Highs and Lows
Of the many important qualities a person needs to succeed in the music business perhaps the most important of the non-musical attributes is the development of a thick skin.
You’re putting yourself out there– your thoughts, feelings, relationships, hopes, dreams– and you’ve added a price tag to it. That gives a lot of people the idea that you’re fair game for ridicule and ribbing. In many ways they’re correct, your art is now a commercial thing, and they can voice their opinion of it as they see fit– although I wish people were more civil about it sometimes.
Disappointment comes in all shapes and sizes. On Saturday morning I found out that I was not accepted to participate in the Troubadour contest at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. I participated in it two years ago and finished in second place.
I think I’ve already sufficiently stated my opinions on competition through art, so the actual contest itself wasn’t something I was too focused on. The people and the experience that make up the Telluride Bluegrass Festival is what I was interested in. To say that it was one of my favorite musical experiences thus far in my life would be an understatement. So, when I found out I wouldn’t be going this year I was a little sad. Sad because it meant I would be missing out on a great experience. Sad because it meant that I wouldn’t get the chance to stand up in front of a crowd of complete strangers and do my best to win them over with my performance. Sad because it meant that an entirely different group of people didn’t think I was good enough to have the chance to do so.
Yes, even now, ten years into a fairly successful career in music, I can still get my feelings hurt. I can still convince myself I’m not good enough. Time, sweat, blood, tears– they all add up to something in this business, but on thing they don’t guarantee is success.
How did I get over it?
Well, on Sunday I got together with some of my favorite people at an old dancehall in Columbus, TX and we spent the entire afternoon recording four gospel songs for the second edition of The Modern Trade’s Southern Gospel Revival. [You can see the first edition right HERE] It was exactly what I needed to put the disappointment of Telluride behind me and move forward.
I get to make music for a living. The ups and downs are constant, but the music remains. Sometimes people will love it and sometimes people will hate it, but you can’t let the fear of someone hating it keep you from putting it out there.
It can be a wild ride sometimes, but I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.
time: 7:39 am
date: Monday, May 5th
place: home, New Braunfels, TX
words: 465 (I don’t care for your stupid rules, project)
300//\\365//\\300 is a writing exercise– 300 entries over 365 days, each no longer than 300 words (I’m not so hot at sticking to the last part).