The Artist… and the Elevator Pitch

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Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to art, music, dance and theatre students at Southern Methodist University. With oversight from Dean Jose Bowen, my remarks centered on the elevator speech for the visual and performing arts. Creativity takes many forms, but first and foremost, all artists have one thing in common. Want to know what that is?

All Artists are Storytellers.

Do you consider yourself an artist?  At some level, we all engage in creative endeavors, but for the artist, true talent alone is not enough.Catch Me If You Can Neil Simon TheatreThe composition, the play, the sculpture and the dance all convey a message of the human condition. However, art doesn’t speak for itself. Beyond the auditions, the gallery exhibitions, the movement and the music, your personal story is perhaps one of the most powerful tools you can master. As Mike Woolson says, by way of Stella Adler, “You have to have a talent for your talent”. Great artists aspire to make great connections with the audience – a personal connection that reveals who you are, through your talents and gifts.

Art Doesn’t Speak for Itself.

Neither do the numbers, or the brand, in the business world. But many artists believe that they are immune from personal branding. Not true! Somebody somewhere has to tell the story – the story of YOU.

See Highlights of My Presentation – The Elevator Pitch for Artists

Whatever your creative endeavor, you have to be able to tell the story of your personal brand, and describe your artistic vision, if you want to make a difference. Develop your talent to a virtuoso level, but don’t forget to connect with your audience – even in an elevator pitch.

Your personal brand is the way that people connect with you, before they hear you play, see you dance, listen to your monologue, or check out your painting.

Every great work of art tells a story. What’s Yours?

Photo courtesy of Kay Gaensler, used under creative commons. Some rights reserved.

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