Monday, March 3, 2014

Major in the Arts, work at Domino's

This commercial (above) does the opposite of what is intended for me. I don't see Domino's, or any other fast food joint, as a hidden alcove of creative talent. In fact, having worked fast food myself back in the day, the job itself is a plethora of corporate rules and often brutal superiors which stifles creativity itself. This commercial is supposed to send a message to the masses that the creatives who make this food are there because of their talented skill-set. The opposite is actually the truth. They are there because there is no other option. Creatives have to survive, too, and survival means money. So with little hope that they can persevere within their skill-set, they turn to the only jobs they can realistically perform; poverty-level, minimum wage work.

I can't speak to others' experiences. For myself, I didn't have the guidance or know-how to understand that I would have to explore career options other than writing in order to have a decent life. Years of frustration and struggle is what most creatives have to deal with. Instead of nurturing these talents early on, the children of creativity are often shoved to the sidelines in favor of capitalistic endeavors. I'm not griping (okay, maybe just a little); that's just the way the world works. Dismal, yes, but there's nothing we can really do about it.

It saddens me that the arts aren't taken more seriously by society in general. This commercial is depressing and sends the message that creatives are worth no more than to struggle in the fast food industry. Sure, you can work full-time or get into management to make a decent living but doing those things leaves little time and energy for your art because those jobs sometimes tend to suck the life right out of you. So while I understand what Domino's is trying to do, for that teen who knows their talent but not how to get there, this is a painful message to swallow.

There is nothing wrong with working these jobs; I dare say that everyone at some point in their lives should have to work a public service job in order to gain a better understanding of humanity. If you've ever had to deal with upset and angry customers who have no compassion when you are trying your best, then you know exactly where I'm coming from. And if you truly enjoy working these jobs and it makes your heart sing, then great! But that isn't why a lot of people work those jobs, especially creatives.

They have to. Think about this next time you expect a creative to give you a painting or drawing for free or cheap, to give you free copies of their books, or work their talent in a way that benefits you without giving them anything in return simply because you believe they enjoy giving their talent away for pure exposure.

One person that comes to mind when I think about this is Rashaad Santiago, a super-talented "Face Off" (SyFy) contestant who supported his family by working in a fast food restaurant. He worked at his talent, despite the odds of being sucked into corporate monotony, and I'm pleased that he has been given a chance to show off what he taught himself. What an opportunity! I hope he goes far in the competition.

Peace, love, and hope for creatives,


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