Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chicago Originals: By Ruth Ruhnke

Hello Chicago! Hey, have you ever wondered how people get to where they are going in life? You know, those successful people who we all read about and see on Late Night television? Well, they did not get there by cheating on their homework. They did not get to those high places of awesome by cheating in joke writing class and stealing everyones original jokes. Anyone can do that. They got to where they are because they did two things. One: Worked really hard consistently for a number of years and Two: They consistently bring to the table NEW original Ideas, jokes, concepts.

Now there are some guys and gals who get to where they are going by the most unscrupulous means. If you consider that success then I suppose your definition of success is different than mine. Success to me involves integrity, honesty, reliability, truth and those are the people who I work with and those are the people who I trust most.
So what happens when you begin on your journey toward a successful career in the creative world of Awesometown USA? We begin by looking at ourselves. We then study the people we most admire and we become a student of life. Then what? Well, i would suggest develop a creative attitude of fearlessness. The more you hold back your own creative power the more will be held back from you. In order to grow you must let go of control. If that sounds scary, trust me it is. Letting go of control from a creative perspective is a little bit like ... walking into oncoming traffic naked and allowing the whole world to look at you ... or jumping out of a plane. Letting go of control is essential though and even if it is a bit scary at first as long as you remembered your parachute you should be fine. You did remember your parachute didn’t you? You didn’t? Here are some things you can do to prepare yourself then creatively ...

Get a blog and write every single day. If you do not have a computer or if you lean toward the Amish way of life, a pen and notebook will suffice. Get stage time, this will help to establish your creative presence in an Arts community. How much should you write and how much stage time you get just depends on how much energy you have to put into your creative work. There is no right or wrong amount - but if you do nothing at all then you will not grow. What happens when you live more than an hour away from the city? Well, for me it means I write more and I end up seeking out venues in my local area which support the arts. I am a comedian and so I look for places which will be interested in Comedy and this is difficult, but the results of seeking out locations is well worth the time invested.

Getting paid? You might never be able to scratch out an income from any of your hard work. Everyone I know at some point does ask the question “how do I get paid” and the answer is this “Treat this like a job and respect yourself as a business. Treat this the same way you would treat any business.” If you never ask for money and do free shows forever and ever you will never get paid. The same applies to volunteerism - you will get a lot of Love in return, but don’t expect money. If you want money then perhaps you should consider owning a small venue. Become a bar owner and have a stage and provide entertainment to your community at a reasonable rate. Does your town have a small Theater or Performing Arts Center? If not find out how you can get one established. Right now Lake Geneva, WI does not have a Performing Arts Center. Why? No one has thought of it before perhaps. Many small towns across America could benefit from small venues which care about quality ORIGINAL Live entertainment not limited to and including Stand-Up Comedy, Theater, Live ORIGINAL Music and Fine Art. The demand for this will not decrease over the next 1,000 years, there will always be a demand for original work. Some people will be successful and some will fail ... fear and a lack of vision are the two things which hold people back. Don’t let your fears hold you back and let your vision inspire tomorrow!

Contributing Writer
Ruth Ruhnke