Updated: Jun 11
After spending two years getting this program together amidst our touring and recording schedule, it’s an odd turn of events that this pandemic has afforded us the time to launch.
I was reflecting on my first blog post happening during this lockdown. I post a lot on Facebook and Instagram about our different shows and destinations while we are on the road. But I haven’t been much of a blogger. So when we started this program, I committed myself to start blogging regularly. I thought that writing about how we prepare for our tours or the recording process for a new album or production library project would be helpful for other artists, and it will be! However, as fate would have it, this first blog is going to talk about reinventing yourself quickly and improvising with what you have.
As all of you know, our world changed in the blink of an eye. The live gigs, parties, special events, and every other gig that had live music came to an abrupt end. None of us had time to prepare or think about how we were going to support ourselves. For many of us who believed perhaps our royalties would save us, we found out that even they were going to be late and less than usual. Most of us are independent contractors, so we weren’t even thinking about unemployment. Most of us were in a state of panic!
Then something started to happen. We began to improvise and be creative. Yes, that is what our community does. Suddenly our skill set, which is built on creativity and hustling, went into overdrive. People that have regular jobs and show up day after day to do the same thing don’t usually require this skill set.
All of us have arrived at a new era, a time for self-reflection and reevaluation of our position on this pale blue dot we call home.
The main reason JP and I started this program that we call Thrive and Survive in Music was to empower other musicians with a sense of security by educating them on all aspects of the business. We hope to validate what they do as a pursuit that is important and meaningful to others and themselves. We advocate for the artist to keep their power, to control their own destiny, and take responsibility for their future.
Our last live show was with our group Incendio on March 14th. The next day everything started to close down. The show cancellations began to roll in. Without hesitation, JP started to research how he and I were going to start doing live streaming concerts here in our house. We explored all possibilities, bounced ideas off of colleagues and friends. We figured out how to do a live online show with what we had. Many other musicians did the same. Some people sounded better than others, some spent lots of time preparing, and some tried and succeeded in using technologies that were entirely new for them. Others just put up one mic and played.
I applaud everyone who tried and did something! As much as we all want to be perfect and sound like we spent a million dollars on our sound, if we wait for those often subjective moments, we will be frozen in a state of non-action.
I am not suggesting that any of us quit striving to refine and perfect our art - quite the contrary. There is a new necessity for musical artists to create online content. This moment may pass, but more than likely, some form of these “broadcasts” are here to stay. If you don’t challenge yourself to try new things and possibly fail, you could get stuck in a state of stasis, too scared to move forward and forever wondering what might have happened if you had tried. When you put yourself out there, you start meeting new people and become invigorated and empowered. You can hear new ideas and see how they apply to your situation.
So whether it’s learning to book your first gig, touring, or going out on an audition, you have to take that first leap!