Re: [Harp-L] Reality check?

Times are definitely tough all over.  I'm not trying to make a living off music, I do it for the joy and because I tend to internalize all my day to day emotions until the next gig then vent via the music just before I go insane.  It's nice to get paid a little something (or a lot, of course,) maybe a perc, and professional treatment.  That's all great when you can get it.  We are likely all familiar with or know so many fantastic and talented, hard working individuals willing to make the necessary sacrifices that are certainly more musically qualified to be successful than a large number of the individuals known the world over that are wildly successful (albeit short-lived in many cases) in the music business.  But I'm sure it's a cut throat, dog eat dog world that if you don't know how to play the game or don't have the package du jour that's aching to be sold, sheer talent and hard work, more often than not, just won't cut it.   There are probably a few ways to make a living as a pro musician besides "making it."   However, they may require a bit of artistic compromise... I'm really not sure if that statement is accurate as I've never  looked into a music career.  A union musician, if multi-faceted enough, could likely make a living with studio and stage work as a "day job" and let their personal creativity flow at the low paying night gigs.   IMO, to really "make it" in music, you've got to be a song writer.  Either writing a few smash hits or thousands of songs interesting enough to be recorded by other artists.  Licensing/royalties... that's where the $ is at.


>>> <IcemanLE@xxxxxxx> 11/24/2008 9:33 AM >>>
Feeling philosophical - trying to find a more common ground of reality,  past 
what I'd LIKE it to be.
The world seems to be in a huge correction mode - for the past 40 years, we  
in the Western World were led down the path of CREDIT - live well today, pay 
for  it sometime tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes until NOW.
Everyone is having to re-evaluate as this philosophy is collapsing all  
around us. People are being forced to accept the fact that they've been living  
wasteful lives and are pulling back tremendously and trying to find out what the  
basic needs are and how to afford them.
For instance, the Thanksgiving Day Weekend travel is predicted by AAA to  
fall off even though gas prices have really dropped, as people are pulling  
inward and trying to hold on to their money and re-evaluate. In the past, even  
with high gas prices, people would always travel over Thanksgiving to be with  
family as a very important part of their lives.
The dominos are falling all around, affecting people's spending habits for  
sure. Food, transportation and shelter are the focus. Entertainment, while  
important, is taking a back seat. Restaurants are closing, bars can't afford  
live entertainment as drinkers sit at home w/six packs these days. People buy  
less music in the traditional retail sense as the internet opens up more free  
exchange and there is less disposable income to spend.
So, here we are on a harmonica list, 2000 strong, debating what we like and  
what we don't. However, who is doing well in the real world pursuing music -  
with or without the harmonica - beyond a hobby? Rob P is gigging steadily  
(perhaps not as steadily as before) because he was well entrenched for years in  
the scene and works a lot of reunion type shows of already established music 
(ie  - BS&T and maybe Blues Bros type shows). 
Locally, I've been gigging a lot less w/smooth jazz r/b unit as  
opportunities are drying up and/or the pay is decreasing. The few dedicated  students I 
have are sticking with it, but new students are few and far between  as the cost 
of lessons are not as affordable as they used to be.
The landscape is changing rapidly and I'm curious as to who is doing well  
and what the new directions may be. Those blazing new trails on the  diatonic 
have fun with posting youtube videos (for free) and enjoy the  strokes received 
by comments (for free). 
What do you see in your future crystal balls? 
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