I used to be a musician. It was my job. I toured, I rehearsed, I wrote songs. I booked gigs, I had dysfunctional and codependent relationships with my bandmates, and I stress-tested my relationship with my then-girlfriend/now-wife to an unwise (but apparently forgivable) extent.
Now I’m trying to figure out how to get back into it.
Let me be clear, though. I’m two kids, two mortgages, and four day jobs past those years. No more band drama. No more cumbersome load-ins. No more late nights in bars, waiting around to get paid less than the gas it cost to get there. This time I want it on my terms. And I have no idea how to do that.
Fortunately, the other day I had a chance to sit down with a sort of mentor of mine, a guy who’s made a lifelong career of playing music in almost every form imaginable, and succeeding at it. He had two recommendations.
“Use your digital toolbelt.”
This seems like a natural fit, right? I mean, in my professional life I’m looked to as an expert in online communication and social media. Surely somewhere between Garageband on iPad and Tumblr and Facebook I can manage to find an outlet and an audience for any art I wish to produce.
“Find a steady.”
That is, find a steady gig. This immediately made sense to me. Even after I stopped playing in clubs, I kept up my chops by busking in the subways on my lunch hour, and it’s some of the most fun I’ve had playing music.
However, lately the CTA and the CPD have been cracking down, pointing out the Jackson stations are the only authorized pitches. This is draconian and defeating, and I should really start a petition and try to change that. But in the short term I just need a more regular and reliable place to share my tunes.
You can help
If anyone has ideas for where I could find a regular gig, I need your help. Contact me through your preferred contact mechanism at the top of this page or post in the comments for this post. Much appreciated!