I think it's very interesting that my shows have eclipsed my teachings and consultations.
I have witnessed this in my own life a few times.
I have skills that allow me to choose from several creative paths.
Or so it would seem.
But there's probably only one happy path.
We all know teachers who are funny and poignant and youthful and beaming in their teaching careers.
We all know teachers who are beaten down and bitter in their teaching careers.
What's the difference?
Probably the difference is the story they're telling themselves, or the story their soul is telling them.
"This is you at your best!"
"You don't belong here!"
I love helping others achieve their own dreams.
I do a lot of helping others, for pay and not for pay.
But when I have focused primarily on helping others achieve their goals, as a creative writing teacher in the public schools, or as an independent teacher and artist consultant, I have wondered if I'm focusing my energies to the very best of my abilities.
What has happened several times in my adult life is that I tell myself, "You aren't successful enough at being a rockstar so you are going to have to give up now and teach."
Sometimes I've framed it as, "You are getting more successful as a rockstar but when you aren't on tour you are going to have to teach because you can't make enough money being a rockstar in the Midwest on your current level of acclaim."
I always love the people I work with.
I am starting with a new artist today in fact.
She is an adult who has been a professional singer for all her life but is now interested in accompanying herself on guitar and putting her own poetry to music and performing her own original songs.
I can help her with all of this, I know I can.
And maybe I can help her better than anyone else in the Twin Cities.
She plans to do six artist consultations with me between now and the end of the year and then she can sign up for more in the new year if she so desires.
This is an excellent arrangement for us both.
If you're curious, my current rate is $60 for an hour, $75 for an hour and a half, $100 for two hours.
It's a goddamn bargain.
But the punchline of this story is still coming.
For one thing, none of the people I work with, going forward, are "students" of mine, they're all "artists" and we're doing "artist consultations".
That's not fake labeling to lift up egos.
That's the fact that everyone I work with is creating and they're bringing their creations to me and consulting with a fellow artist whose path and work they respect.
I don't have to get out of my rockstar lane to do this with them.
I'm not sitting in Rob's living room hour after hour in my comfortable clothes listening to beginning musicians massacre good music all day and lying to them about how they're progressing.
I'm taking some time out of my busy rockstar day to connect with another artist and hear what they're working on and offer them good constructive feedback and suggestions for how to move forward.
I'm helping them stay focused, stay motivated, stay positive, believe in their pursuits the way I believe in mine.
This is great.
This is wonderful.
The other part of the punchline is that I've been invited...actually invited out of the blue...to do several shows this Fall and Winter that pay as well as a month of sessions with another artist.
Remember the show last weekend where I thought no one was really listening, at the winery?
Yesterday I was offered a $300 solo performance at another similar venue in that same area by a woman who said that she was at the winery that night and loved my performance and could I come play at the place she manages.
Isn't that awesome?
A side lesson there is always play your songs with full integrity because you do not know who is listening or how they are listening.
So just by my own desire, really, to have the life I want to have on and off "the road" I am creating a balance of performance and consulting that I can get behind one hundred percent.
To wrap this up in a pretty pink tulle ribbon, I want to add that yesterday I received a free pink tutu in the mail.
I'm not kidding.
I saw an ad on Amazon Prime for $18 tutus a while back.
They were very pouffy knee length tutus and they had my favorite pale ballet pink.
I thought that the knee length could be fun to have with a black cropped sweater and my black leather jacket for the Fall and Winter as sort of a daytime length..not too sexy...not just for wearing on stage.
To be clear, I also have the long tutu skirt I've been wearing in photos recently and I love that one too but that's fancier.
I ordered it because it even had free shipping.
I got an email two weeks later saying they lost the order and they were refunding my money.
But at the bottom of the email it said "your item may still arrive".
I thought that was weird but I suppose if they lost it they can't retrieve it and they can't really make me return it.
So yesterday my free tutu arrived in the mail.
I put it on, it was delightful.
I put on my black cropped sweater and my leather jacket, black tights and my flat black boots with the silver studs.
Nina and I went out to the fabric store for some projects we're doing and to the grocery store to buy stuff to make curry.
Nina waited in the car while I ran in to the grocery store.
I couldn't find the curry sauces already prepared that I usually buy at a different grocery store so I asked a stock person.
The stock person was a nice guy and he was helping me choose the best curry sauce for my recipe.
Then he asked me if I dress like this all the time or was I dressing up as a rockstar for Halloween.
I of course loved this.
I told him I dress like this all the time.
He asked for my name and I gave him the info for this blog and website.
At one point he said, "I feel like I'm talking to Madonna."
I think the best thing about him giving me the gift of saying that is that he didn't say, "I feel like I'm talking to an escapee from the mental institution."
My life long burning desire to have a lifestyle that authentically warrants the wearing of pink tutus to the grocery store in broad daylight with no shame no fear and no self loathing has finally come true.
Keep calm and carry on my friends, this is only getting better.