By Tanvi Pal:
I am a budding director and a classical dancer, in short, an artist in the making. While working towards a new script based on the lives of artists, I randomly started typing “Being an artist…” and thanks to the auto complete feature of Google, it started predicting as to what I shall be typing next; ‘pointless’, ‘hard’, ‘part-time’ were some of the suggestions.
These suggestions are a part of our thought structure i.e. what we believe in, we preach. And like a ripple effect, it starts permeating across all segments; despite being the land of diverse ethnicities, various cultures, we still fail to address and acknowledge many forms of performing arts.
Being an artist is hard because the time spent in gaining acceptance towards your chosen career path is more than the time spent in the rehearsal halls. It’s hard because the payment procedures are unstructured, there are several intermediaries, a lack of infrastructural facilities, high rentals etc. And there is no initial funding process for independent artists to showcase their work. The whole process seems unachievable and many end up finding being an artist as ‘pointless’ or maybe ‘part-time’.
While conceptualizing the 1st musical under Blank Delhi Productions, my partner Shobita and I had intended of doing it only once a year, because even we did not see ourselves accepting this field as a full-fledged profession. Pulling off our 1st production with no money in our hands seemed impossible, but the support extended by various organisations helped us introduce the concept.
The chain of challenges that followed, made us even more determined to explore our opportunities in order to pave the way for the many others like us. We chose to walk a different path, because we knew that our knowledge and skill set can help us reach deeper issues connected to this line of work.
Thankfully, the network of artists is growing strong, we can see many organizations coming up to help us achieve our dreams. While we might not have a swanky angel investors, we do have crowdfunders. The concept has given wings to the dreams of many budding artists. Here, it’s the crowd which comes together to fund a project and makes it go live. It is new for many to understand but with the advent of same, the performing arts industry is becoming more active. Crowdfunding has been doing very well abroad, but is yet to catch up in India.
But what’s in it for the funders? You are making somebody’s dream come true! You are a part of a success story! You are creating history!
“People should not look at crowdfunding with a narrow lens because it is not merely a transaction. But it is about empowering our talented young artists and encouraging them as they slowly bring about an artistic and cultural revolution”, says Rajat Das of popular crowd funding portal “thehotstart.com”.
Having done 2 successful musicals along with the 3rd one in the pipeline, we hope that each performance is a step towards bringing about a cultural revolution and another open door for aspiring artists.