Artists – Choosing Your Own Path

“I didn’t know how to manage my career as an artist.”

How being an artist, an entertainer, a musician or an entrepreneur takes persistence and hard work too.

An excerpt from Book One in “The Knowledge Path” series dedicated to helping you find more meaning and passion in your life.

Is James Franco a younger version of the multi-dimensional renaissance man?

James Franco, multi-dimensional renaissance man?

If you frequent independent film festivals you may have screened one of his films in Park City, Utah at the Sundance Film Festival.

Or found him giving interviews on wide-ranging topics about literature, academic life or about his career.

According to reporter Steven Zeitchik, Franco told an informal group of student fans,

“I didn’t know how to manage my career as an artist. 

I was too influenced by ideas of careerism … 

I thought I had to do certain kind of movies. 

What’s important to me now is that if you want to be an artist … do something you believe in.” 

Zeitchik said he was whisked away, to the next book reading or college class or art installation and asked,

“Will it slow down any time soon?” 

Like Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen, Van Morrison makes an art out of veering from the script mentality and strives for liberation with every performance.

Van Morrison’s Ground Breaking Album

After his recent live performance of his 1968 critically acclaimed album, “Astral Weeks,” he told Randy Lewis whether the audience senses that spirituality or not is almost incidental.

Van Morrison’s liberating spiritual wavelength

“I do not consciously aim to take the listener anywhere. 

If anything, I aim to take myself there in my music. 

If the listener catches the wavelength of what I am saying or singing, or gets whatever point whatever line means to them, then I guess as a writer I may have done a day’s work. . . .”

Dave Grohl still sounding human

Combining a documentary screened at the Sundance Film Festival with a sold-out concert at the Hollywood Palladium, Dave Grohl and famous friends sang about their love for old school recording sessions at the neglected Sound City in Van Nuys, California.

Love for old school recording sessions

What does a great studio add to a band? 

What’s the proper balance between achieving perfection and still sounding like a relatable human?

SXSW w/o kitchen sink


And does expensive in-studio alchemy stand a chance against an era of cutting top 10 hits on your iPad?

In Austin, at the Texas SXSW festival, technology, movies and music converge each year to address the “musical questions” posed by Grohl about following your passion in a multi-platform world.

SXSW Glitz and Glamor

Each year South by Southwest gets bigger and bigger and more commercial and more commercial.

Fans, artists and critics alike are asking themselves more often, are the “indie artists” getting crowded out?

Nat Faxon and Jim Rash had to win an Oscar (best adapted screenplay in 2012 for “The Descendants”) before their draft of “The Way, Way Back” was taken seriously.

Shown at Sundance in 2013, Dana Ferguson reported , that Faxon and Rash said they’re not about to rest on their laurels.

Faxon and Rash “The Way, Way Back”

“I’ve never had the feeling of ‘we can just cruise because we’re at the top of the mountain,'” Faxon said.

“I don’t know that you ever feel completely comfortable with where you are. I think you evolve and improve, and I think there’s something about being uncomfortable that helps.”

It’s a story that never ends in the movie business and in life.

David O. Russell’s “American Hustle,” on the heels of his “Silver Linings Playbook,”cemented his reputation of an “auteur” navigating a real life of ups and downs, ongoing demands and basic survival.

David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook”

He endured a divorce from his longtime wife, financial struggles and troubles with a son with a bipolar condition.

He told Steven Zeitchik he started taking a series of writings gigs to pay for his divorce, –movies he didn’t want to make or knew he never would make.

It led to nothing but despair, a half-finished directorial effort (“Nailed,” a Washington, D.C., satire he walked away from midway through) and a bad reputation.

David O. Russell’s “American Hustle”

“I lost my direction, and I didn’t know what story I wanted to tell or why I wanted to tell it.”

He found his way with a different slant on the original “American Hustle” script.

“What if he turned a story about men attempting to swindle one another into a story of reinvention and even redemption, the kind he and his on-screen surrogates had been exploring for several years?”

What if, indeed!


(3) Pick options designed to attract better opportunities. You don’t want to miss out on lucrative jobs or entrepreneurial ventures that will fuel a real change in your lifestyle.

(4) Nurture your passions and express your uniqueness — no one else can or will, for that matter.

(6) Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.


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