As artists we often spend a lot of our time focusing on the details our craft. Tweaking that joke, straightening that vibrato and leaping higher. Being a comedian, a singer or a dancer does rely on you paying attention to detail. But being an artist requires something more.
Being an artist requires that you are prepared to say what you do and don’t believe in. What you’re for and what you’re against. Some people will disagree with you, and that’s okay. There are people who will agree with you, and when you stand up and declare your position, you offer a chance to connect through your shared beliefs.
Four days ago, Bruce Springsteen cancelled his upcoming concert in North Carolina in protest of the HB2 law that state has just passed. A law dictating which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use and attacking the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. In his statement, Springsteen said he and his band wanted to show solidarity with those people in North Carolina who are working to oppose and overcome the negative developments.
“Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry – which is happening as I write – is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.” – Bruce Springsteen
Artists are leaders by nature. When you create something, when you innovate…you’re taking the lead. Embrace the opportunity you have to speak up for what you believe in. You’ll strengthen your connection to those in the audience who already share that part of your story, and maybe you’ll be an important catalyst in changing the story of others.