When you're really psyched on life you might as well admit it and accept it and revel in it.
When you're really psyched on life you should take note of exactly what's turning your crank.
That's what I think anyway, so here goes.
First of all, the tour to Europe with Rob and JJ was a wonderful experience, an inarguable success.
We made many people very happy.
We made many new fans, and many new business connections.
We gave some people a fresh perspective on what's possible and what you can do with the one glorious life you've been granted.
We gave ourselves the experiences, the memories, a newly won determination and sense of competence.
The radio shows we did brought people to the shows and inspired many great reviews and many new invitations.
I asked the guys what they think they got out of this and JJ said that touring and playing shows was a lifestyle he had wanted all his life. Rob, more predictably, said he loved playing the music, being with the people, and trying all the great European beers.
Some people will want to know if I made a profit, so I'm gonna lay it out for you.
I put about $2500 on my credit card for plane tickets and the rental vehicle.
Another $500 for the security deposit for the rental car had to go on my credit card but I am expecting that to be completely refunded in the next few days, but I had to have enough room on my card for that to go through.
We got $1600 in 36 hours from fans when I made a post on Facebook about needing some support.
Marc Percansky bought the cover tunes record from ashes to glory for us by supporting the efforts to create, license, print, and do some marketing.
Rob and JJ had all expenses paid including beer and sausages.
We had safe havens supplied by Heike of Heike's Garden Concert Series, and dear friends Marco and Ingrid in Dortmund at Wohnzimmer life im Piepenstock.
Some venues supplied accommodations as well.
Our merch queen, Petra, took us for a beautiful dinner and supplied many snacks and chocolates and made everything more fun.
At the end, we had saved up the $2000 to pay down my credit card from the initial plane ticket purchase and the guys and I all agreed that was the right way to use the money.
So, none of us got paid a cent.
But the brand of Courtney Yasmineh took a nice step forward.
And the real person and soul of Courtney Yasmineh was encouraged and affirmed and lifted up in a thousand ways.
In one show we played in a Lutheran church from the 1600's in a very beautiful little hamlet in Northern Germany we made almost a thousand dollars given to me in a Stetson hat by the Pastor at the end of the concert, from people who came driving from all over the region, and who were so appreciative of the music even when some could not speak any English, but they knew what the songs meant anyway, and they knew how much it all meant to me and to the guys.
There were a couple shows where we only made enough for gas and food for the next 24 hours, and only if all we ate was sandwiches from the gas station.
I don't want to talk about the music and the experiences in this quantifiable money way, but the truth is that the two cannot be disentangled.
When the Rolling Stones go on tour they don't play the shows for free even though they all have plenty of money.
And the most lowly musician who believes he's doing what he does best and contributing what he can contribute tries to earn tip money on the street at least.
Humans react to the music and they want to give something in return if it moves them.
I know that when I play a good show people feel compelled to give.
One person on the tour told me to stop asking the audience for money.
He said it was disgusting the way I ask for the hat to be passed.
I only said thank you to this man for his input but I thought to myself that this man has not walked a mile in my moccasins.
If I say nothing to the audience, they assume it's all been taken care of, that someone else is paying me.
That's what they assume, but when there is free admittance to hear an original artist who has very little acclaim, usually that means that the artist is only going to get paid by the generosity of the listeners.
I guess I just feel like you gotta fight for the right to party!
If I want to do this and be this, I gotta fight for it because it is not being handed to me on a silver platter.
But it is happening.
We played very moving shows, excellent shows, fifteen shows in thirteen days including the radio programs.
And the big thing is, it isn't about the money, it's about the words and the chord progressions and the vocal deliveries.
It is one hundred percent about the singing and the playing of the songs for the people.
It means everything. It is my whole life, laid out in a two hour concert, handed to the revelers on my own silver platter for them.
I give them everything I've ever felt, known, and loved. All of it, everything.
A venue owner said to me on this tour that I "leave it all on the stage".
I understand what that means now and I do.
And I want to.
And I will.
I know how, and I can.
This is the gift of all gifts.
And it's mine now to use to the best of my ability.
I am determined to bring it everywhere and give it to everyone who wants it.
I leave in a few days for a small solo tour to Upstate New York.
I'm being given a room above the arts center where I'm invited to play a songwriter showcase early in the week, and then a solo concert at the end of the week.
It should be great.
I have decided to rent a small car to get better gas mileage and not worry about repair costs if my own Jeep would have trouble on the road.
It's a long drive, but it'll be a really great experience I truly believe.
And it keeps me focused, keeps me bringing my new album to the people.
~All things are mine 'cause I am loved, how can I keep from singing~