The frustration I experience as an artist is the idea that I have to market myself as doing one thing. I understand that when people are looking for someone for hire, they want an “expert” in that field. The definition of expert is, “a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.”
I have a BFA in dance from Juilliard. I dislike saying this at times because when I talk about being an actor, singer or director, dancer from juilliard trumps everything and then I’m forced into one aspect of myself.
Now, I will say I am an expert in dance. My Juilliard degree can attest to that but the thing that Juilliard understood and did an excellent job of teaching was even tho I studied dance, dance consisted of many different styles from, African, modern, jazz, tap, ballet and the list goes on. We studied all of them because one style informed and strengthened the other.
The question I often ask is when did being an expert in creativity become being an “expert” in one field. Creativity is the ability to create with everything around you which would lend itself to the idea that the more you are able to do, the more creativity you have at your disposal. If I’m an actor on a set but can communicate in the language of the sound producer, director, lighting designer, music producer, and other actors, doesn’t that make for an easier job for everyone?
My father used to tell me not to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. My response, “I guess I have to master them all.”