Hello dear readers! I am absolutely honored to be supplying my first interview to you in what I hope to be a long standing series of discussions with young and developing artists in Los Angeles and the various obstacles, brought to light and addressed in Persist, that they might face in their daily lives. Please enjoy, contemplate, and most importantly...discuss!!
Interview with David Elsenbroich-June 16th, 2010
We all know that fear is quite a process. As an artist what can we do with the sometimes numbing and debilitating sensation of fear? Can we sing with it? Paint with it? Dance with it? Act like it’s something else? How does a fear of failure or even success dictate the path of the creative process for so many people and how might an artist's relationship to their medium change with a degree in their field?
In this short interview i wanted to supply us with insight from one of my peers from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California and his immediate experience waltzing with the fear of gaining monetary stature in a creative field.
a twenty-four-year old Northern Californian native, obtained his Masters in Studio Jazz Guitar Performance this past May.
Emily: What is it you are afraid of right now, fresh out of school, in regards to your future?
David: I think obviously making enough money to sustain myself now and in the future in terms of having a family, but also being able to sustain my creative endeavors. In other words, not getting caught up in pursuing the things that only forward my monetary success. As in, I don’t want to sacrifice the idea of fulfilling my creative and artistic goals in order to entertain my fears regarding my financial future.
Emily: Do you find it difficult to separate your personal and monetary goals right now?
David: Yes. Like, it’s hard to say because at this point in my life I’m not quite sure what my goals are for either of those things. All I have right now is short term goals. And although having short term goals worries me it’s the only way i can cope with the situation right now. All I know how to form right now is short term goals.
Emily: So does the idea of forming goals in an artistic profession frighten you? How much of that fear do you feel was dictated by your experience in school? In other words, would you be afraid of the same things had you not received an extensive education in music?
David: Mmmmmmmmm (imagine a low guttural growl).......did you just write that? Are you writing this now? Umm...Its a strange mix. On the one hand I feel apprehension and fear because I feel like I’ve spent so much time in school that I’m behind my peers in terms of reaching my goals of artistic success. Also, I feel stunted in my creative thought because so much of my creative thought has been determined by what has been required of me in school. On the other hand, (long pause), on the other hand I think I feel more confidence about my future, because of school. I think that school, particularly graduate school, has taught me that I can specifically achieve just about anything no matter how lofty that goal might be. So it’s a strange mix between a fear that Im behind in achieving my goals and a sense of confidence in the fact that i can achieve those goals if i put my mind to it.
Emily: Imagine you were somehow miraculously sustained monetarily. You didn’t have to worry about money. How would this change the creative process for you? Just the process? Or would it re-shape you as an artist?
David: The process wouldn’t be as desperate. But to a certain extent it would be the same because my end goal would be the same in both processes.
Emily: In three words, define your process of course ending with the goal. Tell us the David Eric Elsenbroich Process.
David: My process? Absorb, contemplate, extrapolate.
There was a bit of a pause as David thought about those three words but once he had decided, he said them with more confidence than anything else spoken during the entire interview.
Now I have a few questions for you readers. Maybe for some people the process is clear, but the goals are not. Do they have to be? Is it generally more intimidating to allow your goals and dreams to stay clear and specific in your mind as a fear of failure could infiltrate your productivity? Does a fear of failure (or success) inhibit you or inspire you?