Sooo... It's been a while since I'v actually had time to reflect, sit, and decide to write something "new" for my newsletter?? It used to be a monthly email that I sent out until my mailing list got too big for gmail and I was threatened with a shut down for sending "spam". Even though I barely have any time this month to do laundry, I have a bunch on this brain of mine and this seems to be the best outlet to reveal it all. You see, by the end of this month, I will have learned harmonies for over 30 new songs for 4 different bands, done 2 different radio interviews, and have performed live over 10 times!!
This is by far the most I have ever sung in my life!!! When you include practices (many 2 per day) you also start to understand why there may be a laundry monster lurking around every corner in my house... I'm barely hanging on, but that's not all!!! If you can believe, I have also added to this month a friend's wedding, 2 family visits to my house, and a quick trip for the 4th to catch up with old friends. Are you out of breath trying to take it all in, cuz I sure am!!!
I guess this is where my writing comes because as much as I enjoy performing, I do it more and more for myself and not for anyone else. Partly because sometimes there isn't anyone else out there, but mostly because I honestly have NEVER wanted to do anything more in my life.. let's alter that a bit... I would love to include climbing mountains more, but I'll chat about that a bit later.
I just finished watching Katy Perry's movie "Part of Me". There.. I said it. It's not the first pop star music documentary that I'v watched either. To me, it's almost like homework. It's not easy to live this way. Not the watching of pop music movies, but the balance of it all. The need of more. More what.. I don't even know, but it makes me want to cry because of it. I'm literally hooked on singing and I'm actually doing it. I'v recorded on an original song with music icons (The Original Vandellas), I'v toured with The Sights to South by Southwest and to the east coast, and I keep on booking gigs. I really cannot believe this life right now. I'v actually found Jarrod.. the best piano player ever to work with and we have been booking more and more gigs.
I don't know if the pressure is hitting me, or if there's some imbalance with my thyroid, but while watching Katy's year on tour, I lost it, like 4 times. Crazy I know it. Crazier to write it. There were just a couple of parts that really got to me. She just kept going on, know matter the situation. Wake up and do it again. Keep that smile on your face. The thing is.. Katy had a record deal..heck, by this point of her career, she had about 4 different record deals before she became the face that she is now. She just kept writing songs, kept the carrot in her vision and finally made it to the point that she was wanting for her career. And I think to myself.. is that what I really want. That pressure to be what a production company creates you to be to help you accomplish your dream?? Is that what the ultimate goal of any vocalist is? How else do you know when you "made it". If you own your business for more than 2 years and money comes in, you've made it. If you are a carpenter and you build a house, well, you literally made it. But for a vocalist, it seems that a Grammy, a couple of platinum records and a sold out tour identifies that you belong in your chosen profession.
Right now I'm also reading, Talking Heads front man, David Byrne's book "How Music Works". Pretty interesting and completely logical about the industry and how it works from a behind the scenes view point. From his point of view, it's much different from the Katy Perry lifestyle. Many people have never even heard of this man despite the fact that he has a Grammy, Oscar, Golden Globe AND been inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame. Yet despite the lack of so-called pop stardom, he also wakes up, writes another song, and keeps on going. His life is a bit more, shall we say underground by choice, and yet he helps with movie soundtracks and is constantly trying to recreate different sounds in music just to keep his career building. Two completely different paths, yet both VERY successful in what they have accomplished after year afeter year of hard work.
I hear people say all the time, "just have fun with it". I'm always so confused with that. Sure, I enjoy this, and i love nerding out with musicians creating 5 part harmonies, but do you think that's the advice they give to the president of a company. It's just a bit different when you choose this path as a career.
I'm just trying to figure it all out.. granted this stream of conscious style of writing is pretty beneficial, but it doesn't answer how do I make a career doing this. AND still have relationships and pay my bills. Even as I reread that sentence I know..I know.. I am doing this.. and patience has Never been my strong suit, but I'm not 25 and that freaks me out. You see I just skipped my 20 year highschool reunion. Nothing personal really. I just hadn't spoke to any of my classmates from the day I moved out of Jersey, and I just wasn't ready to reconnect with that younger me. The one that was so insecure that she would fake sick to stay at home. Even then my main focus wasn't to be social, it was always to find more ways to sing. Voted "Most Musical", but didn't go to prom. I don't think I wasted the last 20 years, because look at where I am now. I'm just trying to make better use of the next 20 and I'm at that crucial point in one's "dream" where I can see big things on the horizon and I don't want screw it up. This past week it's just all been heavy on my brain.
"you really sound like Billie Holiday"
"you're like the next Thornetta Davis, Kathleen Murray, Kat Orlando.. you know you're going to get a good show"
"what song would you sing to a producer if one just happen to ask you to"
wHOA!! So the caterpillar turns into the butterfly and the ugly duckling becomes a swan and the little engine, as it turns out could, but what happens next?? Well, inspired by Katy, I ran 3 miles to get back into shape and I started the laundry. I have scheduled a trip to climb Mount Baker in Washington state with my husband for a much needed break. I still waitress part time at Vinsetta Garage to help pay the bills. Within the next couple of months, my practice space will be drywalled. I have the goal to focus on finishishing the songs that I have written and compiling a database to help me organize them (the overflowing grocery bag doesn't seem to be the best solution). I'll be recording with The Sights on their next album and Jarrod and I also have ideas for a Louie and Ella type review. I'm not sure where this path ends, or if the real path has even begun. I don't feel my social life will be much grander, but for those who read this, I hope you'll understand. Thanks to those who have helped me get this far, and thanks for reading!!!
-- movin on up--