Forget the stereotype of the musician who sleeps till noon every day, it’s not true. Well, okay, maybe the occasional Sunday!
I’m usually up early in the morning, with a cup of java, and it’s time to go over emails, make a daily to-do list, and follow up on contracts.
It might sound exciting so far, but wait, the “Fun Train” is just getting rolling down the tracks!
Being a full-time musician is a 24/7 job.
I am never off the clock. I’ve booked shows while riding my bike, camping, and, yes, during dinner with my wife!
Performing is only a portion of my life, as the business aspect takes up most of the time. But, I am lucky as I enjoy this part of music as well.
My laptop, smart phone, and iPad are never beyond reach, as missed calls are often missed opportunities.
Sorry folks, but lounging around all day waiting for a show just doesn’t happen.
Don’t get me wrong, when I play shows at resorts or hotels, there are definitely some perks. But, the work never ends.
After the day on the laptop, loading up for a show is the next glamorous part. Pack it all up, load it all in, and then repeat at the end of the night! I know what you’re thinking, where do I sign up?
Somewhere in the day, I try to fit in some playing, whether writing a new song or learning a new cover. Rehearsals are another time-consuming thing. Getting together with other musicians, who also have busy schedules, can sometimes be a tough thing to coordinate.
The Social Media aspect of engaging, informing, and sometimes hounding, is a constant occurrence throughout my day. If “they” don’t know who you are or where you’re playing “they” won’t be at your next show. So, I ‘educate!’
Somewhere in here is the everyday stuff –the grocery shopping, meal prep, paying of bills, mowing the lawn, and all the other fun stuff we all do!
When it comes to “Show Time,” and whether it’s a coffee house, dining lounge or world-class resort, it’s time to do my best to entertain the masses, whether they are listening or not!
Ask any performer and they’ll tell you, “a great night is when your listeners share their energy and enthusiasm and it drives you to sing louder and play harder.”
The connections I make with people through music is something very special to me.
I am grateful for every moment I am able to do this.
After the lights are turned on and the night is over, it’s time to pack it all up and bring it home. Usually, I do some more laptop work or CD duplication when I get home and unwind.
And then the next day, I start from the beginning and repeat.
Music gives me many things in my life and I am grateful for them all:
Flexible time with my wife.
Time to give back to my community.
Connections with strangers who often become friends.
Being able to work with such talented people.
Being part of people’s weddings, anniversaries, and Friday nights, either for no good reason or for their celebration of life! How lucky am I?
I am only able to do all of this with the support of you and your friends; by attending shows, purchasing CD’s, and letting your favourite venue know you want to hear me.
Whether it’s me, or the many other musicians out there, if you like what you hear, let them know. Tell them you enjoy their music, and buy a CD for yourself and a friend.
And, please, remember although it may look like an easy job sometimes, it is not!
There is so much more that goes into being a “gigging musician” other than strumming a few tunes. Besides, what kind of world would we live in without a soundtrack to our lives?
Life’s too short to work at a job that you don’t like.
Find your passion and follow it whether part-time or full-time. It will impact your happiness and the happiness of those around you!
Gorden James is a singer/songwriter/performer based in the Okanagan Valley. www.gordenjames.com