The Happiest Way to be an Artist

I had a thought yesterday as I watched Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday.” Yes, don’t judge me, or stop reading, it’s kind of fabulous. So ‘Rainn Wilson’ from The Office was talking about how “art is a prayer…” how when we produce art, we are connected to “god,” “the universe,” “higherpower,” whatever resonates for you. That Is true for me, the connection I mean, when I look back on times when I was constantly acting, it was euphoric. I felt connected to the universe in all ways. I was truly at my happiest. That’s why I’ve been chasing it my whole life. In the last year, I’ve realized Its not about chasing that feeling, but that it lives inside me. I just have to connect with it again, daily. Oprah asked him if you could go back to being 5 what would be the difference..I asked myself the same question.

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When I would wake up as 5 year old Rachel, my imagination was running free. Free to dream all day, sing Disney songs, make plays out of stories with my sister, (“Corduroy and the missing button” was our fav). I was an artist. I lived creativity. It was what made my heart beat.

I can remember as a teenager when I would get sad about life. I would play songs in my room, singing at the top of my lungs and that’s how I gained perspective. Me, sitting with my musical theater song book belting away. An hour of that and I felt better.

Whats different now, after a hard day? I want Happy Hour. Which is fine, but it made me think, as we get older why do we not fill our lives with the prayer that we connected with at such a young age? Why don’t we make time for our art on a daily basis, if that’s our place of peace? If that’s what makes life worth living, why do we put so many things before it?

Well, life gets a hell of a lot more complicated, right? We, as artists realize we need to make money. I can’t speak for other types of artists, but I’m sure it’s similar. But for an actor it starts to become about daily submissions, networking, finding the right representation, auditions, rejection…..and after some time if we’re not doing the things we love, we become lost, depressed. We keep grinding, chasing for that YES, waiting for someone else to give us permission to do the thing we love most.

Was that 5 year old waiting for someone to tell her she was good enough to play pretend? Good enough to create? No way, because it wasn’t about them, it was about her.

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As we start the week, I challenge all my artists friends to make time to do something that connects you with your true purpose. Whatever that means for you. If we stop worrying so much about someone else’s approval, we might just start creating and doing. If you believe, as I do, you attract what you put out. My guess is more work will start to appear. You have to feed that light inside you regularly for it to shine, so start feeding it; create, write, paint, sing, it might surprise you how bright it can shine.

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Lots of love,

Rachel

Feedback? Topic you’d like me to write on? Interest in having me as your coach? Email me. rachelrisen@gmail.com

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2 thoughts on “The Happiest Way to be an Artist

  1. I love your narrative and agree with you. The unscathed egos of children are by far, the most innocent, creative, and humbled. That child lives in each and every one of us, we just have to let her/him know that it’s safe to come out and play. xo

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