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Claire Willett @clairewillett
, 30 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Fuck literally everyone out here shaming an actor for having a day job as though it makes him a tragic has-been. Keep your classism to yourself. You have no idea how hard it is to make a living as an artist. Having a non-artist job does not make you pathetic. This is INFURIATING.
LIKE SORRY BOUT YOUR MYTH THAT BEING AN ACTOR MEANS YOU ARE RICH FOREVER AND SORRY ABOUT YOUR ARROGANT ASSUMPTION THAT ONCE YOU’VE BEEN ON TELEVISION ANYTHING ELSE YOU DO WITH YOUR LIFE IS FAILURE
LIKE MAYBE WE DON’T WANT TO SHAME SOMEONE PERMANENTLY ASSOCIATED WITH “THE COSBY SHOW” FOR WANTING A NORMAL HUMAN LIFE IN A PLACE THAT IS NOT HOLLYWOOD GIVEN THE PROBABLY TRAUMATIZING UPHEAVAL FOR A LOT OF THAT YOUNGER CAST OF LEARNING THE TRUTH ABOUT BILL

JESUS
god I’m SO MAD

how fucking dare you assholes try to rob an adult man of his dignity by spinning this like “oh how far he has fallen, quelle horreur!!!” like he’s somehow living a life that should EMBARRASS him
good morning, I am still FURIOUS about this
insta-blocking anyone who rolls in to tone-police this thread is better than fucking therapy
This is the first time I’ve ever had my mentions blow up like this where it wasn’t traumatizing! There’s usually a lot more blocking. This is just hundreds of artists incandescent with rage at a society which demands art be free while punishing artists for wanting healthcare.
YOU ARE ALL VALID AND WHATEVER YOU DO TO PAY THE ELECTRIC BILL AND SUPPORT YOUR ART IS VALID

WHATEVER JOB(S) YOU HAVE BESIDES ART, WHETHER BY NECESSITY OR CHOICE, ARE VALID

THOSE JERKS DON’T GET YOU BUT I GET YOU
I’m a PLAYWRIGHT for gosh sakes, my first full production paid me $800 for a play that at that point had taken me five years to write

ALL OF US HAVE TO DEVELOP OTHER SKILLS

THERE ARE NO FULL-TIME PLAYWRIGHTS
Also like, your mileage may vary, but over the course of my life I have found it a much better fit when my pay-the-bills job ISN’T in the arts. That way all that creative energy belongs to me alone instead of being expended on behalf of someone ELSE’S creative vision.
anyway I have never met Geoffrey Owens but I would literally die for him and that’s the tea
sweet buttercream frosting, there are SO MANY OF YOU, we have crossed the event horizon past which I cannot keep up with all the comments but just TRUST THAT I VALIDATE YOU

also is this the part where I tell you to buy my Watergate time travel book

amazon.com/dp/B014VMIVDU/…
Two more things I’m thinking about because this has sparked such great discussion:

1) It is both true that bogus art/work/money narratives are universal to all of us, AND that the narrative around Owen specifically was framed in VERY racist terms by both the OP and by media.
I want to leave it to artists of color to unpack that thread of the conversation more deeply because that isn’t my story to tell, though I’ll be signal-boosting as many Black voices on this as I can find. But it does need to be said here so we don’t skip past it.
2) The myth that you have to be a starving artist or you don’t “care enough about your art” and the myth that artists who are more successful got there just by working harder are poisonous to us all. Artists HAVE to start insisting on a more honest and open dialogue about money.
When people ask me about how I got a book published, it is disingenuous to leave out class/money privilege from that story. I have no kids, I bought a house with money my mom left me after she died, and I don’t have student loans. Those are ENORMOUS FACTORS.
If I just told people it was simply a matter of talent and hustle, that erases the fact that a lot of people hustling just as hard with just as much talent have THOUSANDS more dollars in monthly expenses than I do and have to work more hours which means fewer writing hours.
Artists who don’t acknowledge their economic privilege - spouse who makes big money, support from parents, inherited wealth, whatever - feed that myth that we are all “supposed” to be able to make it work financially without ever needing to wait tables or answer phones.
So we are made to feel like we’ve failed for having a second or third or fourth job in order to subsidize our writing or painting or research or acting or game design, when in fact the great unspoken secret is, THAT’S WHAT LITERALLY EVERYONE IS DOING
If you have a thing you love, whether it’s teaching Shakespeare like Geoffrey Owen or it’s raising goats or it’s designing a board game, and it doesn’t pay your rent, so you pay your rent another way that allows you to do your thing, you’ve won. You made it. Zero shame.
By the way, this is a lesson I learned from my mom. So to all the literally hundreds of people in my mentions who are unpacking the shaming you got because your life doesn’t look like someone else thinks it should, I’M YOUR MOM NOW, I AM PROUD OF YOU FOR DOING THE THING 💗💗💗
wow we all really needed this cathartic screamfest today didn’t we fam
oh my god @jillsobule just retweeted this so I’m crying in gay

thank you for respecting my privacy during this vulnerable time
Goodnight, my lovelies. It’s been an emotional and overwhelming day. Thank you to everyone who shared your stories with me. I hold them in my heart.

Keep dreaming and creating and doing your work. Don’t let anyone else define what “success” looks like for you.

You are valid. 💗
Good morning oh my god this is overwhelming THERE ARE TOO MANY OF YOU TO HUG AND IT’S GIVING ME ANXIETY I’m trying desperately to keep up with even a fraction of these responses but just know that whoever you are, I think you are amazing and I see how hard you’re working 💗
Also @ theatre people, get at me if you’re interested in a play about Catholicism and astrophysics and fathers & daughters and Galileo that technically hasn’t had a world premiere yet, it got workshopped at Pasadena Playhouse and The Lark and they thought it was pretty dope
And now if you will all excuse me, I just saw @BebeNeuwirth in my twitter mentions and got so overwhelmed with Theatre Kid Feelings that I need to go back to bed
OH WAIT speaking of artists who deserve to make a living and because I have now inadvertently spread her work across the whole internet, @Kate_Trish did my profile pic artwork and is wonderful, go check her out katetrish.com
god I can’t believe 500 people have like this gay trash tweet what is my life now
I'm trying to think of what I can signal-boost now that this tweet is exploding all over the entire universe and I have a captive audience, so here's a thread I did last year of women of color on Twitter I recommend following!

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