two shows today, many this month!

Shows.

It's all about the shows.

Almost all of my shows now have a three figure guarantee of pay.

That was a goal for this summer.

I wanted to get past the entry level phase of playing for tips only or playing for $25.

I've succeeded.

It's fair.

There's driving, there's hauling, there's setting up and taking down, there's the preparation and sweat equity of the songwriting and the performance itself.

There's the wear and tear....my left hand hurts all the time now, truth be told, and my guitars all could use some tech work.

There's the almost constant use of my vocal cords, which could be damaging, although I will say that the more I sing the better my voice is, as long as I don't over-sing or sing in a damaging way. 

I think I earn the money.

But the benefits of the ten thousand hours of mastery far outweigh the occupational hazards.

I am working out every last bit of hesitation and nervousness that has sabotaged my desire to succeed all my life.

I used to dread facing the people again, in all my imperfection.

I used to try so hard to look good and sound good, only to be undermined by my inability to live up to my own ideals.

Now, I'm just powering through, getting it done, making it work.

Stand up and deliver.

I want to support myself and I want to support myself by my original music.

This is what it takes.

I am raising it up one season at a time.

This Fall my new album will take things up a notch, maybe two notches.

This is my hope and my prediction.

And next summer I'll be playing more gigs in better places.

"More gigs in better places" is a motto I've had for years.

It's working, slowly, I see it working.

Today I'm sponsored by the Downtown Improvement District for an early afternoon street show on Nicollet Mall downtown Minneapolis.

Tonight I'm on the patio 8-10pm at Carbone's which is close to my house, pays well, and gives me a free pizza to take home.

I'm happy.

I hope you're happy today too.

 

solo outdoor shows abounding and bravery increasing

I have many solo patio and street shows this month.

So many that I almost can't keep up with my students and clients who do mentoring sessions with me during the week.

We always knew that I was trying to see if I would become more and more of a teacher or more and more of an original artist.

Needless to say I was rooting for the original artist plan to win out.

Maybe it's just whatever you put your mind to the most.

I started out with nothing all over again at Rob's house in Minneapolis after losing the last of everything I had in the fight to stay in New York City and keep my beautiful tiny apartment and try to become a successful artist there.

I tried to get gigs and get students right away.

I got plenty of both.

The students blossomed into excellent fruitful relationships, with some students writing full length albums, some writing full length novels, some reaching adulthood and some successfully navigating a late in life career change.

The shows blossomed into residencies and many many solo opportunities plus invitations for me to play as a full band.

All around it's been a slow and steady build these three years.

The best news is that being a full time artist is becoming viable for me financially this summer.

That's mostly because I live at Rob's house and although I now pay all the utilities, I don't pay the mortgage payment.

I want to get to the point where I'm covering all my touring and recording expenses and still making enough to buy myself a new car.

I want the full time original artist path I'm on to take off and soar!

This Fall I'll be launching a new album and this album will help a lot.

I believe this one hundred percent.

So, it's a big big summer.

Love to you.

Do whatever it is you've been hoping to do.

Spend the money, take out the loan, get the courage up, charge it on your credit card.

Don't let anything stop you.

Do it.

Do all of it.

I see this now.

Taking time off from this daily blog

I've taken some time off from this daily blog.

I love it and it has nourished me in a thousand ways.

It has been valuable to others too, I know.

Right now I'm playing shows almost every day and sometimes an afternoon and an evening show.

Working to finish my new album too.

And working on new songs for a new more personal acoustic record this winter.

I may be writing less often than daily for a while now.

I'm not going to limit it, I'm just going to let it happen.

If you check in with my website every once in a while, you can probably get caught up on the CY trials and tribulations fairly quickly.

If you see me out on my bicycle, say hello.

If you can, come to a show.

Love to you this summer.

Love the plants, love the animals, love the humans.

We're all all we've got.

money is my friend

I'm working a lot, and I'm doing okay.

The people I love are doing fairly well, some are doing fantastic some are struggling.

I'm helping others because I'm doing better this summer.

Money is my friend and money is my joy in the sense that I can help lift up those I love.

I'm going to a friend's cabin for a couple of days for the holiday.

This friend has helped me a million times in a million ways.

She is a fairy godmother to me.

I'm lucky to be able to turn to her in times of trouble but also in moments of joy.

She and I both believe in helping the people we love.

I hope your week will be filled with summertime bliss.

Love to you where ever you roam this week.

Sunday morning contemplation

What if I told you that I think my ability to succeed with my music is now more about my pact with God and the Universe than it is about winning people over?

Would you agree or disagree?

I am seeing that the more I love what I'm doing....playing with my bandmates at the Turf Club on Friday night, playing solo on the vineyard patio yesterday....the more I love the songs, my guitar, my opportunity to sing, my situation, the way I look, the people in front of me who are taking the time to listen...the more I love it, the more they love it.

I can love it more because I'm learning to be grateful every minute.

I'm learning to appreciate every single thing in my sphere at any moment.

Every problem is an arrow pointing me towards a new improved creative solution, a better way.

Every problem has a sign hanging on it that says "there's got to be a better way".

I'm in love with my life.

I used to think that on Lake Vermilion as a young girl.

Ever since I started playing guitar at age ten, when it was summertime and I was up at my Grandpa's cabin on Lake Vermilion, I would bring my little square quilt to sit on down to the old wooden dock, I'd bring a notebook to write my songs in, I'd bring my guitar, and I'd bring my flute. I'd sometimes load up the canoe with these things and paddle out to a quiet uninhabited inlet of wild natural shoreline where nobody could see me or hear me or find me, and sing like it was fucking Woodstock. I loved my life then and I love it now.

I think I'm right about this, and maybe it just seems like an obvious point not worth making, but to me it is an entire paradigm shift.

It means that my mind is on gratitude and love for the moment, gratitude and love of the people listening.

It means that I can look them in the eyes and know that we can revel together in the beauty of the moment that has brought us together.

I used to close my eyes to try to sing better on stage because I was afraid to look at the people regarding me with judgement and skepticism.

Authenticity may come from your pact with your God already being in place before you ever open your mouth as a singer.

"...all things are mine 'cause I am loved, how can I keep from singing?"

I've been singing this old hymn at every show lately, well, not at the Turf Club, since it was a short opening set and Hymns wasn't really the vibe of the night.

I open my mouth now with the feeling that I have the privilege of being on the microphone right then and that I have something to share that I love more than anything else I know how to do.

I look at the people and I think, "aren't we all lucky to be doing this together right now?"

Yesterday I finished my three hour patio show and a man who had been listening for the last several songs approached me.

He introduced himself as one of the owners of the vineyard.

I told him right away how much I loved their beautiful place, the grounds, the people, everything about it was so natural and uncommercial, very lovely.

I said, "I'm so impressed with your wonderful vineyard."

He said, "Well, we're so impressed with you."

Awesome.

I love that.

He said they'll be having me back more often.

He gave me a nice bottle of white wine to bring home, and a nice paycheck.

People bought my CDs, my books, my vinyl records.

I love my life.

Today I have a day off and I'm going to work on the back garden at Rob's house.

Tomorrow I begin my July residency at the 56 Brewing Company!

I love my life. I want you to love yours too.

Have a beautiful Sunday.

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