12.2.18 - Hey! Lookee Me!

Dear Sweet Babe,

Your guncle is an artist, did ya know?

Well, part of being an artist, from the days of De Medici to De La Renta, from Shakespeare to Shakira, is promoting yourself. I have to know exactly what I have to offer, professionally and artistically, to any and every project I am a part of, and I have to find a way to let others know about that greatness I have to find a way that is specific enough so it is clear, yet subtle enough so I don’t come across as a braggart or a diva. Sounds easy, right?

Well, it’s not really as difficult as it may seem. Self-promotion just has two very important key aspects: confidence and truth. Whenever I need to remind a director of what my special skills are, or I’m being assigned a voice part by the music director, or I’m asked what tumbling or acrobatic tricks I can do by a choreographer, I just need to rely on my confidence and the truth that I know about myself.
I don’t want to take a voice part that has me belting a high D. I don’t want to lie and say that I can do a back handspring. I don’t want to pretend to be able to play the saxophone. Because, if I lie to myself or others, the truth will out. Eventually someone will find out that I can’t do what I said I could, and my reputation will be tarnished.
But, I also need the confidence to admit when I can do something. Doesn’t mean I have to be the best ukulele player, or have the cleanest high B, or perform the most flawless cartwheel, but I need to have the confidence to know that I can do those things, and that I will be able to perform them for a show. I need to trust myself.

But, my professional trials are not what is important. What is important is that you know that everyone has to promote themselves. At some point, in everyone’s life, be it once a decade or once a dozen seconds, everyone is asked to share their worth with the world. It could be for a job interview or being picked for kickball. It could be letting you friends know why they know whey should follow your plan of action, or letting that person in your class know why they should go on a date with you. Everyone, in some capacity, has got to self-promote.

So, how do you self promote without appearing bigheaded?
Well, by being honest, of course.

Take a good strong look at yourself and ask yourself what is great about you. Are you really good at listening and remembering stories? Do you have a distinguished style or an ease of propriety? Can you make your tongue into a four-leaf clover or cross just one eye at a time?
Be honest, and be kind. As with all things in your life, be brutal in your honest, but also be brutal in your kindness. Remind yourself that your greatness is worthy of sharing, not because you need others to know how much greater you are than they, but because you need to let the world know to know that you are great.

That’s the secret to good self-promotion: the aim isn’t to put others down in order to elevate yourself, but to elevate yourself through the understanding of your greatness.


Erik SchneiderComment