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Forums > Social Discussion > Professional performers Vs acting Professionally?

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squarefish
SILVER Member since Sep 2002

(...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...)
Location: the state of flux

Total posts: 403
Posted:At anothers suggestion I am starting this poll.
The premise under debate is that to be considered a Professional performer one must derive all of ones income from performing.

A quote from another member
"There's a difference between acting professionaly and being a professional.

I'm quite prepared to believe you do the former, but if you don't make a living from performing then you can't be the latter."


Therefore:
Can one be a professional performer without having Performance as the sole source of income?
Do you have another job besides performance?


I would like to see representation from both sides, those who hold down one or more jobs as well as performing, and those who just perform.


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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction

Total posts: 13215
Posted: Written by: Oxford English Dictionary


Of a person or persons: that engages in a specified occupation or activity for money or as a means of earning a living, rather than as a pastime. Contrasted with amateur.

Of an event, activity, occupation, etc. (now esp. a sport): undertaken or engaged in for money; engaged in by professionals (as distinct from non-professionals or amateurs).




I think "as a means of earning a living" is important here. It doesn't say it's your sole income at all. I work as a bartender and will soon start working as a coach. both of those jobs will be my means of earning a living. It is not the case for me now (as I actually have two bartending jobs) but if I only had the one bartending job (which was the case when I applied for the coaching position) that coaching job would be integral in giving me means to live because I can't survive on the single bar job alone; making me a professional coach AND a professional bartender.

Many people work two jobs to make ends meet and I don't see why performing can't count as one of two jobs and therefore being professionals in both those fields.


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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squarefish
SILVER Member since Sep 2002

(...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...)
Location: the state of flux

Total posts: 403
Posted:Agreed.

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:I'll be honest over the summer more than half my earnings were from spinning but I still only consider myself semi professional. if you have another job say a main income you cannot always work every gig you are offered, because your other job interferres. You can act professionally (have insurance, risk assessments fire sazfety gear etc. but if your main source of income is NOT spinning how would you be a professional. rugby players used to play and train all the time but because they weren't paid a full salary many had "prestige" jobs as lawyers etc so they earnt enough to play without having to work they weren't professionals until the RFU had a ruling saying they could be and if anyone can say Will Carling and the early 90'S 5 times grand slam England team were professional they they would have argued they only acted it... I know we did ask at the rugby world cup in 1992 wink I know what your saying but that really is the crux

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:The way I see it (in addition to the quote used in the first post), is that you can either be

- an amateur: you don't/very rarely spin for money.

- a semi professional: you get paid, but it's not enough to live on by itself, so you have at least one other job.

- a professional: performing/teaching/other variations of your art is your full time job.



Note that you can still potentially be an expert in your field regardless of where you sit on that list.



*edit

This was the next paragraph in the post that was quoted in the original post. I reckon it's probably worth putting here as well.

 Written by: me



Also, it's worth mentioning that they're not completely inclusive. There are plenty of people who are a professional who don't act professionaly.




EDITED_BY: TheBovrilMonkey (1189496384)


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel


Total posts: 15414
Posted:and there are also lots of people who act professionally when they perform, but are not professional performers (performing is only a rare job for them)



These are the professionals:


Non-Https Image Link


wink



(BTW - Im the person with no other job other than performing.. as Im currently waiting for my new job to start (next Monday).. but then again.. I dont really perform anymore)


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PinkNigel


PinkNigel

Pinker than thou
Location: A little pink world all my own...

Total posts: 336
Posted:Really? I thought these were the Professionals...



I have earned my living exclusively through circus skills since 1995.

I consider myself a professional not because of that though, I call myself a professional because I endeavour to be on time, to have an appropriate, clean costume (and an appropriate, clean me), to perform in an appropriate manner for the job in question to the best of my ability, to work sets/times according to contract... In short, to do my job properly, an unfortunately rare affliction, it seems..


A wise man once said: "You have two ears and one mouth, therefore you should shut the censored up and listen" (though, to be fair, he might not've put it _quite_ like that..)

