I am sure you have heard the first rule of improv right? The first rule of improv is to always say yes. When you say yes you keep the movie rolling. You advance the story. You help sell the jokes and make the show memorable. Sometimes our art business can feel like that, We say yes to all kinds of things. I am here to tell you that saying YES can be a good thing….a great thing. But it has it’s limitations too. If you missed the last blog post about saying NO you should read that first.
Saying YES can be super. It can also create a lot of burdens for yourself. So let’s look at YES and how to more effectively take on the things you love.
1. Be Ready To Say YES – Make sure you cab do the gig. As artists we get asked things that may be outside our wheelhouse from time to time. And sometimes its OK to sya yes to these things but other times we end up promising things that we cannot deliver. SO try saying yes to the things YOU KNOW YOU CAN DO. Like if someone came to me and said I need a painting of several irds…..YES. That is exactly what I do. So make sure you CAN do it first.
2. Bite Off More Than You Can Chew – Not every time….but once in a while it’s a good thing to go big/ Bigger than you are used to. Saying yes can help you see what you are made of. Youve never painted a 6000 square foot mural before….but you will have help and you can see it happening. Say YES. You will learn a lot of things. You will work with great people and communicate hopefully better than before. But you can’t do this one all the time. You gotta know where your limits are. So be ready to say NO.
3. Integrity is EVERYTHING – I never tell people yes unless I am absolutely going to do it. I have had a whole slew of health problems over the last few years. But even though that is an issue I have always given the projects I say yes to my 100%. Last year I worked at a Arts Center teaching young people to make art. I wan only there a week….then my kidneys failed. I shit you not I was actually considering still going to the class on the last day….even when I was so sick I couldn’t stand up. When you say you are gonna do things….do your best to do them. But don’t die trying to do them.
Saying Yes can help you make great connections, pay the bills, show in new spaces. Just be careful with it. Think of it like this….You can only give out so many Yeses cause that means time and energy, and you only have SO MUCH of that. So sprinkle them around….say no in between. And live happy. You MUST take care of yourself. You have to guard your time and choose the things you really want to do. If you say yes to too many things you will eventually have to say NO to some really good ones. It takes practice. And then there is always y motto….Go big or go back to the hospital. Until Next Time.