TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Chanté Griffin

Chanté Griffin is a Los Angeles-based writer and entertainer. She attended Pomona College and Spelman College, where she studied how TV, film and other media construct and intersect with race, culture and gender. She's written for EBONY, The Root, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Magazine and Daily Actor. She blogs at Beneath the Surface and created YouTube's "Black History Firsts Gone Wrong."

Posted Jan. 22, 2019, 8 a.m. by Chanté Griffin | View Comments
Young female singer on the stage with microphone.

The common advice typically doled out to aspiring artists and performers is: “Make sure you have a Plan B.” That advice is stale and outdated, like renting movies from Blockbuster Video. (Not sure what Blockbuster is? Well, I’ve proven my point.) More apropos advice is: “Make sure your Plan A is detailed.” A lot of performing and visual artists know they want to “create art for a living.” They know they want to be in the movies, or showcase their work in galleries, or sing on Broadway, but many young artists don’t have a detailed plan for how that will ...

Posted Oct. 23, 2018, 8 a.m. by Chanté Griffin | View Comments
Woman with brown hair looking nervous or frustrated.

As the parent of a young artist, you’ve invested time, money and energy into your teen’s artistic career. You’ve paid for lessons, attended competitions and lavished your child with praise. But have you prepared your performing or visual arts student for financial success, besides advising on a Plan B? If you want to help your teen build a strong financial future that supports a career in the arts, follow these four tips. ● Help your child undestand the financial realities of any chosen field. Any teen who aspires to become a professional artist must understand the financial nuts and bolts ...

Posted Aug. 14, 2018, 8 a.m. by Chanté Griffin | View Comments
Icons of the top social media sites that can host content

In the age of YouTube stars, Snapchat stories and the Insta-famous, there is so much opportunity for artists to create their own content. Whether you’re into the performing or visual arts, adding “content creator” to your resumé expands your artistic practice from the privacy of your living room into the public sphere. Why content creation? Ryan Hayden, owner of the Los Angeles-based Ideal Talent Agency, says that content creation is key for artists who either lack industry connections or struggle to find success through the more traditional auditioning path. “Creating content is often the best method to getting noticed for ...

Posted Feb. 28, 2018, 8 a.m. by Chanté Griffin | View Comments
5 Reasons to Attend a Historically Black College or University

In high school, one of my classmates advised me to not apply to a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). “It’s not the real world,” he warned. “You’ll be better off at a school like Stanford.” While he chose to attend Stanford, I studied at Pomona College in Claremont, California, and Spelman College, an HBCU in Atlanta, Georgia. (I attended Spelman as a domestic exchange student in the fall of my junior year.) My classmate was partially right, though: HBCUs aren’t representative of “the real world.” Established in the mid- 1800s, they were designed to be better than that world: ...