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Invader Xan
SILVER Member since May 2005

Invader Xan

Your friendly neighbourhood mad scientist
Location: Over the hills and far away

Total posts: 479
Posted: Written by: various disctionaries


n. an expert player, as of golf or tennis, serving as a teacher, consultant, performer, or contestant; pro.

n. a person who is expert at his or her work: You can tell by her comments that this editor is a real professional.

n. A skilled practitioner; an expert.

n. an authority qualified to teach apprentices [syn: master]

adj. characteristic of or befitting a profession or one engaged in a profession; "professional conduct"; "professional ethics"

adj. appropriate to a profession: professional objectivity.



Source


There's more to being a "pro" than making money. As you can see, there are several dictionary definitions (from different dictionaries) which make no reference to income or livelihood.

Discuss. wink


"Love the art in yourself and not yourself in the art."
--Konstantin Stanislavisky

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:therein you have the various uses of the term from being A professional to acting professionally.

Nigel appears to be a professional who acts professionally I like bovs statement about professionality.

the problem with those definitions are this
they seem to miss the point that the word professional comes from the word profession as in a job or work

profession-al = a person who works

Xan although you have good sources your post is similar to Megs thread on Experts just being an expert does not make you professional otherwise a person who talks of God (any christian) is a professional by the fact that they are a person who professes.

it's a lot of semantics but acting professional could be construed as being akin to being expert and behaving like a person whose livlihood depends upon the task at hand.
hug


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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Invader Xan
SILVER Member since May 2005

Invader Xan

Your friendly neighbourhood mad scientist
Location: Over the hills and far away

Total posts: 479
Posted:Yeah, actually I hate arguing semantics... wink

 Written by: Mynci

acting professional could be construed as being akin to being expert and behaving like a person whose livlihood depends upon the task at hand.
hug



That, I agree with.
It's a matter of proper conduct (and dare I say it, etiquette), IMHO. smile For the record, I wouldn't consider myself a professional performer at all... It's just an interesting thing to think about.

I mean, I guess it's just uncomfortable to think that should I become unemployed for whatever reason I'd instantly be demoted to amateur. Doesn't sit right, y'know?
I'm sure you pro performers feel the same. Suppose you break your arm and can't perform for 6 months. That doesn't make you an amateur for 6 months, right? smile


"Love the art in yourself and not yourself in the art."
--Konstantin Stanislavisky

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PinkNigel


PinkNigel

Pinker than thou
Location: A little pink world all my own...

Total posts: 336
Posted: Written by: Invader Xan

Suppose you break your arm and can't perform for 6 months. That doesn't make you an amateur for 6 months, right? smile


No, it makes you homeless and dead of starvation... wink Self-employed and with some kind of income protection policy??? Whoever heard of such a thing?


A wise man once said: "You have two ears and one mouth, therefore you should shut the censored up and listen" (though, to be fair, he might not've put it _quite_ like that..)

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Invader Xan
SILVER Member since May 2005

Invader Xan

Your friendly neighbourhood mad scientist
Location: Over the hills and far away

Total posts: 479
Posted:tongue You know what I mean... wink

"Love the art in yourself and not yourself in the art."
--Konstantin Stanislavisky

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bluecat


bluecat

geek, level 1
Location: everywhere

Total posts: 5300
Posted:its a very black and white question, on a grey subject matter, i fear....

Holistic Spinner (I hope)

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:As opposed to every other question ever asked on the internet?

wink


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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squarefish
SILVER Member since Sep 2002

(...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...)
Location: the state of flux

Total posts: 403
Posted:You're right Bluecat,
it is a black and white question as presented but it was originally stated as being a definite distinction between professional/nonprofessional, on the sole basis of where your income was coming from.

As you might have guessed, I tend to disagree with that statement wink


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Invader Xan
SILVER Member since May 2005

Invader Xan

Your friendly neighbourhood mad scientist
Location: Over the hills and far away

Total posts: 479
Posted:I agree with your disagreement!

