How You Can Support and Engage With Your Artistic Community
A career in acting can often feel isolating. So often we are following individual, self-driven paths and it’s easy to get myopic about it. That’s why engaging in your artistic community can be incredibly valuable. It connects you with colleagues and artists from whom you can learn from and with whom you can swap resources. It can motivate and inspire you, and generally makes the journey less lonely. Plus, supporting your artistic community is doing your part to keep the arts alive and thriving. If you’re searching for ways to get started, here are some tips.
Get acquainted with your local theatre scene.
Theatre communities can be tough to break into. If you’re in a new city and going in blind, start by going to opening night or industry night performances. Depending on the city you may have to look these up theater by theater and show by show, if you’re unsure where communal information is generally posted. These are the nights the most other industry people will be in the audience. Getting your face out there and mingling is a good way to ease into the scene, and supporting live theatre is a great way to support the arts in your community.
Attend local festivals.
Local film festivals are a wonderful way to make connections and get a read on the local indie scene. These are often fun social events, so it’s a great way to connect with other artists, become familiar with local directors and guage future opportunities to submit work.
Get on mailing lists.
All those theaters and film fests you’re visiting? They probably have mailing lists! Sign up to stay updated about future events and opportunities.
As you become more educated about your artistic community, you’ll find more opportunities to submit original work. Theaters might host new works festivals for emerging artists, or young playwrights festivals seeking performers. 24-hour film fests, college theatre departments and film schools are also great places to check out for acting opportunities and places to submit content.
Often theaters or film festivals have volunteer opportunities for ushers. This is a great and budget-friendly way to see and support local work.
Become familiar with local aid programs.
Doing some digging and finding out what local aid programs are supporting actors and artists can be hugely helpful. Not only are these fantastic resources for individual aid and funding, but they can also provide good opportunities to volunteer with and donate to help support your community.
If you’re able to donate even a little, it can go a long way. Be mindful of the institutions you’re supporting with your money and time. Are they treating their artists well? Uplifting and supporting underrepresented voices? Making efforts to engage in the community? Choosing where you lend your support can help shape progress in your local arts scene.
Vote with care.
Educating yourself on how local candidates intend to support the arts is hugely impactful. A lot of funding and structural support for the arts comes down to who is in office. Showing up to local elections is showing up for your artistic community.
Remember, you don’t have to do everything all at once. Do what you can when you can. Make individual connections as you engage with and support community events. The more you do it, the more ownership you will feel over the arts scene in your city. An acting career is built on collaboration. Bringing that energy outside of auditions and rehearsals is a powerful way for artists to support one another.
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