As I was driving on Tuesday to the semi-annual developmental workforce meeting for my teaching job, I took the hour plus mind-numbing drive to catch up on the world around me, by tuning into my local NPR channel.
But as my hand left the preset, I wanted to scream.
Now fans of NPR know there is one week (every six months or so) that you want to avoid: fund-raising week, were every show you love is continuously interpreted with a guilt inducing plea for funds:
“If you love this show, don’t you want to keep it on the air….”
“It is people like you who…..”
“If we don’t raise $$$$, your favorite host will be executed at dawn….”
Ok, maybe the last quote was made up. But, it’s probably only a matter a time.
After five to ten minutes, I’m usually so worn down that I wish I wasn’t broke and had copious amounts of cash just so I could offer it to NPR to just shut up during day one.
But, as I listened, today I thought different about it. Maybe as artist we need to be able to channel our inner NPR/PBS, that almost cocky, whining desperate plea that screams, “I provide a service, I deserve to be compensated.” Even if it means we turn off a few of our readers/watchers.
It’s hard, as an indie artist to make a living, harder if we fall into a trap where we are afraid to demand (or ask) for compensation for work.
The reasons, I think are varied. I tend to struggle with not wanting to annoy people as well as sometimes not feeling qualified.
But, I think I might just give this a try.