Don’t Wait to Be Discovered
If you want to succeed, don’t wait to be discovered! In the world where YouTubers get TV deals, bloggers get book deals, and social media moguls make money from 140 character tweets, the old rules come crumbling down. The gatekeepers have lost much of their power in the wake of the decentralization of the creative industries.
Want to raise a $10 million-dollar budget for your project, and remain faithful to the original intent? Don’t wait to be discovered. If you want to make a serious faith-based film, maybe the big studios are the last place you should look.
Consider the approach of Dallas Jenkins and his TV show, The Chosen. This was the first multi-season series about the life of Christ, and it was only able to be created because it was one of the highest crowd-funded media projects of all time. Dallas skipped the studio system that includes Disney, Sony, Fox, etc. Those Studios would have inevitably demanded changes to the script that would minimize the gospel, and enforce whatever activist agendas their studio heads deemed essential.
As numerous friends in the industry warn – Do not be fooled. If you start with their money, you will end up having to play by their rules. Crowd funding is not a silver bullet, and many projects don’t reach their goal, but it does give alternative ideas for reaching your audience.
Cutting Through the Noise
Long gone are the days when the talented naturally rise to the top (whether that was ever true is another discussion). Whatever was in the past, today there is no academic degree that guarantees success and no job that guarantees longevity. There is also no neutral playing field where patrons, agents and managers fight for the obviously talented and the most promising. We live in a world full of noise where the quiet and well-behaved are overlooked and left behind.
This applies to all types of art at every level. Don’t wait to be discovered. Start showing your art in coffee shops, upload your music to CD Baby, organize a staged reading for your screenplay, and if you are an actor, use anything you can to make a great reel and create your own showcase to get an agent’s attention. Look at what other successful artists do in your field and start getting shrewd. Use your creativity in the business side of your art as much as you use in the craft side. Take time and find new ways for getting exposure and financing your projects.
As you pursue your creative career, never forget your professional life must be lived in concert with your spiritual life. God is present in both and is consistent in both. If you approach your creative projects apart from your faith it will lead to compromise and a wearisome corrosion of the soul. Far too many well intended men and women live and work with conflicting approaches to their work and their faith. So often, they end up diluting the power of their gifts and their calling. If we apply these principles of Scripture to both we will experience greater confidence, increased focused, and joy in our endeavors.
Does God Want You to Wait to be Discovered?
How does this fit with your view of God? Do you view God as one who will open doors simply because you are good, nice and kind? He is a sort of karma guarantee genie. If you are good, you will be blessed, and doors will open. If that was how life worked, we would all be good, but not because God calls us to be good. We would be good because of the benefit. We would barely be a step above lab rats and Pavlov’s dogs.
That is not what God wanted from the Israelites in the Old Testament, nor from the Christians in the New Testament. God wants us to wrestle with him, which is what the term “Israel” means – to wrestle with God. We are called to take risks, wrestle with God, and do what is right in a fallen world – regardless of the benefits.
Jesus’ Parable of the Talents
In the parable of the talents, God is depicted rewarding those who are smart and strategic. They take risks. The one person who is ultra-careful (actually fearful) is the one he punishes by taking away what little he had. Jesus does not encourage passivity, and just being ‘nice’, as some churches taught us. Jesus call us to take risks, to develop our gifts and invest our talents where we may see a great return. It is simply incongruent with scripture to believe God is calling us to a life of safety, passivity and ‘waiting’ to be discovered.
I am often puzzled why my Jewish friends fully understand this, but my Christian brothers and sisters seem to miss this teaching. Jesus called us to be both “innocent as doves, and shrewd as serpents.” Far too many believers act as if Christ told us to be “innocent as doves, and dopey as a duck.” Not sure where it derived from, or if it is a residue of a pietistic over spiritualization of life, but it is absolutely not from God, and is not found in the Bible. Jesus called us to be wise, strategic, take risks, and to walk by faith.
Stop waiting and start strategizing. Start by researching the best in your field and how they found success. Research the latest techniques for people in your industry for making a living at their art, or take an online course like our Catalyst Course to get serious about taking your career to the next level. The resources are available, but you need to stop waiting to be discovered and start taking steps to get exposure, feedback and tools to take you art or media to the next level.
Copyright © 2020 Joel & Michelle Pelsue. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.