing and rehearsing a performance and then the musician is making more money than them for maybe 1/16 of the time they have put in, if that. The producer feels cheated because artists see "big money" and are continuously asking for more - again, making more money than the producers themselves.

Money does make the world go around and art has certainly become more of a money oriented business than ever before, to the point where I think the art world itself - at least the one we have created for South Asian ones here in NYC - is hurting itself. The suspicion, the politics, the egos - it's become really unbearable and almost sad to witness.

Bring back the selfless patrons who would just pay for an artist to sit around and be creative! Then we'd all happily help each other out, work for one another, and perhaps smile again instead of making our working lives so miserable!

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