William F. Baker recently sat down with the AMA Edgewise team to discuss his book, The World’s Your Stage: How Performing Artists Can Make a Living While Still Doing What They Love, and how artists can fuse their true talent with business savvy to achieve success.
“My students at Juilliard are perhaps the best in the world,” Baker explains on the podcast. “They’re coming out of school having practiced, say, an instrument five hours a day since age three, they’ve gone to the hardest school in America to get into, and they come out and there’s an expectation that somebody’s going to be throwing rose petals at you and an agent taps you on the shoulder and says ‘I’ve got a $200,000 job for you at the Berlin Philharmonic.’ Now, that person is certainly qualified to go to the Berlin Philharmonic, but likely there’s no job.” What are the options for these graduates? They probably need this podcast and The World’s Your Stage.
Artists usually chose their profession for the love of the craft but if they don’t have some business skills they’re going to get left behind. William F Baker, co-author of The World’s Your Stage, published by AMACOM, has tips on how to brand yourself, how to assess your competition, and act like an entrepreneur.
WILLIAM F. BAKER is president emeritus of WNET, New York’s PBS station, and a professor at Fordham University. He teaches Understanding the Profession: The Business of the Performing Arts in the 21st Century to students from Juilliard and Fordham, and, in addition to The World’s Your Stage, is the author of Leading with Kindness: How Good People Consistently Get Superior Results (AMACOM August 2008).