Home Pop Culture My glamorous life as a broke artist.

My glamorous life as a broke artist.


a movement and especially a photo opportunity. So as much as the city appreciates its talent, it prefers its talent in photogenic doses and as long as you are associated with whatever the poppy crowd deems as news worthy that talent will always be white washed. What’s important isn’t so much if you deliver but the promise that you can deliver and if you can’t live up to neither obscurity is your best friend.

What of course is never asked is how that talent base survives and manages to keep itself valid and in the public eye- to do so may draw attention to the pitfalls of our supposed collective lives…It’s better after all to starve, than be seen getting a regular job that demerits you socially- the trick of course is to finesse how you survive until your big break finally comes along. Which is another way of saying the world doesn’t mind a struggling artist, it just doesn’t want to actually have to see him or her struggle.

I now step outside momentarily to check if my family has sent me the money they promised they would. A brief call to the bank center leaves me relieved but at the same time deeply saddened. I’ve only received enough just for this month’s rent and maybe a cheap lunch at the bodega down the street from where I live. That’s the thing with parents, they know how to give enough to their children to keep them barely alive but not enough to keep them satisfactorily alive. I will once again have to fathom a clever way to raise the excess funds that I will need to survive this winter month while I continue to work on my literary projects and website (which I’ve come to lately realize may or may not make the type of money I would love to see for it but has opened more opportunities than what any top tier literary agent could ever hope to do…). Of course I’m deeply grateful that I am even remembered by my family and that not every aspiring artist has similar opportunities. Of course that wont stop me from recklessly later spending the money on peripherals as opposed to paying the rent.

I turn to return to the club when I suddenly receive a call from my part time benefactor, (something every artist or muse is inclined to find if they are to survive the unsavory bumps of trying to make it on their own) who has just returned from a recent business trip and wants to know if I’d like to drop by for a cocktail. It’s already 2 am in the morning and I’m already guessing that cocktails really mean something else. Not willing to offend him I agree to pass by a quick cocktail.

When I finally arrive (by foot) I am greeted by the visage of languid types listening to the late Eartha Kitt’s ‘C’est bon,’ and the open view of a large plate of cocaine sitting next to a large collection of Victorian books. I am immediately offered my share before realizing that even this author has some limits before politely declining and now taking a seat next to a surly banker type who is busy explaining how he made a pile of money trading some sort of esoteric index earlier that day. I pretend to fathom intrigue before delicately positioning myself between my patron and the new young thing in his life. Apparently she is a musician of sorts (and as a later I realize a horrible one) but the implicit deal is if I can get her some publicity, take her out to some of the countless events I attend that it will be worth my while. I take a sip of my stiff drink and realize that these are some of the trade offs I am asked to make in exchange for my longevity.



  1. In NYC, one of the main ingredients that made it possible for creative people to develop their talent was cheap rent. A second necessity for survival that the city offered, was, if you had the skills, the ability to live life on the cheap- for example the 99 cent breakfast.

    This talented author obviously has the skills. My hope is that he can survive the brutal economic challenges that gentrification has produced. Loved reading about this moment in time- brought back memories of what Clubland used to be like- the mixture in the struggle- the glamour- the mixing of the rich and the poor- all fronting to get noticed and discovered. thanks clayton patterson

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