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.
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 hope you're happy today too.