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Artist as an Entrepreneur

Time and time again, I hear the success stories of entrepreneurs delivered through a sequence of interesting incidents that happened along the way. It might be a person they met who initiated a significant milestone, or the occurrence of multiple ‘coincidences’ that followed a self-generated life change. Mostly in these anecdotes though – comes a reversion to “an original dream.”

So it was with Pablo Malco when he re-discovered his original dream after many years on a lucrative and transformational career ‘tangent’—street dancing and hip hop in the Hollywood realm of performance arts. In 1998, after viewing a matinee movie about ballet at Sawgrass Mall, he walked out of the cinema at 4:30 p.m, walked straight into a ballet class at 5:00 p.m. and “changed his life,” he says. “I had been a street dancer for 25 years; and ballet makes me feel athletic. This is a sport that I can master and conquer,” determined Malco that day.

Yes. To conquer a classical art form and then conquer its financial value; that’s the combination that Pablo Malco found at the Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute (AEI) almost ten years later.

As founder and president of Pfuzion Dance Theatre, a 13-year dance company that presents theatrical performances, three or four times a year at Broward Center for the Performing Arts; ArtServe and University Center for the Performing Arts; as well as smaller venues, particularly as fundraisers to allow under-served, at-risk and low income families to attend the bigger performances. With the addition of presentations to events, parties, Bat Mitzvah’s and many other outreach workshops that motivate a crowd, Pfuzion Dance Theatre has managed to be a financially consistent organization for more than ten years.

In Broward County, for more than three years now, the Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute (AEI) is changing the way artists view themselves, by sharing tools and partnerships and presenting how to succeed at business in the world of the arts.

“I walked in to AEI on that first Saturday, and during the four-week period that followed, I barely slept. I was overwhelmed and wide-eyed, day in and day out with the materials - researching, reading about the cooperative program, grants, etc. and continually realizing over and over again, I CAN DO THIS!”

Like Malco, an artist who has always been hungry to learn more about business and enterprise, many artists have honed their creativity in a vacuum waiting on the ‘lucky break.’ Many don’t really believe that they hold the keys to their own success in the areas of money; business plans; financial goals; bottom lines; net earnings; budget projections and marketing.

“AEI tied a lot of my strengths together, and it also gave me strength,” says Malco. “The structure gave me structure. I went from a dancer who was his company; to a man who owns and runs his company.” He feels that prior to this, he lived in survival mode—day to day, week to week, month to month, check to check. Now he says, “I know what I am going to look like next April!”

Today, Pablo Malco has dedicated his life to the better purpose of the youth. He feels that television and radio are “killing the young mind.” He is determined to infiltrate and inspire. His non-profit organization, The Pablo Malco Foundation, is a fundraising venture aimed specifically at nurturing children and young adults in the performing arts. He wishes to give them an opportunity to dance, play music, produce music, take classes, attend performances; and to this end the foundation arranges outreach into schools and arts organizations with summer programs; presentations at school assemblies – anything and any away to get children involved.

As a pioneering hip-hop dancer in Broward and Miami-Dade County since 1995, Malco opened the Hip-Hop Dance Academy. Prior to this, no classes existed in this realm when he came to South Florida in 1995. Today, both Pfuzion Dance Theatre and the Hip Hop Dance Academy are still running successfully as divisions under the umbrella of the Pablo Malco Foundation.

In his latest one man show, My Life Un Ed It Ed – a live performance about his life, he teaches young people about their own short-comings by highlighting his own. He makes his lessons personal, while slipping an unexpected dance move into a dramatic life statement. Commanding the audiences’ enthusiasm, this one-man show—rapping, dancing, talking, will be presented on July 10, 2010 at the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University at 7:00 p.m. Ticket are $20. My Life Un Ed It Ed premiered as a 15 minute, one-man show in Austria four years ago, and has been evolving ever since.

Additionally, Malco is working on a dance and technical workshop called Diversity in the Mix – with Luctricia Welters and Jubilee Dance Theatre at Nova Southeastern University for the fall.

It seems that ultimately, it may be about f ine-tuning all that you have learned; sifting through the knowledge and experiences that are important; dispensing of the material that has already served its purpose; and holding the seed of the original dream in its proper place at the center of your portfolio.

After four weeks with the Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute, Pablo Malco re-created the look of his company as a whole; tightened the wording on his creative material to reflect the specific purpose of his goals - and laid out detailed and ambitious possibilities for potential clients. All in all, he started interacting with his clients in a way that mattered to him; and this he says is what makes the difference between getting up daily for a job, and getting up daily for a passion. .

 

 

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