Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Diversification versus Niche

The reality of being in Canada is that I must be diversified - I act, write, direct and teach - in order to make a living.  The advantage of diversification means that I survive the cyclical nature of being in the arts.  Artists usually see a feast or famine income curve and often when acting is down, writing is up and vice versa for me.  Of course, there are times when everything is down and others when everything is up!  (I NEVER complain about being too busy, though.)

I struggle in raising financing for directing projects because of my diverse background, for example.

Being diversified means the industry doesn't quite know what to make of you.  We prefer to typecast.  Consequently, I am perhaps seen as a jack of all trades - and master of none.  I admire and respect those who have been able to focus on just one career and make a go of it.  (Congratulations, for example, to Atom Egoyan who made his first first film about the same time I wrote my first long form drama for television was produced.)

The reality is that it's better to be someone who's perceived to do something really well.  Of course, I like to think that being able to make a living means that when I do get a job, it's because I am the best person for the job, but it can be drawback in terms of overall career path.

You play the cards you're dealt.

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