My guest Aleksej is super creative and super accomplished, with so much insight for artsy people trying to balance creativity with earning money and for business people curious about living a more creative life. Aleksej and I met when he joined my team at The Art of Applying®, where he quickly climbed to the top of sales as a Breakthrough Coach! As it turns out, he got so good at it that he had his own breakthrough and is about to start at Oxford, hoping to use his MBA to increase diversity and representation in major streaming services.
“Don’t worry about the gatekeepers in Hollywood, or the publishing industry, to say you are an actor or a writer. What makes one an actor is performing. What makes you a writer is taking the poem that’s whispering in your spirit, getting it down on paper, and sharing it.”
Listen to the Full Episode:
Come sit at the artsy-smartsy table with us this episode! We’re talking about the value of representation and being able to see yourself portrayed in stories growing up, especially for a “Norwegican” (Norwegian-Mexican) like Aleksej. Early on, after-school theater became his outlet for expression and communication. Now he plans to use his arts and his smarts to boost representation behind the scenes of major productions as well as on-camera.
We’re also sharing the ups and downs of our creative career journeys: what’s worked for us and what we see for ourselves in the future. Aleksej says, “I really want to encourage people who are artsy and creative, or scared to start their own business, or scared to ask for a big price tag for their services: you have those skills, recognize that those are just as valuable as the quantitative skills of other people and don’t be intimidated by that.” If you’ve been struggling to straddle your creative side and your career goals, this is an episode for you to hear yourself in and understand that we’re all going through the process together!
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What You’ll Learn
- The value of after-school arts programs!
- How to take the first step and get back to your creative roots, no matter what stage of life you’re in
- Why those skills you learned from the arts are actually what will set you apart and get you ahead in your job
- The most important things to keep in mind when committing to your creativity
Further Reading from Topics in the Show:
- The event page for Aleksej’s bloody and gender-curious Halloween production of Macbeth, including the words of advice: “Literally, try not to dress in your best clothes although protective ponchos will be provided.”
- Aleksej’s beautiful website, where you can contact him, as well as learn more about Aleksej and his creative work: https://www.aleksejaarsaether.com/
- Be Your Own Boyfriend by Kaneisha Grayson
- For anyone interested in following Aleksej and Kaneisha’s advice and taking the first step, check out this article on showing up: How to Get Involved in Community Theater