Circus News

The Artist Athlete Podcast Episode 83: WTF is Art? with Julie Marshall

Listen in as hoop artist and self-proclaimed sparkling garbage, Julie Marshall, grapples with the question: WTF is ART anyway? And how the heck can circus artists make work that channels individual expression while maintaining technique, clarity of vision, and a relationship to the audience? This interview addresses “the taste gap” (as defined in the quote below) as well as topics such as body image, mental health, and the importance of being totally ridiculous.“Nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish somebody had told this to me — is that all of us who do creative work … we get into it because we have good taste. But it’s like there’s a gap, that for the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good, OK? It’s not that great. It’s really not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not quite that good. But your taste — the thing that got you into the game — your taste is still killer, and your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you, you know what I mean?
A lot of people never get past that phase. A lot of people at that point, they quit. And the thing I would just like say to you with all my heart is that most everybody I know who does interesting creative work, they went through a phase of years where they had really good taste and they could tell what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be — they knew it fell short, it didn’t have the special thing that we wanted it to have.
And the thing I would say to you is everybody goes through that. And for you to go through it, if you’re going through it right now, if you’re just getting out of that phase — you gotta know it’s totally normal.
And the most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work — do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week, or every month, you know you’re going to finish one story. Because it’s only by actually going through a volume of work that you are actually going to catch up and close that gap. And the work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions. It takes a while, it’s gonna take you a while — it’s normal to take a while. And you just have to fight your way through that, okay?” -Ira Glass

Mental health resource list:
https://blog.fracturedatlas.org/mental-health-resources-artists-covid-19

The Artist Athlete Podcast

In 2018, circus artist Shannon McKenna launched The Artist Athlete Podcast to provide a platform for professionals in all facets of circus to share stories, view points, and information. It serves as a communication pillar for the community and as a source of inspiration for those who wish to enter the industry. To date, the podcast boasts over 155,000 downloads worldwide, with over 76 episodes, and esteemed guests from 15 different countries and counting.

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