Tips For The Unrelenting Creative: How To Jumpstart Your Creative Career

Hi everyone,

Happy Tuesday from cloudy New Jersey where I’m spending a bit of time with family and friends for the week. Last week was a whirlwind. My team and I hosted over 1,600 fourth graders at Colburn for multiple interactive performances given by students from our conservatory. No small feat when just days before our entire audience was erased due to the Los Angeles Unified School District strike. Fortunately, we were able to pivot to other districts and the shows went off without a hitch. Now I’m turning my attention to the end of the school year, which is rapidly approaching.

Thanks for reading!


How To Live By Your Values: I live life with my values at the center of everything I do. Values like my family, my art, and my health allow me to stay focused on why I work in the first place. Focusing on those values also helps me let other, less important things, go.

Tip: The next time you go through a visioning exercise use the words “so that.” For example, I will exercise so that I can be around for my grandkids. Using those two little words will help you get to why you’re doing the work in the first place. Here’s a great article to help you start living by your values.

Related: Will Becoming A Content Creator Allow You To Follow your Passions?

How To Be A Better Networker: I have always been impressed by people who have a knack for networking. The individuals who meet me, proceed to work a room for a couple of hours, and then recall my name the next time they see me are incredible. When I see someone who can make connections so easily, it makes me want to up my networking game. ​ ​

Tip: Great networkers are givers. They listen louder than they speak, they help people they meet connect with others, and they try to help in every situation. Sean Johnson wrote this incredible post that includes a detailed strategy for networking tied to (of all things) a spreadsheet! ​ ​

Related: Read This Before You Go To Your Next Networking Event

How to Jumpstart Your Creative Career: In the year 2023 performing artists are likely going to have to be experts in something in addition to their art to propel their career forward. My job as a practitioner is to identify a multitude of opportunities that help artists develop additional skills on an individualized basis so that they are inspired to invest time in the things that are of interest to them. I don’t care what is explored outside of the practice room, I only care that something is explored.

Tip: There are three tactical ways to use the exploration of an additional career pathway to jumpstart a vibrant career. For each additional career pathway pursued, try to add a line to your resume, collect an email address, and/or make a dollar online. I explain this more in this post .

Related: 5 Ways To Jumpstart Your Career In The Arts

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→ Enroll in Extending Techniquesa course designed for performing artists who want or need help developing non-performance skills needed for a career in the arts. Note: For a limited time, we are offering half off our beta version of this course. When you register, enter the code ExtendingTechBeta to activate the savings.

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Nate Zeisler is the Dean for Community Initiatives at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. He envisions a world where students majoring in the arts have a clear path to a sustainable career, where creative minds are empowered and inspired to rule the workforce, and where access to the arts is not just for the privileged few, but for all.

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