News flash....yesterday I cancelled my winter residency.
It's not about them, it's about me.
I want something better.
All the other shows planned at venues and house concerts I play now are feeling very in line with my self approval rating.
Doing a winter residency just has a barely surviving feel around it for me.
And that doesn't work.
It really doesn't.
I saw what a young woman had written on her facebook page yesterday, a manifesto of her own about how there were things she was saying "no" to for the coming year.
As she described her criteria for what she was releasing from her life I had an immediate flash in my mind and a pang in my heart that said, "the residency isn't working for you any more."
The place I played probably doesn't care that much if I come there or not because they don't have regular music on Tuesdays anyway so they don't need to replace me.
They have a policy of giving the musicians percentages of alcoholic beverages purchased, but nobody usually orders alcohol there...except me frankly....so the pay is usually from zero to about thirty dollars for me...so my cancelling my residency doesn't change their budget much at all.
Okay, like I said, this isn't about them, I love them, it's about me.
Things were happening there that weren't about them, but were about me.
A young woman sitting alone at a table was asking to get up and sing on my microphone at the end of my shows.
This past Tuesday there was no one there, the bistro had closed, my show was over, but I still should have said no.
She told me she was really good at karaoke and she wants to sing with me during my show next time at the Bistro.
Well, thankfully, there ain't gonna be a next time.
I listened to her sing on the microphone for a few minutes as I was packing up my merchandise.
I told her that she should study voice maybe because she has a lot of potential but there are techniques that would help her be even better.
She said, "I don't have time for that! I'm a scientist! I have a great career. I just want to sing with you for fun!"
I told the great music producer Rob Genadek about the young woman and he commented, "Some people have absolutely no idea what it really takes to do what you do."
I told the great artist Nina Luna (daughter) this story and she commented, "Well Mom, if people are doing things like that then that's the impression you're giving them by playing there. You're making it seem like it's easy, like it's no big deal. They think if you were a big deal then you wouldn't be playing there."
If I thought my music was important I wouldn't play the winter residency every Tuesday.
If I thought I was valuable I wouldn't play there for so little compensation.
So good bye winter residency.
I release an opportunity for someone else to begin there.
I open up a space for someone who really needs it to play on their sweet little stage with a real sound system and use what they know to try to please people.
I release my four hours of time once a week and my mindset of security.
The place I played didn't provide security for me but I told myself it did.
I told myself, well, if I have no other gigs that week or that month then at least I've got that.
But going home demoralized by the lack of care given, going home with my free pizza and my fifteen dollars or thirty dollars wasn't even subsistence level security.
The illusion of a supportive fanbase was really four or five people ......people I absolutely love....who will come to other shows, better shows, and know that I'm allowing myself to shine brighter.
In the bathroom at the venue there's a big wooden sign that has the long version of that quote that talks about how dare you not be fabulous.
Last Tuesday when I went in the bathroom during my break I read the whole sign to myself out loud.
Near the end of it it says that by being your very best self you give others permission to do so as well.
It says something about how when you play small you think you're protecting others so they don't feel intimidated.
Oprah and Ekhart Tolle don't do that.
Bob Dylan doesn't do that.
I'm not going to do that.
So, the reason the young woman on facebook was writing a big long manifesto was that she, as an original music artist, was asking people to support her music efforts on Patreon.
I've thought of that too.
But last night when I talked it through again with Nina my daughter, she said that Patreon was just another winter residency.
It's a way to try to create a sense of security.
But what I want is to play good concerts for good people in good venues and good circumstances and get paid a good ticket price.
I want to give a good performance that makes people want to recommend me to others.
I want to make good recordings that people want to hear over and over.
I want to write and share and inspire and figure it out as I go.
I want to contemplate the spiritual relationship between you and your benevolent God who will give you everything your heart desires if you live right, think right, do right.
I want to unlock the key to my fabulousness.
I want to shine my light.
I want to be everywhere all the time doing all of it.
2020, here I come.
My best year yet.
As of this writing I have only one paid show in December.
I want to play more but so far that's all I have.
If that's all I have when the time comes, I will spend December writing to Folk Festivals and other concert series booking people.
I will spend December finishing the new songs I've been working on.
I will spend December getting ready for a better 2020.
I will be brave and beautiful.
I approve of myself, I approve of myself.
Repeat after me.......