By: Kelley Lauginiger | All photos by Vic Brazen (@wnwmedia)
At Acceptd, we’ve interviewed lots of artists over the past year or so. No matter their disciplines, everyone divulges a similar story when discussing their unique formula to success in the arts: you have to stay busy.
Strategically using all the time in the day to create culture they’re passionate about including touring the world performing live music, performing on stilts as part of a circus troupe, teaching students to sing and perform, or writing and performing stand-up comedy, each craft requires dedicated, hard work. You can’t be lazy or expect anything to come to you if you want to be successful in the arts. Sure, you could make it a hobby or a part-time gig, but if you want it to be your life, you truly have to earn it.
It’s fair to expect a high school student’s eyes to instinctively roll when given life tips from adults two to three times their age. But take it from someone who is 24, successful, and living her dreams: busy is key. Karina Rykman tours the country as a professional bassist with the eclectically talented keyboard and piano virtuoso, Marco Benevento’s band, while simultaneously booking NYC concert cruises from her tour-bus while out on the road.
“You get one life. One chance to do what it is you want to do,” Karina said about staying busy and working on simultaneous projects. “My main advice is kind of cliche but its true: follow your heart, do what you love. But, just don’t wait. Go do it now!”Read More
You’ve heard of Fender and Gibson. Your dad used to play a Rickenbacker. But have you heard of Prisma Guitars? These unique, handcrafted instruments are one-of-a-kind made from upcycled wood. And not just any wood; the wood from old, defunct, and recycled skateboards.
“Sometimes we sit all day and pull grip tape off the boards ’til our fingers basically start bleeding,” Nick said. “In the beginning it was taking six months to make a guitar. Now, I can do it in a day.”
“I take some of these boards out, and there is blood on them, or a huge chip in them from where the skater was mad and hitting the ground with their board,” Nick said. “Visually, (once we work on them) you can see the pressure cracks, or where someone broke it, or holes, but when you touch it…it’s not there. So that way, you get the story. It’s like people-watching, but just with skateboards.”
We talked to Nick about entrepreneurship in the arts, how he got where he is today, and what advice he has for other creative spirits who are considering taking a risky leap of faith towards a big reward.Read More
A common misconception about careers in the arts is that they’re all fun and games. But to truly make it as an artist, it takes countless hours of hard work, optimistic thinking, and a voracious love for your craft.
After playing over 2300 shows in 20 years with his touring rock band Umphrey’s McGee, keyboard wizard and vocalist Joel Cummins knows a thing or two about spirit and drive. Since creating the band back in their college days, Umphrey’s has accumulated a rich history with 10+ albums, a devoted fan-base, and a can-do attitude that allows them to take musical risks like no one else in the music business today.
But how did it come to be? What does it take to be a successful rock star? Read on to learn why education is crucial for musicians, how Joel has used his music to raise thousands of dollars for Alzheimer’s, and a fun story about how Umphrey’s wrote their fan favorite tune and named it, “The Triple Wide.” Read moreRead More
One of our favorite aspects of doing what we’re passionate about at Acceptd is meeting other people and organizations who are just as passionate about the same things! Every day we’re excited to help connect young artists with opportunities that help them learn, thrive, and succeed. With school break on the horizon, we’ve recently shared the Acceptd Summer Guide which includes camps, programs, internships, and information about careers in the arts.
To really dig into what it’s like working in the arts as a graphic designer, we talked to the fantastically creative Christie Casselring for the scoop. Christie is the Senior Graphic Designer and Merchandise Manager at a Cherry Hill, NJ, non-profit organization whose vision truly aligns with our vision here at Acceptd, called Destination Imagination. As international programming, represented around the world and in almost every US state, you can live anywhere to get involved! They are awesome. Read on to see why.Read More
Recently we shared our Acceptd Summer Guide, which includes information on internships, programs, camps, careers in the arts, and study abroad opportunities. If you’ve considered this educational adventure, but don’t want to be more than a short flight from home, Canada is a beautiful place to consider. Most Canadian provinces speak English, and the local culture will offer you something different and unique. FYI: a passport is required to travel into Canada. For passport information, click here.
