I found this great article and I put it on the other site. It's a dedication to the starving artist or the struggling musician and it's beautifully written. But after I had it there for a day or so. I wanted to take it down. Well here it is...
This was written by Dave Ackert at the LA Times.
"Singers and Musicians are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime.
Every day, they face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they'll never work again.
Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream.
With every note, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment.
With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life - the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why?
Because musicians and singers are willing to give their entire lives to a moment - to that melody, that lyric, that chord, or that interpretation that will stir the audience's soul.
Singers and Musicians are beings who have tasted life's nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another's heart.
In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.”
- David Ackert, LA Times
Amazing right? And I love how he understands the passion that a musician possesses. But, I'm so tired of the starving artist thing being the statuesque. Yes, being an artist does mean a different kind of lifestyle.
But being a musician doesn't mean you can't be a good planner, business person, or even and early riser.(Sometimes) If you are truly called to music and you walk away...It's as if it hunts you down and finds you. It's who you are, what you are. It should be embraced. I so want to do away with that whole "starving artist" stereotype as a necessity to create good art. There are successes and opportunities and plenty of money to go around for everyone and at whatever limit you set for yourself. IF YOU WANT!
Why do musicians get to sleep till 2PM even if they didn't have a gig the night before or drink every night of the week?. *** I know not all musicians do this (I don't and didn't when I was a pro. musician but it's part of the stereotype ). This whole picture we have of the struggling artist living gig to gig in smoke-filled bars could be wiped out and just be a 'retro kind of thing' so easily. It starts with treating your art as if it were a business. "Regular people" (who are they?) don't come home from work totally "----faced" you shouldn't get that way at your gigs...I'm not saying go out and buy a suit and tie (unless that's your shtick) I'm just saying, if you really want it to work, treat it like something that is worthy of working.
That's the key. You have to want to be a 'successful, developing, work-in progress artist'. Some don't want that. Many have always found that to be a form of selling out. And if that is how they feel than that is fine. I'm talking to those who would like to make a living playing music.I was ALWAYS told, do the artsy thing and have no stability or get a "REAL" job. What an awful choice. So, to be who we are we have to give up all sense of stability? Not fair and not true. Except that people have been buying into that for so many generations it became real. It shouldn't be that way and it certainly doesn't have to be that way. When I say this to people they say that I am proposing a more disciplined way of thinking and it sounds like a lot of work...WELL HECK YEAH IT'S WORK IT"S YOUR LIFE, YOUR CAREER, YOUR PASSION......Then I realize that my voice has gotten too loud and I calm back down.
It should be asked...Why do I want to write songs and perform them in front of people? If the answer is something like..."There is so much inside me that I need to be heard and I can only do it in a song" There's a good chance that this more disciplined way of thinking would work for you. If your answer is. "Because the sound system in the clubs is so much louder than anything I can keep in my parents garage. Plus girls love rock stars" Maybe not so much. But, we have other choices all along the way.
I think this generation, thanks to the internet and so many other things, will learn that they have the opportunity to treat the career of "being an artist" as a business. Just like any other. And with the bravery and dedication that Mr. Ackert spoke of, everyone better look out!
See ya here or at mystagecoach.net