Welcome to One Working Musician.com!
But a conversation I had recently on a message board that I frequent got me thinking about how many people there are who don’t understand the life of the working musician – even musicians! Some people think it’s impossible to make a real living as a musician and others have no idea what it takes to carve out a living in the music business. But I’m here to tell you that it’s not rocket science!
I have been making a living off of music in some fashion most of my life. First it was in radio, where I worked my way up from the part-time overnight disc jockey to the Program Director of a major market radio station in a relatively short time. After I became disillusioned by the state of radio, I began my quest to make money playing music, and reconnected with my old childhood friend, the trumpet. Since 2001 I have been playing music in jazz, rock, funk, soul and R&B bands, teaching lessons, workshops and seminars, and creating a very successful music booking and promotion company. Nowadays every penny I earn is related to the music business in some form or another.
It hasn’t been easy to get to this point, but what worthwhile pursuit is? It has taken hard work, dedication, practice, schmoozing, and the ability to deal with a very erratic payment structure. But I truly feel that if I can do it, anyone can do it. Anyone, that is, who is willing to put in the work. And you better want it bad, because you will not achieve success unless you want it and believe that you can do it.
Which brings me to my quote of the day, something I hope to continue on this blog. This quote was found by my fiancé Darrah. It comes to us from Rainer Maria Rilke, and sums up my feelings on what it takes to make it as an artist:
“…Try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
So come along with me as I document the trials and tribulations of the modern-day working musician. Feel free to comment and tell me your story too. My hope is that by doing this I will show others that it can be done. An emotionally and financially rewarding life can be made through the arts, if you love and live the questions. Let’s find the answers together!