"Love the art in yourself and not yourself in the art."
--Konstantin Stanislavisky

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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted: Written by: squarefish


*snip* it was originally stated as being a definite distinction between professional/nonprofessional, on the sole basis of where your income was coming from. *snip*




Yep, because that's the way I see it.
I'll concede that you can also potentially be a professional if the majority of your earnings come from performing, rather than all of your money (a second job might be needed if performance jobs are thin on the ground for a while).
However, if you're earning so little with the performing that your second job brings in more, then you're a professional bartender/waiter/nuclear physicist instead.

Also of note is the way I respond to statements like these:
 Written by: squarefish


I don't do many gigs true, but tell me that I'm not Professional, or dont deserve respect.
Go ahead, I *expletive removed* dare you.



 Written by: squarefish


*snip* But if you say that I'm not a professional because I don't derive my sole source of income from being a poi spinner, I shall have to call down the wrath of every other performer on this board who works two or three jobs as well as spinning poi to earn a crust.




Posting with that tone's more likely to entrench me into my way of thinking than it is to make me start thinking in shades of grey.


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted: Written by: unknown HoPper

"There's a difference between acting professionaly and being a professional.

I'm quite prepared to believe you do the former, but if you don't make a living from performing then you can't be the latter."



That's only partially right, or would you suggest ppl starve? umm

What would you suggest to (proffessional) performers, who just can't make ends meet for a multitude of reasons ("penny performers" and "way over the head ego tripping group leaders", etc.)

In the market of performing (fire) it gets increasingly difficult to "make a (reasonable) living" merely by performing.

I have seen enough professionals acting unprofessional and at least the same number of amateurs acting fabulous.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:Unknown hopper? umm wink

I'd suggest that either they think long and hard about if their being a professional performer is actually viable and if they can maximise their profits, or that they take a second job.

I mentioned in the post above yours that I've expanded my definition slightly to include people who make the majority of their living from performing but again, if you're earning more money with your second job then you're no longer a professional performer.

I understand that it's a fairly large ego hit to realise that your job of choice isn't working well enough to make a living but if you're not earning enough to eat then you have a few choices that I can see.
Adjust how you work to spend less and get paid more.
Take a second job (which may or may not mean you're still a professional performer).
Give up performing and start something else.
Scrounge off someone else.
Starve.

 Written by: FireTom


I have seen enough professionals acting unprofessional and at least the same number of amateurs acting fabulous.



Me too. As I've mentioned before, being a professional doesn't necessarily mean that you'll act professionally and being an amateur doesn't necessarily mean that you won't.


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted: Written by: TheBovrilMonkey


Unknown hopper? umm wink



confused

 Written by: TBM

I mentioned in the post above yours that I've expanded my definition slightly to include people who make the majority of their living from performing but again, if you're earning more money with your second job then you're no longer a professional performer.



Well fortunately then you are not in (enough) power to (de)nominate who is/ ain't a pro... IMHO tongue wink

A "pro" is someone who gets paid - period (it says nothing about the level of skills/ how much food he can buy himself). I could only think of the title "pro" having *real* significance when it comes to taxes and propably (health) insurance... Are you a taxman? umm wink

 Written by: TBM

(...)if you're not earning enough to eat then you have a few choices that I can see.
[LIST] Adjust how you work to spend less and get paid more.



Uh-oh this is large multinational corporation habits - I'm happy that Rumpel finally got himself a Las Vegas engagement and hope that he continues to brighten up the EJC's with his 24 hr performances that are extensively on equipment.

Not sure whether he was able to make his living merely from performing before - but he certainly is a PRO! Or am I now mixing up "pro" and "expert"?

 Written by: TBM


Take a second job (which may or may not mean you're still a professional performer).



confused How many performers you reckon (out of the great ocean of performing artists/ in percentage) are able to feed their family only by performing arts? umm In a world that obeys the silver screen?

 Written by: TBM

Give up performing and start something else.



help STOP! Please don't listen to him - he's having a bad day! Persist! We need each and every one of you out there to break the average day greyness. Think of the sparkle that childrens eyes have, not of the adults scroogyness!

 Written by: TBM

Starve.



