I heart ME. and thoughts on the ego-centric artist

Is living as an artist inherently ego-centric at the core? So many artists, performers, singers, actors, film-makers - seem completely self-absorbed, self-obsessed- self-centered - it's all about me, me, me - how awesome and I, I, I? I mean in order to express what is going on inside and put it out for the world to see, you must feel in some way that what you have to offer is unique, good, worth looking at or listening to.

Is focusing on your career simply focusing on yourself? And is that bad? Is this why so many people who make it to the top end up alone? Wishing they had taken some time to love the other people in their lives instead of just themselves?

As I've been focusing more on my performing career - building my website - getting headshots - compiling songs for a demo, etc. - I'm feeling a little guilty about all these self-centered actions. It's almost like the biggest danger I am facing as I leap into this world is getting tired of ME. For god sakes. pictures of me, the sound of my own recorded voice, little clips and resume gems that make ME look better. I mean, it's gonna get old. I guess that's why it's nice at some point to have a manager or agent - someone who's business is to be obsessed with you. So maybe you can focus on other things for a tiny bit. It's also nice, I would think to have a grander goal - one that is not so self-focused - like spreading God's love through music, or spreading the joy of music to schools and young people, etc.

I remember when I was in college and looking towards a career in musical theater. September 11th totally rocked my world. It shook me up at my core. I felt sick about the world and wanted to do something good for human kind. I had just spent a summer in Europe with the Anne Frank Foundation - learning about various acts of human cruelty - and I just could not stomach the idea of tap class. The idea of going out in the world to get applause - with the only goal being that people like me or were entertained. It just seemed so shallow and awful and pointless and egocentric. So I quit. I continued singing - but not for a career. It became a life choice that I decided to look down on as almost immoral and selfish. I would sit in an audience and judge other people who did it in my little self-centered pool of regret and resentment.

Now, here I am. Leaping back into it. And the weird part is that it feels like the most natural thing in the world. The sad truth is, I LOVE applause. I LOVE making people laugh, entertaining them, making them cry, connecting with them through music. It is the most amazing, wonderful experience of my life. The thing that feels the most effortless and gives me the most joy. So is it more selfish to share and promote this gift or to hoard it away in self-doubt and fear? My guess: sharing it is actually better for the world at large. The fact is, I'm not Nelson Mandela. I'm not Hillary Clinton. I'm not anyone else but Fran Betlyon. And I guess what I have to offer the world - that might make it a better place in some small way - is my singing and my heartfelt performing. That's it. That's what I got.

So maybe I just need to swallow the up those self-centered fears and just chalk the 'fran' focused actions up to the truth of a professional artist's life. It comes with the territory. As long as I can stay grounded and focused on my faith - loving my family - my friends - and sharing my gift - it should be ok. I'm not a crazy ego-maniac. Atleast not today......although isn't blogging a little self-indulgent? Aren't I hoping to get some lovins from this post? Aren't I presuming that my thoughts are important enough for other people to read by posting this nonsense????

oh Good gosh golly crap in a basket!

stay tuned.


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