It’s a grind

I may have talked about this before, but at one point San Diego had several prominent bands playing out that were from where I grew up.  Most of the people were either friends or friends of friends.  It was pretty cool and it makes me wonder about how being from out in the middle of nowhere (or even, really, from anywhere besides the big, big cities like LA or NY) means there’s no one around to discourage people from giving their creative side a try.

Growing up I didn’t know anyone who was employed in any sort of creative capacity.  This may have been a blessing and curse.  It was a blessing because I had no idea how hard it is.  It was a curse because I had no idea how hard it is.

Having moved to the city I’ve met the occasional person in the entertainment industry.  What I’ve learned is that it’s a grind.  You have to keep at it year after year, slowly working your way up, at any time juggling multiple projects, always trying to make sure you get paid.  If you do get a break, you have to keep working, because if you stop working, there’s always someone eager to step in and take your job.

One of my high school friends had an older sister who was, by our town’s standards, pretty.  She dreamed of becoming a movie star.  I haven’t seen her in years, but I am pretty sure she never made it.  From what I heard, she spent years in LA.  Was that a waste of her time?  I don’t know.  Maybe someone should have told her it was a ridiculous goal.  That she was, by her early 20s, probably too old to break into the business.  Did she get anything out of those years?  Would she have been better off starting out in a less glamorous career?  Don’t know.

But there’s a happy medium there, and it’s where myself and a lot of my friends ended up- making music, doing art, etc. for fun.  Because at a certain point, if you do something long enough it just becomes something you do.  I don’t have any goal for my music anymore.  I used to, but I quickly realized that was unrealistic.  Totally unrealistic.

Stop me if I’ve told this story before (according to my wife, I tell the same story often), but one time I went to LA to see a couple of glam rock bands.  This was at the height of my glam rock era.  I went with some bandmates and saw Prima Donna and another band called S’Cool Girls.  They had an opening band that was… terrible.

I won’t name names, since who knows if they’re even a band anymore- this was at least six years ago.  But they were bad.  The bar for being a good glam rock band is higher than you think, and they weren’t even close to reaching it.  It really made me think, damn I don’t want to be like that.  I had to really take a hard look at what skills I had and realized that while I was skinny as heck at the time, that was about the only box I had checked on the be a good glam rocker list.

That being said, I also wasn’t told from a young age that anything less than awesome was lame.  I had several years in the beginning where my band was terrible.  Especially me.  But I didn’t give up, I kept at it until I got to be a decent player and a decent performer.

This song is so good.  I listened to it like 10 times today:

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2 comments

  1. I gave up music as a profession because I knew I didn’t have the nerves for a life on the road. I had friends who were gigging all over the place. I babysat their home, their dogs, etc. They were always away, always looking for the next gig. It wasn’t a life for me. I need a home and to be in my home.

    But I still love music and it’s ALWAYS fun. NOT being a pro makes enjoying it easier.

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