... but with dignity and pride. sunny


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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bluecat


bluecat

geek, level 1
Location: everywhere

Total posts: 5300
Posted:ubblol

i love reading your posts tom. they certainly do brighten up an already clear day smile


Holistic Spinner (I hope)

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:Question:

can you be a professional in more than 1 thing at a time? say performance and window washing.



or would you have 2 x semi professional jobs?



if you have a second job sureley you aren't a professional performer but you ARE performing professionally



if you aren't being paid and have no insurance but your acting like a professional then maybe you are (drum roll) a VERY GOOD amateur wink



I still hold to be a professional you have to have a profession as in the following



profession, noun



Synonyms 1. calling, employment. See occupation.

hug

EDITED_BY: Mynci (1189858983)


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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natasqi


natasqi

addict
Location: Perth

Total posts: 489
Posted:I'm going to wade into the thorng of posts and ideas.



I don't think I'd call myself a professional, I've been in a troupe for only a year now.



I would love to only firespin and to earn enough more for a living off it, but I only discovered firespinning on my way to another dream.



You can't help landmine victims in Africa with firespinning.



SO I guess I'll finish my medical degree, do all my compulsory years of internsip and specialisation, and then when I have the qualifications, go to Africa and work there... though there will be no one with money to pay for firespinning, hence making me still not a professional.



Could you say it's the INTENT for it to be your only income?


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Okay, first hug and kiss to Bluecat redface this was a nice compliment and it brightened MY day (but I well know that not ALL of my posts have this (desired) effect) wink

On topic: Set aside that performers thing for a moment and imagine you're working as a cashier (getting paid) - so you're a professional money taker, no? For any possible reason, you're enjoying yourself (out of necessity or not) to teach Yoga at night (and get paid for it). Does it mean that you're neither a cashier, nor a Yoga teacher? umm

Take a look at the "side jobs" politicians are taking along with ruling our countries. They still are called "politrickians" and not "CEO's that run our countries" (even though it would be more appropriate, regarding the fact that they sometimes have 5 highly paid "side-jobs")

We should not mix up the terms "professional" and "expert".

Offtopic: Certainly you CAN help landmine victims in Africa or Cambodia by spinning fire (and donating a share or all of your earnings to NGO's). According to the butterfly effect it really doesn't matter WHAT you do in life, it always will have (some sort of) effect (desired or not).

IMHO the only thing that *really matters* is whether you enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy (or not). Imagine you ARE working in Africa in a hospital and work with landmine victims, but you're completely unhappy about it, frown and are miserable. You may help the victims by aiding them, but you mess up your own life and affect your family and friends and therefore might cause as much harm as you relieve. Imagine ALL doctors now taking off from the west and aiding (landmine) victims anywhere on the planet... shrug We all have an idea about the "greener grass" on our neighbors lawn - not knowing that he has got to get his toenails pulled with hot pliers every morning, so the demons color it this way. [/offtopic]

[sic:]IF you feel in your heart that you have to do something - follow the call. To me you already are a "professional" (maybe not a master or expert) by the time you get paid doing something... but that's just me. To me it doesn't matter whether you are sacrificing your entire life for others or not, unless you're happy, compassionate and able to notice that the one standing next to you is in desperate need of a hug or friendly word or simply a smile.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:Who has confused professional and expert. experts may or may not get paid but they are highly skilled / knowledgable in their field. you can have an expert amatuer in my opinion AAA (amateur athletics association) this is where you used to get the Olympic athletes for the UK when the olympics didn't allow professionals wink why brazil never won the olympic gold for football.

professionals get paid IMHO

with regard to your cashier / yoga teacher scenario you could well be a professional cashier (changing the title to money taker doesn't work as money taker is a task description NOT a job title unless you were trying to denounce the argument by making the job sound silly) However you COULD be a part time cashier and semi professional yoga teacher (and an expert semi profesional too) hug


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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Invader Xan
SILVER Member since May 2005

Invader Xan

Your friendly neighbourhood mad scientist
Location: Over the hills and far away

Total posts: 479
Posted: Written by: Mynci


Question:
can you be a professional in more than 1 thing at a time? say performance and window washing.



