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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

5 worst things about having Artist friends on Facebook

Chances are, you have at least one -if not one hundred- professional/aspiring artist in your circle. It could be an actor, musician, writer, dancer, painter, or just plain creative day-dreamer. This is good, really good: your life will only be richer for it. However, it comes with exquisitely annoying perks and surprises, which I discovered through the years, scrolling down my daily newsfeed and, let's admit, some of which I have been guilty of inflicting myself onto my poor cyber friends. 

1- Which one are you again?


This mainly goes for actors: the multiple profile syndrome. You joined facebook and used it happily for a couple of years until you realised that your pissed-up party photos could end up in the wrong paparazzi hands, once you are famous. Also, your agent is in your ear about getting your image out there, to network actively, blah-dee-blah. Plus, you don't want that cute future co-star to know you're playing Candy Crush all day long, at least until you get the part. But you love the wrap parties. And Candy Crush. And you'd love to continue bitching about the director in "private" to your 872 friends...

So you un-friend all your professional contacts, make your profile private and create a brand new, public, clean one. Except you kept some of your friends on both profiles because, let's be honest, you work with most of them. Then you also create a page for your "public figure" for us and non-friends to follow/subscribe to. And another one for your character in your latest play/film. And another again for your band/company/group/collective, etc.

Then you post the EXACT. SAME. STATUS. from all 6 profiles. Said status will appear six times in my newsfeed of course.

And to which of your profiles should I send an invitation to my birthday bash?

Which brings me nicely to my second observation...

2- Sorry I can't make it, but break a leg!

Unfortunately, I cannot physically attend every concert/recital/public reading/demonstration/opening/première/screening/revival/exhibition/launch/wrap party/award ceremony/festival in my Facebook calendar. I really want to. It's nothing personal. Don't be offended. I receive about 50 invitations per day. At first I was all like "oooh look at me, I'm so popular, people want me at their thing" and then I was like "oooooh look at them, they send me hundreds of invites and they won't even come to MY thing". But the worst is that, most of the time, I really dig the events you send me. Sure, otherwise you wouldn't be my friends right? But I just can't make it...

My bro constantly invites me to his concerts in Paris. I even receive invites to events in Japan. I swear! Let's all take a deep breath and learn a new word together... TARGETING. Everyone ok? Should I go on? Now, let's slowly move our event-weapon AWAY from the friends who are artists themselves and therefore too broke/tired/depressed/busy to attend your wonderful piece. Away also from those who have kids and live outside a 10km radius of the event.

No. Only kidding, actually... *sigh* keep them coming as I'd hate to miss anything. And we all know by now: only artists actually attend cultural events...

3- Sorry I can't make it but break a leg! (#2)

Unfortunately (again) I won't be able to give a single penny to your fundit/ kickstarter campaign/16th pub quiz/5th cake sale/3rd gala fundraising concert to support your project. I won't be able to attend the show that you're putting on to finance the other, bigger show that you'll put on a month after that. I really want to. It's nothing personal. Don't be offended. 

However, I can lend you a few costumes, a stuffed ferret and a big vase that catches the light nicely. I can also click "like" under your picture so that your art piece/play/film/single/photo wins that coveted prize offered by that multi-national drink company that will not use your talent for promotional reasons but solely to help YOU, the artist, to realise your dream. And I will click tomorrow too. And the day after that again. Oh, I'll click all day until the kids come back from school and at night again after they're gone to bed. Sure, that's the least I can do. 

Unfortunately, that's all I'm doing too. I'd rather go and see your show.

4- Where the heck is your stuff?

This one is for the Visual Artists, with the exception of photographers: you are never on Facebook. I added you thinking "ooooh, chucks! Here's Pablo!! My newsfeed will be nothing but an endless scroll of shimmering colours, provocative visuals and stunning sights for my irises!" 

Except you Visual Artists never post any of your stuff on Facebook. Or rarely. And usually it's not taken from the right angle, or under the right light, because you didn't take the picture yourself but it's your auntie Maureen who uploaded it and tagged you in it. You discover this about two months later and curse about copyright and the fact that she didn't rotate the image to appear "landscape" size.

Then you proceed to unfriend her and invite everyone else to the launch of your exhibition, where there will be cheese and wine. And your auntie Maureen.


5- Does anyone have a Vocas MB-250 Mattebox in Finglas in the next 20min?

Or a stuffed ferret in Ballivor before we open on Tuesday? Or can anyone do stage manager for me next week on Annie because I'm suddenly not feeling very well but don't worry I wrote everything down and, sure, the 200 kids in the cast are only lovely? Can anyone play the drums, tonight 9pm in Whelan's, bring your own kit (we had another row with Max, this time it's REALLY over)? And who is up for driving a bunch of us through the bog at 2am with the boot open so that Damo can film Jody running away from her attacker in that gruesome scene in our next horror flick (In your car by the way, replies in PM only, no pay but great exposure and credits)?  Sorry to bother you again, but any luck with that Vocas?? 

I can do miracles, lads, but you'll have to help me a bit. 

Repeat above requests every 20 minutes or so, every day, in my newsfeed, on my wall, in my inbox, in CAPS, then in a text message to my own phone... 

I forgive you, love, I've been there. One day, I WILL say "yes, my friend, be at peace, I can help."  

I call it techie panic. And you don't have to be a techie to have techie panic, nor to find the help online... because that's what it's like to have Artist friends on Facebook: without each other's support, we wouldn't be able to produce Art. 

And that constant, sour reminder gently beeps away in our newsfeed...