“I don’t know anyone who had a real detailed plan for making it a profession. Everyone I knew had a fantasy about being rich enough to quit our jobs, but there wasn’t any methodical way to accomplish it except to make the best recording you could and hope it revolutionized the music scene!”
I’m a first year attorney at a non-profit legal services organization, in New York.
“Comedy paid some of the bills some of the time starting about two years after I fell in love with it. But I didn’t become my own boss and begin working for myself full-time until about 2012, I’d say. It’s been a couple years. And I do lots of different things to pay the bills. Right now I’m a full-time writer of books and articles and TV, plus a college speaker and an occasionally-paid performer.”
Five years ago, Kristen van Ginhoven was an actor and graduate student in theatre education living in Western Massachusetts. Then she went and read a book called Half the Sky. By the time she closed the cover, she had decided to start her own nonprofit: the Women’s Action Movement Theatre. I spoke with her on the phone about the repercussions of reading humanitarian journalism, the practical steps she took to get her organization going and what she’s had to give up in order to pursue a career in nonprofits and the arts.
“I knew on a rational level that write/perform-for-hire jobs would pay very differently based on the company hiring you to do the work. But it’s still a shock on an emotional level to remember there isn’t agreed upon value for a lot of creative work.”
I wanted to talk to Molly about how she runs her creative career, including her touring expenses and whether she can predict how much money she’ll earn every month.
Not long ago, a friend told me he’d been fired from a West Coast marketing internship for not having a “hunger for marketing.” I asked him what that could possibly mean, which turned into a far longer story about post-graduate floundering, awful-seeming marketing software, and the perils (or subtle benefits) of showing one’s utter lack of enthusiasm in the workplace.