And what if you were a scientist? Could you be a professional professor? tongue


"Love the art in yourself and not yourself in the art."
--Konstantin Stanislavisky

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:In all fairness yes wink and if you stated a fact you would be a professing profesional professor.

I actual have come to think that professional as a job title should only count when the action you are doing can be performed by people without pay (don't count slavery) normal "jobs" don't get classed as a professional this or that because there isn't anybody who does it for free... apart from possibly an apprentice , work experience and those titles are self serving to explain the lack of pay.


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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Invader Xan
SILVER Member since May 2005

Invader Xan

Your friendly neighbourhood mad scientist
Location: Over the hills and far away

Total posts: 479
Posted:That sounds like a good definition to me...

"Love the art in yourself and not yourself in the art."
--Konstantin Stanislavisky

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squarefish
SILVER Member since Sep 2002

(...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...)
Location: the state of flux

Total posts: 403
Posted: Written by: Mynci


I actual have come to think that professional as a job title should only count when the action you are doing can be performed by people without pay



So by that reasoning:
Amateur performance: without pay
Professional performance: Paid

If you get paid you are a professional performer, regardless of the proportion of your income this goes to make up right?


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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:I still don't think so.

I still think in terms of semi professionals BUT ones that perform professionally.

it may be because I studied sport and we had modules that covered professionalism in sport as olympic athletes HAD to be amateur back in the day. so athletes would complete without pay if they wanted olympic glory. And rugby players used to be amateur and in lower league football even today you have semi professionals, people who play football for money but subsidise their income with a second job which seems to cover this topic quite well. as they are paid for performing.
however they are not paid to train (very similar to people with 2 jobs) people at say cirque du soleil would be paid for training etc even if they weren't performing. I'll admit it is a tricky aspect. I suppose it depends on what your doing. I know people who make a complete living from juggling etc, I would call them professionals.
people being paid to perform regularly but with a second job semi professionals
being paid to do a gig performing professionally
not being paid to do a gig but acting like you are
A credit to performing but still an amateur (even if they are an expert)
thats the difference between a professional and performing professionally


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted: Written by: FireTom


Well fortunately then you are not in (enough) power to (de)nominate who is/ ain't a pro... IMHO tongue wink

A "pro" is someone who gets paid - period (it says nothing about the level of skills/ how much food he can buy himself). I could only think of the title "pro" having *real* significance when it comes to taxes and propably (health) insurance... Are you a taxman? umm wink




So... I'm not in a position to determine what a professional is but you are? How does that work?

To be honest, I'm bored with this whole topic - it's not really much of a discussion because I'm not going to come round to your way of thinking and I'm fairly sure that you're not going to come round to mine.

However, I would like to know if you draw a line anywhere.
If I was working a well paid full time job but did a single paid performance, by your definition I'd be a professional performer and I think that's just not right.
How long does professional status last - will that single gig turn me into a professional forever? For a year? A season?

 Written by:


Uh-oh this is large multinational corporation habits



It might be, but sound business planning should be incredibly important for a fire performer - you've said yourself that the work dries up very quickly sometimes.

 Written by:


How many performers you reckon (out of the great ocean of performing artists/ in percentage) are able to feed their family only by performing arts? In a world that obeys the silver screen?



I really don't care if people feed their families with one job or eight. Why does it matter - it's not as if professional status actually means much, it's almost completely arbitrary and important only to those who need their ego stroked.

 Written by:


STOP! Please don't listen to him - he's having a bad day! Persist! We need each and every one of you out there to break the average day greyness. Think of the sparkle that childrens eyes have, not of the adults scroogyness!



I'm more than a little insulted by this comment.
I'm hardly some grey suited accountant telling people not to have fun but it's not as if you can eat the sparkle from a child's eyes.

I may sound like I'm having a bad day and advocating scroogeness but if you can't afford to eat because you're not looking after your money then you're just damned stupid.

*sigh* Whatever. Feel free to call me a miser/product of a corporate grinder/anything you really feel like - I have better things to do with my life than get worked up over something posted on t'internet.


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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