Dance is a Hobby, Career or Business? Part Three

An artist’s expression of self

An artist and their expressions

“The life of an artist leads to two things – one is success and the other is a beautiful failure.” – Gautam Gurnani, Jokerface Entertainment

Today we turn the conversation outwards and hear from the performers themselves! What do they have to say? Let’s find out!

On income…

“Having been on both sides of the table, as an artist and as a producer, I believe the issue is largely how the arts are placed in our society. What we believe the artists should be paid versus what an artist actually invests in themselves is severely off key.” – Shubhra Prakash, Hypokrit Theatre Company

“My favorite is when folks ask me for free services because it would be a great “promotional opportunity” for my company. This is frustrating! Of course I care about promoting my company, but I still have professional dancers to pay for their time and efforts! It’s a shame how often this is overlooked.” – Kruti Shah, Sanskruti Dance

On continued growth and learning…

“I feel simultaneously supported and lost on my journey.” – Jasmine Broads, Bollydancers
“An artist will find a way, because they have to. I have been fortunate to work with those who also have a similar hunger which is motivating and lack of resources makes us creative and gets us to find more ways to do our work. In this process we keep learning a lot.” – Shubhra Prakash, Hypokrit Theatre Company

“I wish I knew more about dance education – where was the best place to study dance, best instructors in their respective disciplines, what are the best options as a growing dancer.” – Kruti Shah, Sanskruti Dance

On regrets, sacrifices, and the grass being greener on the other side…

“When you choose a career in what is your passion, it completely changes your relationship with that passion. You have to find the little pockets of beauty in what you are doing.” – Shivani Badgi, Gurukul

“I would say I am happy where I am and hungry to get to a place.” – Gautam Gurnani, Jokerface Entertainment

On a lighter, happier note…

“I wouldn’t have it any other way! When I truly sit down to think about it – I am so thankful to wake up every day and do what I love to do! Most importantly, I have the opportunity to make a difference in others’ lives. Seeing my students come to class with a big smile on is the most rewarding feeling ever!” – Kruti Shah, Sanskruti Dance

“Overall I am scared. I try to surround myself with positive people. Being an artist is difficult. But I would be depressed if I didn’t pursue it. And the only thing I have learned so far is – believe in yourself and fight your own battle.” – Gautam Gurnani, Jokerface Entertainment

Well, there you have it – the candid, expressive thoughts from performers themselves on the ups and downs of their artistic endeavors! We loved hearing from these talented individuals who are determined on pursuing their passions. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below – we’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this hot topic!

Want to read more? Read the Part One and Part Two of the Five part blog series

About the author

This blog was written for WINGS by Ruby Verma. Ruby Verma started out her career working in Private Equity valuations for 9 years. She then made a career switch over to the arts! She now works as a dancer and a writer in the greater NYC area. Ruby is an artistic director at Junoon Performing Arts. Follow Ruby on Instagram or Medium and share her expression of thoughts and words through her posts as a passionate artist.