I’ve been attempting to put this little habit into practice recently: Cheerleading.
Not literal cheerleading, a la “Bring It On” or for a sports team. I’m incredibly uncoordinated so that would be terrible. My way of cheerleading has been to make a point of being very vocal about work that should be seen in my field.
Fun fact – Did you know that people are twice as likely to leave a bad review than a good review? Yeah, ok, this is just according to “studies” that I read about on the internet. But after doing some observation of everyday life, I have found this to be true. And quite frankly, that’s a bummer. So I’m making it my mission to leave more good reviews.
By “reviews” I don’t necessarily mean written reviews only. I’m also talking about spreading the word verbally in conversation, or on social media. I realized that when I saw a great movie or piece of theatre I might discuss it with the person I was with or mention it in conversation if I happened to think of it, but I certainly didn’t make a point of shouting it from the rooftops…. And I should have! We all should.
We should especially be doing this for the underdog projects; The unique indie film you see at a festival. The random great web series that you stumble across online. The weird but entertaining play happening in some basement downtown. As independent artists a great deal of our works success can come down to word of mouth and grassroots support.
I do often see friends discussing the latest blockbusters or hit shows on social media.
“OMG The Force Awakens!! Have seen it three times already. Going again!”
“Gearing up to watch last weeks Game of Thrones. Fiiinally! No spoilers plz!”
“Sausage Party was hilaire. I died ten times over. LOL”
I know it’s fun to do this and I’m not suggesting you stop. All I’m suggesting is that you also make a point of giving shout outs to the work that needs your word of mouth. Cause let’s be honest, blockbusters have marketing budgets in the millions. They don’t actually need your facebook post like the little guys do.
And if you’re not actually seeing any independent work in the first place, you absolutely should be. Seek it out! Go to film festivals, hunt for great digital content, see plays. If you have access to the internet (which I know that you do because you’re reading this blog post) you have no excuse not to be seeking out independent content.
I know we are all busy, juggling day jobs and side hustles with our own creative endeavors, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in our work but if you need a little more incentive to start cheerleading, look at it this way:
You know that saying, “If you want a friend be a friend” – Well, if you spend all your time obsessing over your own projects, and ignoring the community of artists around you, do you really expect anyone but your grandma to support your work when you release it and are looking for an audience?
If you make a point of cheering on other artists projects, chances are that when you need some cheerleaders for your own stuff, they will be much easier to find.