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An Artist's Survival Guide

Mandy Rushton – September 17, 2018

“Create the highest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe."

-Oprah

You must invest in your art, your child within, for what moves you ultimately moves others. This life is a “choose your own adventure,”so if you are not invested in your own journey, then you can become derailed rather quickly. Why not stay the course with what brings you delight and a healthy challenge? Finding your truth(s) as an artist, in whatever medium that may be, takes time or, for some, simply the acknowledgement that it exists within you to take up the reins and run with it. (Think back to the last time you saw a child or yourself as a child gleefully engulfed in an artistic, self-directed task for hours.) Check in with yourself and where you are at to see what honestly resonates with you today.

Find your strength in community. Taking great strides in any direction takes conviction, but also a heck of a lot of support from within and externally from your people. Not everyone needs be like-minded. Contrary to popular belief, sometimes people with varying life experiences or different age groups and opinions can be the grit to solidify your resolve and really get focused or more dedicated to an aspect of yourself, your art, or your business. Be gentle with yourself – reinvention of oneself when transitioning to school, out of school, the workforce, within contracts, and everything else your life may offer up takes a village. Be sure to choose wisely as to whom you opt into your circle. Ask for help! Learn the power of yes and no!

Share. This may sound downright simple, but I know full well that the perfectionist inside can thwart many possibilities of showcasing or sharing where you happen to be along in your process. Know that where you are at is simply that:s a mere snapshot in time. CONGRATS and way to go! This is your best for right now. Be confident in that. Take great pride. Try not to cut yourself off at the foot by holding yourself back from opportunities, grants, auditions, etc., for not being “ready yet.” The marvellous actor Hugh Laurie has been quoted saying:

“It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.” ― Hugh Laurie

Wouldn’t you agree?

This whole notion of scarcity of time can stem from a sense of not doing your soul's work, your truth, honouring and owning that, sharing what authentically moves you with those you love and with steadfast and new audiences that you have yet to engage with, whom you will empower and move with your work. That being said, time can quicken when in the zone of channelling your talents and time, but the rewards somehow blend together to hold you to your higher power and elevate your resolve to invest in yourself, to move your feet, inspiration and career forward, and apply for the next opportunity that you deem fit for your own very personal evolution.

I implore you to stick to your guns and get out there and take yourself on an artist date as often as you can! Try a new hobby, craft or art form, medium, class, or delve even deeper into your passion and madly pursue it. Why not? It’s far better than the alternative.

Hope to see you at the Pop-Up event lunchtime 12-2 p.m. at Robson Square Wednesday, September 26th or out at the Culture Days Hub where I’ll be your emcee Friday, September 28 from 2-7:30 p.m., then 7:30-8 p.m. I will perform “Mandy Rushton’s Pop-Culture Cabaret and Sing-a-Long. I also take the stage Saturday, September 29, at the same time, 7:30 p.m.-8 p.m.

Now get out there and do your thing, do it well, and don’t give up on yourself, nor the pursuit of showing up authentically in your life. Live it out well!

Mandy Rushton, a born performer, raised in BC and currently based in Vancouver, is a multi-talented, triple threat. She is a dynamic character actor, having graced a multitude of stages, performing vaudeville in Dawson City, Yukon, musical theatre across Canada and the States, including the PNE and Canada's Wonderland, animation in Cancun, and hundreds of venues in between. You can catch her voice next in the upcoming feature film: CARGO where she had a blast voicing characters, keeping the director and producers in stitches. Mandy has used her skills to transform into a VIP hospitality entertainer. In years past she’s served as an emcee/singer/host for corporate events, high profile charity galas/product launches and special event/fundraisers, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for worthy causes. A highlight of her career was the opportunity to perform for the consulate of the Netherlands and 800+ Holocaust survivors at the first ever WWll conference in North York, Toronto. Mandy spellbinds the young and young at heart, sharing the magic of intimate stories with her audience. A bonafide torch singer and lover of The Great American Songbook, this balladeer has found time to produce and star in her own one-woman cabaret acts. There’s no limit to what she can or will do next!

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