The Cost of Creativity

Carlos Valenzuela | July 23, 2014 | 3:57 PM
Carlos Valenzuela

While my taxi made its way to the Hard Rock Hotel to celebrate Dwight Miller’s lifetime achievement award, I thought, “Wow, fifty years, where did time go?” I recalled Vegas being affordable hotels, food, gambler’s offered free drinks, cigarettes (yes) and snacks. My reality check was seconds away with the taxi driver saying, “Twenty-two dollars, please.”

I walked though the clinking of slot machines in the lobby remembering how forty years ago the total cost of my beauty education was seven hundred dollars, but a gallon of gas was fifty cents. Life was simple—you went to work in a commission salon and build a clientele. It sounds like a dreamlike delusion, but this is really the way it was across America. Clients came in once a week for a shampoo set, a color every four weeks and a perm every three months. As a professional you needed one week’s worth of clients—and, you were pretty much set.

I reached the Vinyl Room at the Hard Rock Hotel, all set up for a great celebration by Dwight’s partner, lovely Charlet Pelissier. The years of dedication to the industry had given me a treasure of memorable times and friendships. I saw common traits many of us in the group had in common. I call these “The Cost of Creativity,” and I share these with you, my loyal readers-- I don’t think these are good or bad—they are a benefit or a drawback on an individual basis.

  1. If you are creative, you are ambitious. I don’t know many who create anything and not want someone see, taste, wear, or hopefully, enjoy it.
  2. If you are ambitious you spent many late nights and early mornings—if not at work, at a minimum worrying about “it.”
  3. There were many birthdays, graduations and Thanksgivings you missed or showed up late and tired.
  4. You learned that anything you do—someone would criticize or not like, so you developed a short list of close friends. Lots of acquaintances and few friends. You value privacy.
  5. If you did not find someone who totally gets you-- you are ok single because you know your mind (at times your heart) goes where it deems necessary. How many are willing to stand by?
  6. Outside your inner group, you are aware of those who don’t cheer your talents. It’s a vibe you pick up when they are around—with time; this is an awareness you respond to with compassion. You are so over it.
  7. In life, you have taken yourself to many places—on your own. --from a movie to dinner, to a museum or Paris—a creative person wants the experience and doesn’t need a consensus to go for it.
  8. You now understand that being creative is a something money can’t buy. Given a choice, you would rather be creative and struggle, than secure and dull.

Perhaps the greatest gift of a creative lifestyle is the acceptance that nothing stays the same forever, one must learn to change as life changes, or life will force it on you, one way or another. Move along, now.


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