I used to hate the question “What else do you do?” after telling someone I am a classical singer. The question is always a jab. It is people’s way of basically saying “You are not a REAL performing artist if you have another job or business”. It was not until I received my MBA in International Business, that I realized the importance of actually having something else to do, WITHOUT feeling guilty about it.
If you are in the arts, and receiving an income from your 9-5 GOOD! So many artists walk around feeling guilty for actually supporting themselves. In the opera world, you should always have to have another stream of income. So stop the self loathing if you must have another job between singing gigs with an opera company. I have some tips on how you can actually use your talent to create a stream of income even if it is not performing…..think hidden talents!
- Think about what comes naturally for you. I have an opera singer friend ,who I helped start a successful organizing business. She always helped me to organize my music….well really, I gave it to her to organize because I hated doing it myself. It always came naturally to her. Anyway, I asked her one day “You should let me help you get some clients to start an in home organizing business.”. She was open to it and 25 clients later, she is still doing great. She was also able to pay for singing coaching that she had put on hold for a very long time because money was tight. Remember, the other stream of income job that you choose should be something you enjoy, so it does not seem like work. Especially if you already work a 9-5 job. Here is a great article for inspiration about starting a home organizing business.
- Be a Ringer! If you are a singer, than you know church jobs. Usually a church will hire you to sing as a section leader in their choir. If you are not up for the obligation on the weekends, consider being a ringer! Get a list of 10 churches, synagogues, etc. and let them know you are available “on call”. It could generate between $150 to $500 per month depending on where you live.
- What’s your audience? Once you know what hidden talent you want to use to create a stream of income, the next thing is to know who you plan on pitching your business to. Figure out who you are best qualified to work with. Can you help solve their specific problem? What is the value of your product? What is the solution you can bring to them?
I hope some of these tips helped. Remember it is ok if you have other ways of making money outside of your actual craft. It is often how we need to survive as performing artists while learning to be financially successful at it. I do not believe or have a romanticized idea of the “starving artist”. Save that concept for the stage.
Let me know how you create a diversified stream of income based on your talent! If you liked this article share it with a performing artist you know!
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