Dr. Lisa: Helping Joe Gordon-Levitt
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Here's a video we can all learn from. Back in 2003, Joe Gordon-Levitt was in a transitional time in his career. He didn't know what his future looked like. Joe always put his art (acting) first, but then had to learn how to be practical about self-promotion. Do you see yourself in here...maybe just a little? I do!
Making creative work is hard. Sometimes before you can even get to the work, you have to manage some relationships first. Especially if your work involves collaborating.
Dear Dr. Lisa-
I am happily engaged to a lovely woman. I'm having issues right now because I am collaborating on a performance piece with another woman. Though this woman is single, I am not interested in her beyond our project and am loyal to my fiance. The problem is, the two of them don't get along. I'm afraid my fiance will not come to our performance event which I have put a lot into and want to share with her.
I think it's likely that you are not defining relationship with your 2 ladies explicitly enough in either direction. Unless there's something you're not telling me (really no flirting with this collaborator chick?), you need to take charge and let everyone know where they stand instead of letting them fight it out for themselves. Making art is work, like one of those job things where people pay you for doing something you're not in the mood to do. Therefore, your collaborator is a colleague. Although making collaborating on art can often be more intimate than working together at "a job", you have a task that you are both focused on. No matter how personal the work is, try to keep the relationship aspect of your collaboration as professional as possible, particularly when you're in process; it will be better for the work and everyone else.
Once you feel more in control of your relationship with your collaborator, I think things with your fiance will clear up and you will be more relaxed and productive. Don't forget to put some vulnerability out there with her, like simply saying, "Sweetums, it matters a lot to me if you are at my show."
Dear Dr Lisa-
I have this friend I had to put on the back burner right now: she has been a good friend and helped me loads in the past and was an exemplary friend during a tough time for me. Now however, she is jealous (admits it) of my new life, accuses me of "using" her, and asks me questions designed to test my motives. I give her leads to make things better and she hounds me if the advice does not pan out for her (leads on cheaper services for her art and also leads on sales and projects she might go after) I pulled back. I'm not the only one of her friends who experiences this.
Should I tell her? or just keep her on ice.
This friend sounds like she loves sharing "life gone wrong" and wants to keep it that way. I'm thinking that you broke your unspoken agreement by improving your life and now she's mad at you for climbing out of your ditch, with her help! Now she wants to show you how it's impossible for her to climb out behind you. DO NOT waste your time by feeding her ways to help herself that she doesn't use and really doesn't even want probably. If you really care about her, you can have a direct conversation about how she is awesome and thank her for helping you when you were down, but now you think she is getting in her own way and see if she asks for clarification. Let her guide you on how much "truth" from you she is really willing to hear and remember, it's your opinion, you can't be "right" about another person's feelings. You can also give her my e-mail to schedule a free therapy session with a self-proclaimed email@example.com She needs some help to learn how to self-help!