While the first Canadian cities to mind may be Toronto, or maybe Vancouver, there are lots of other gems hidden across our vast neighbor to the North. To learn more about careers in the arts and what it’s like working in the arts in Canada, we spoke with Elaine Pond, Volunteer and Youth Engagement Coordinator at MusicNL. This musical mission is located in St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. Read moreRead More
September was an incredible month at Acceptd. Since August, we’ve added thousands of opportunities, we’ve been circulating our awesome Career Guide, everyone is back to school, and we’ve been uncovering true stories about Careers in the Arts from real artists from all across the country.
So far in our Careers in the Arts interview series, we’ve spoken to a Freelance Musician and Voice Coach, a Performer and Assistant Producer of Events at Circus Picnic, and a TV Writer, Stand-up Comedian and TV Actor. While all of these artists are part sof larger creative teams in their various roles, they all share something in common: independent drive to achieve. No one picked them out of the crowd, and said, “Hey- you. Ya, you. Come up here. Here is your dream job, I thought you would like to do this for your career.” No-it just doesn’t work that way. You have to know what you want, then take action to get what you want. Each of these amazing artists forged ahead, despite all odds, to achieve their dreams themselves. And they’re not done yet! These working artists are constantly hustling.
For our last interview in this series today, we’re excited to share Shanna Banks’ story with you. A successful cake artist and self-starting entrepreneur, she is one of the cheeriest, most driven people we’ve come across. Shanna hasn’t let anything stop her from achieving her goals and sharing her art. Challenges are just part of life’s recipe, and Shanna is an incredibly imaginative baker.Read More
When it comes to careers in the arts, success comes in many forms. Here at Acceptd, it’s our goal to not only introduce you to viable career options in the arts, but to also help expose some strategies you can use to position yourself successfully. We’ve put together a Career Guide with lots of great insight, but, we know how important it is for you to hear real stories from real people, doing real art. To help facilitate this, we’re excited to share an interview with full-time Writer, Actor, and Comedian, Will Miles.
Based out of Brooklyn, New York, Will writes for The Chris Gethard Show on truTV, and is an actor in roles on Hulu, HBO, and Comedy Central, as well as a handful of other networks. He performs stand-up comedy around the country delivering his own material, co-hosts a regular podcast with fellow comedian and girlfriend Giulia Rozzi, and co-hosts a wildly popular weekly comedy show with his two best friends called “Comedy at The Knit” on Sunday nights at Brooklyn’s world-renowned entertainment venue, The Knitting Factory. To top it off, Will released Good Year, his debut, 40-minute stand-up album just last year. To say the least, Will is not bored.Read More
When it comes to careers in the arts, success comes in many forms. Sure, we’ve all heard of jobs like “sculptor,” “movie star,” “punk rocker,” and whatever “being a Kardashian” is. But when it comes down to it, there are almost infinite ways for creative-types to shine in today’s world.
To get some deeper insight on what it’s like to be a full-time artist, we chatted with Jen McGinnis, Assistant Producer at Circus Picnic. Based in Austin, Texas, Jen works as both a performer and assistant curator of events for the creative video and entertainment studio whose motto is, “Let’s Make Something Great.”Read More
When it comes to careers in the arts, success comes in many forms. Sure, we’ve all heard of jobs like “producer,” “movie star,” “punk rocker,” and whatever “being a Kardashian” is. But when it comes down to it, there are almost infinite ways for creative-types to shine in today’s world.
To get some deeper insight on what it’s like to be a full-time artist, we recently met with Freelance Musician Zac DelMonte. Based in Columbus, Ohio, Zac juggles a diverse portfolio of roles that he describes as “all things music.”
Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of viable career options for someone who has obtained a performing arts degree. And it should go without saying that no career path can guarantee employment right out of school. Truth is, graduates from arts programs are armed with many skills employers look for in candidates. However, you may not be aware of the scope of options that are available to you. Here’s how you can make your degree work for you.Read More