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[Opera America hired Astrid to lead two workshops for our 2013 Leadership Intensive.] Astrid’s background in nonprofit management and ongoing work with performing arts organizations meant that she was able to tailor the leadership workshops to the specific needs of opera leaders.
Astrid is one of the most inspiring people I know, having been incredibly successful in both her first career as a lawyer and her family life, while maintaining one of the most upbeat, optimistic, and forward-thinking personalities out there.
— MS, New York, NY
"I chose to work with Astrid because of her background in both the arts and business worlds. After our consultation meeting, it became clear to me that she works with her clients to help them achieve success that rings true for each individual, and doesn't just follow the same formula with everyone. She is also a terrific listener and very easy to talk to. There was nothing about the coaching process with Astrid that felt fake or empty -- we got down to nuts and bolts, and took a good look at the motivations behind my current habits as a means of changing those habits when necessary. As a result of working with her, I have reached a new level of balance in my life, and I have more confidence than before about my business decisions. Though it wasn't my main goal going into coaching, I also have found I am doing better financially than in the past. I am now able to approach new situations and apply what I discovered with Astrid, so the benefits of coaching with her have extended beyond the time we were actively working together. It was an invaluable experience."
— Christina J., Publicist, New York, NY
I am thrilled to be teaching a new class at the Yale School of Music entitled “Creating Sustainable Careers in the Arts” and we have gotten off to a great start. I teach a combination of
• How to create a positive mindset and project confidence;
• How to be an authentic, powerful and unique artist; and
• Entrepreneurial skills that will help you advance your music career.
Over the course of the semester, my students will learn how to adopt the mindset and learn skill sets and the processes necessary to become successful music entrepreneurs. Here is why this is so important, no matter what kind of career you envision as a musician.
My students are a mix of instrumental majors, a composer and a singer. All are dedicated to having performing careers. Most envision creating something new in the field, which we will explore in greater depth through a semester-long project. Many want to teach, either privately or at an institution.
Among the first week’s assignments were two pieces of wisdom from Steve Jobs:
Why are we reading about business entrepreneurs when all I want is to work as part of a performing arts organization and not create something new?
Here's my answer:
With the state of the arts world as it is, it is more important that ever to be the kind of person who thinks like an entrepreneur:
Status quo is no longer an option. Established performing arts organizations are in transition and are faced with the challenge of how to survive, let alone thrive, in the 21st Century. Music conservatory graduates, no matter how talented they are, need more than just raw talent. Indeed, with no guarantees of success as a musician, even musicians who do not envision creating a new enterprise and are looking to join an existing structure need to be asking themselves the following questions:
1. Know your authentic, best self and what makes you unique. This will help you to be positive and inspire confidence in those around you.
2. Look for opportunities and don’t wait for them to come to you.
3. Be flexible and open-minded about your opportunities.
4. Learn from your challenges and build on your experience.
5. Get support and create a network of like-minded people with whom you connect and share.
6. The corollary to the foregoing: Be a generous, supportive colleague so that people will want to work with you and ask you back.
That’s what my course is about: to help these amazingly talented young people gain the confidence in themselves to create a vision of success, look for opportunities to make that happen and go after them with the goal of creating a financially sustainable career.
Stay tuned for how we make that happen.