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Passion, humiliation, and depravity are the cornerstones of the artistic spirit. How else to rationalize one's deliberate choice to face a life of unsigned rejection letters, calls from worried parents and collection agencies, and cups and cups of ramen noodles? Being a noble artiste is a rough gig. It's one part denial, one part masochism. And it gets all the respect of being a fry cook, without the convenient minimum wage. Only a fool would agree to such soul crushing -- until now.
The Starving Artist's Survival Guide boldly reassures both the dreamer and the doer that you are not alone. Regardless of whether you are a painter, a poet, a musician, a writer, an actor, or simply paralyzed by an English lit or fine arts degree, help has arrived. Topics include the pros and cons of various artistic day jobs ("People love clowns, except for the 80 percent who want to beat them up and the 20 percent who do"), coping with form-letter rejections through the healing power of haikus ("You, blinking red light, / A call back from my agent? / No, just goddamn Mom"), a survey of artists' dwellings (from the romanticized loft to Mama's rent-free attic), and most important, "Holding On: Ten Good Reasons to Keep Your Head out of the Oven."
Both celebrating and satirizing the pretentious poor, The Starving Artist's Survival Guide recognizes that the best way to cope with self-inflicted poverty is with unbarred humor, not macrame; and coupon clipping.