Sunday, September 6, 2009

Myth Seven: When I make a million, I’ll be set

Myth Seven: When I make a million, I’ll be set
In the early days, before I knew better, I used to hire fellow artists and friends to help me with menial labor. I mean why not, right? They were always willing to help me frame paintings or pick up supplies, especially around the holiday season. It worked out relatively well. They made a few bucks and I didn’t feel as stressed. Besides, it was nice having company in my studio.

When I started needing help marketing my art, I applied the same equation, not realizing that “strapped for cash,” and having “free time,” weren’t the best qualifiers to use for a potential employee.  Can you imagine what it would sound like if you applied for a job and during the interview you said, “Well, I need money and I’ve got free time to kill, so I think you should hire me?"

It took a couple of years and a lot of damaged friendships for me to realize that most of my friends just weren’t qualified to act as my art agent or sales representative. Artists and artist-run businesses run into this problem again and again. Qualifications just don’t figure into the equation when hiring. 

Hire Out
“Strategically, the idea is that hiring someone will free up time to do the things that only you can do,” says author, Jeri Goldstein. 

If the time you’re spending doing menial tasks is taking time away from your ability to bring in larger, money-making gigs, then it may be time to think about hiring someone.

Christina Augello, the producer of the San Francisco International Fringe Festival says, “As a producer of a 4 venue, 2 festival arts complex there are many tasks I am not able or interested in doing.  In this case, it has definitely been worth the investment of hiring a managing director and production manager as well as hourly house managing staff.  This lets me go home at night when I’m not rehearsing or performing.”

Christina Augello
Christina Augello is a performer actress, arts advocate and founding artistic director of EXIT Theatre and the San Francisco International Fringe Theater Festival. She has performed in the Bay Area for over thirty years and has toured with ensembles and solo shows in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

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