Pretending To Make A Living

Read this. READ THIS.

“Singers and Musicians are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, they face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they'll never work again. Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. With every note, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life - the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because musicians and singers are willing to give their entire lives to a moment - to that melody, that lyric, that chord, or that interpretation that will stir the audience's soul. Singers and Musicians are beings who have tasted life's nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another's heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.”
- David Ackert, LA Times

Thank you David Ackert. I can’t imagine what I could add to this. (But I’ll try). The paragraph succinctly speaks so much truth and is so insightful that it’s hard to believe that David is not a starving artist himself. As someone who has dedicated his adult life to music and song, I feel a sense of vindication when reading this. And I also experience a longing and a sense of sadness for myself and so many other talented and hard-working musicians I know who drive around in ratty cars, live without vacations, health insurance, retirements plans etc. We’ll never get to retire anyway. Not sure we’d want to if we could… which represents the flip side of this cursed coin.
For those musos who have managed to scale the ranks to riches and stardom- more power to you. Throw a line down and help a brother/sister out.
Meanwhile the rest of us will go on pretending to make a living.

2 comments

  • Darlene Coleman

    Darlene Coleman all over

    This is the second time today that I've seen this quote. I posted this last year sometime to my FB page. It brought me to tears. It spoke so eloquently to my situation as a performer. But it reminded me that I am not alone in my effort to "make a living" as a musician/singer. It's sad that what we do is not always appreciated in the manner it should be. But I can't stop ... too much joy in what I do. Do I want to be paid fairly? Of course, but ... I can't give up on this. The best part, thankfully, is not just about money. It's about the joy and the opportunity to meet other artists who share that joy ... like you. Thank you for being in my life and making it better. Love you!

    This is the second time today that I've seen this quote. I posted this last year sometime to my FB page. It brought me to tears. It spoke so eloquently to my situation as a performer. But it reminded me that I am not alone in my effort to "make a living" as a musician/singer. It's sad that what we do is not always appreciated in the manner it should be. But I can't stop ... too much joy in what I do. Do I want to be paid fairly? Of course, but ... I can't give up on this. The best part, thankfully, is not just about money. It's about the joy and the opportunity to meet other artists who share that joy ... like you. Thank you for being in my life and making it better. Love you!

  • JJP

    JJP

    I worked with so many singers and Darlene Coleman is right at the top of the heap. And having the privilege to perform with people who sing/perform as beautifully as she does really helps to mitigate some of the less desirable aspects of this business.

    I worked with so many singers and Darlene Coleman is right at the top of the heap. And having the privilege to perform with people who sing/perform as beautifully as she does really helps to mitigate some of the less desirable aspects of this business.

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