I just finished reading a book that I guess was a memoir. Or skimming, I should say, because I skipped over many sections..
It was not as advertized. The book lurched about from past to present to far past and around again. Snippets of biography were mixed with out of context conversations, reminiscences and philosophical ramblings. I think it might have been more interesting if I was a fan of his. But even still, I didn't get much of him out of it.
One thing he said that made sense to me was about people that are always pining to be elsewhere. He said he felt like they were always looking over his shoulder expecting to see something more important. I have known those people. I try to avoid them now. They never pay attention because they are seeking something. A something that maybe even they aren't aware of.
A lot of the book concerned insecurity and trying to be famous, but also trying to define what he wanted so he would know when he arrived.
I've heard people say that art can be done for it's own sake and doesn't need an audience, but I disagree. Art - in the generic encompassing theatre and art and writing, etc - is communication. It is a way someone says "Stop and look". What is the point of doing that for yourself? Sometimes art is created because you really need to put it on paper, or sing it or carve it, but keeping it in the closet is pointless. It needs to be shared.
I think the level of sharing needs to be defined before you can judge if you have reached your goal. As an artist, do you need a gallery to carry your work? As a writer, do you need a traditional publisher? As a musician, do you need a national tour? And it seems as an actor, the author of the memoir never defined what his goal was because he didn't know what was possible. He was always scrabbling for the next job to make ends meet or get a toehold on the next rung up on the ladder to fame.
When I was trying to make a living by selling my paintings, I started reading an art business magazine. It opened my eyes. Sales, of any kind, is a business. Whether you're selling a book, a vacuum cleaner or a performance. You need to know the industry. Once you do you can decide what level will satisfy you. And it is your responsibility to create a plan to achieve it. Not easy for us creative types but it is possible.