The Art of Being
With The Poet's In Autumn Tour in full swing, I thought it would be appropriate to share this excerpt from my experience as promoter for the DC stop last year:
On some days I am artist. On other days I am event planner- behind the scenes weaving intricate details together. And this in a sense is an art. I got a lot of confusing looks from guests at The Poets in Autumn Tour in DC where I was working behind the scenes to host the event. And more questions from people saying, "aren't you a poet?" Many told me they had seen me perform before in various places and cities as I walked around making sure the event ran as smooth as possible.
My company Beautiful Minds Entertainment hosted this year's P.I.A. stop in DC which had around 1200 attendees. That number had doubled from last year when I also headed up as host of the festivities with True Voices DC, a performing arts ministry which I help lead.
Though God has gifted me to be pretty well known as a Christian Performance Poet, I often work behind the scenes, as I did this weekend putting on events. It is a passion of mine but it can at times be a sweet stab to the heart of what I do as an artist. I have found that people want to see artists as people to revere. Yes, even in the church, we expect to see affluent people in a certain light. The most popular artists in entertainment today are mysterious and untouchable. And though people crave access it's as if not having it makes one's desire for it even more insatiable. This is why "one on ones" with artists and backstage passes are held in such high regard. The artist is exclusive. And knowing them or having access to them makes you exclusive too. You somehow feel more important - more validated.
Serving as staff at an event (or in any regard, really) puts you on the ground right with the people. You are not exclusive. Everyone is touching you directly with questions, concerns and opinions. You are there to work. To make sure artistry is exhibited in the best possible light- that all the seams are perfectly put together. To serve the people and to maintain the image of the artist. This is what the other side of entertainment is... a lot less glamour and a lot more hustle. So my role as both artist and servant can be most interesting and sometimes even at odds.
It is true that If you are good at several things, it can be difficult to know which one to put more focus on at a given time. And often we are more likely to choose the glorious thing- the thing that's puts us in the limelight over our other gifts. It's as if we are scared to start over. Scared not to be great. But we can't just grow vertically without growing horizontally. The most impactful people know this. They have many talents.
What I am learning is there are a lot of ways to be successful. The pressures of this life may make us think we must be a thing, do a thing or act a certain way. A lot of times, instead of serving as we are led, we end up internalizing those pressures and unknowingly sabotaging our own development. You don't have to be put in a box labeled: Master Of "_____". You are allowed to thrive in the complex way that God created you. There is beauty in everything you do when you give it your all. There is value in every small execution when it is aligned with your purpose. And you can be valuable in as many areas as you decide. Every day my goal is to focus on my gifts but to also discover new ways to thrive. I have found that this is crucial for any healthy soul - to reinvent where needed. Furthermore, It is not exclusivity that makes one feel a sense of lasting importance, it is the knowledge that you are operating exclusively in your God given gifts. Whether artist or event planner, servant or entertainer we can never neglect the art of just being more and more like Jesus- no titles necessary.
Click the pic of our team below to watch the video from PIA 2016