I feel that I'm taking on a new level of responsibility.
What if that's what success feels like?
Today I have promised my voice and my time to another music producer and another artist's project.
I'm being paid to do some preliminary backing vocals.
If they like the sound they'll pay me to complete the recordings and have my voice and my name on their new album.
It's a different type of responsibility but I'm up for it.
Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time sending out completed contracts for some concerts I going to be doing.
The better the concert series, the more elaborate the contract.
The more elaborate the contract, the more work for me.
Some of the artists on the roster for these same concert series have a manager, a publicist, a record label, and a booking agent.
The artist maybe doesn't ever even see the contract.
I am all of those people in my career right now.
I think the answer is that no one in the industry, and no one in the real world, has been willing to really back me because I started getting serious later in my life.
The doors have been closed and have stayed closed for me while I've watched some young artists be offered these services in differing capacities.
However, I've also watched young artists try and fail, get deals and lose them, or go without for as long as I have.
There's almost no accounting for it, age, race, body size, genre, whatever.
I think it really comes down to how personally connected you are with your vision for yourself.
If that vision is 100% aligned, then the world opens to you like Ali Baba saying "open sesame!".
All the world's riches are revealed to you and you soar.
If I soar, every Tom, Dick, and Harry (fun little expression from my childhood) will be knocking on my door wanting to be part of this enterprise.
Truthfully, the longer I hold out the more money is mine.
The longer I can play solo and do all the administrative work, and drive my own self around in a car, the more of the money I get.
I hope someday soon we have a tour bus, a driver, a backing band that's getting paid.
I hope we have a booking agent, a publicist, a record label, and an assistant.
I hope Rob G gets paid for the work he's done for me.
I hope my debts are paid off and I'm solvent and free.
I have been to the mountain and I have seen the promised land.
I have to create my own freedom by my own hard work but it's worth it.
Also, the puppy is a new big responsibility.
He's worth it too!
He's the reason to get up in the morning.
He's the reason to enjoy the sunshine.
He's the reason to plan out a long walk.
The good news is he's also a great reason to stay put in a chair in the living room and write, whatever needs writing, including concert contracts.
He likes to sleep on the sofa on his blanket after a long walk and I find myself having plenty of time to write, and a reason not to go off to run an errand because he can't really be left alone yet.
So the contracts got done yesterday!
And the screen play is continuing!
And this blog is back on track!
On another note about responsibility, I have been awarded a second scholarship for the Spring/Summer Advanced Screenwriting Course at FilmNorth!
So I'll be continuing my screen writing pursuits.
So many cool things are coming from all the years of diligence.
And the more that comes my way the more diligence is required.
Good thing I finally learned to be diligent!
Did I say yet that the sound man at the Parkway Theater thanked me for doing such a good sound check last week?
I was playing solo, and I wanted to feel very confident so I could do a great performance and not be distracted by sound issues.
I tuned each guitar several times.
I tried all the pedals on my pedal board, and all th combinations I like to use with my Guyatone, to be sure there wouldn't be any surprises when I suddenly hit a pedal and it's too loud or too soft.
I sang a couple different passages of different songs on the black Martin, and on the Guyatone.
The sound man said it gave him a chance to really understand my sound and my voice and what to expect.
It gave him a chance to be creative in attempting to bring out the very best of my guitars and my voice.
He said that most musicians rush through their sound checks...he was an older guy so he added "these days" to the end of that statement.
I will say that I learned how to do a great sound check from Rob Genadek, a king of the great sound check.
And then I learned even more about doing a great sound check by doing so many small solo shows last year where I bring my little "loud box" PA and set everything up myself from scratch.
Getting up on a big stage with an in-house PA and monitors and a sound person becomes a joy after what I've had to do now for a long time.
The responsibility of having to know my gear, know what works, know what to ask for and how to ask, these things have become inherent to my process now.
That's a big deal to me.
I probably am nearing the ten thousand hours of mastery mark.
And it's starting to pay off.
But it only brings a higher level of responsibility.
And I'm ready to do the work.
Stand and sing for the people.
Stand and deliver.