I had a conversation today with my son who's preparing to go back to college after two years in South Africa. Originally, his plan was to earn money through music-- as a teacher, playing in orchestras, and giving private lessons. His major is music education and his instrument is the viola. But now that he's back in the States, and the talk is about the economy, he's wondering if he should go into science rather than the arts, for more financial stability.
He enjoys science, gets good grades and could do something in that field, yet music is his passion, and he wants to make a living at it. He says, "I can't imagine anything more wonderful than getting paid for playing music."
Meanwhile, I'm reading a blog today and find this quote by Dan Wells, award-winning author of I am Not a Serial Killer:
"Anyone can make a living as an artist. If you put as much time and energy as a doctor does in building a career, you can be just as successful. Unfortunately there are not programs designed to guide an author step by step into the industry as there are in other fields but if you consider yourself a writer and work everyday toward making it a career, you can't lose."
What do you think? In spite of economic issues, do you think it's possible to support a family by pursuing one's passion? Or should artsy people like writers, musicians and actors stick with the sensible majors where high-paying jobs are waiting?