Saturday, November 27, 2010

Focus Your Efforts

~ Article source found HERE. This is just one opinion, but I find it to be pretty on point. Of course there are the few lucky ones that will slip through the cracks that will be able to avoid grinding out some real hard work and sacrifice, but ya really can't count on that if you take yourself seriously.

If you're a hobbyist, then enjoy the considerable fruits that come from musical composition, performance, and direct distribution. Music is one of the greatest pleasures in life, whether performing, listening, mashing-up, or discussing. But pretending to pursue a professional career - while actually living the life of a hobbyist - is a tragedy.

So if your statistical chances of making it are close to zero, what's the better approach? It's not a romantic, DIY, Long Tail-inspired game plan. It's slogging it out on the road for 200-plus dates a year, sleeping in the van, getting your stuff stolen, finding it again, getting ripped off by the club owner a day later, fighting with your bandmates.

It's sitting in a room for hours writing incredible music. And recording, performing and perfecting that music every day. Even on Thanksgiving.

It's saying goodbye to comfy nights on the couch with your girlfriend, a round of beers with your buddies, or two-week vacations. And the same thing goes for the team, which needs to be equally committed to sacrifice and total success.

Why not just get a real job? It's also explaining to everyone - including your family - why you're barely surviving, why your art takes precedence over everything else in your life. And this is not a modern-day reality: artists have struggled for centuries to make ends meet. The numbers have always been stacked against musicians, internet or not.

And then, when all of those sacrifices are made, when you cut out all the comforts you think you're entitled to... then what? You get a lottery ticket, to possibly become self-sustaining and even wildly successful.

And if your number comes up, what happens then? If you actually get substantial traction, if you can fill 200 rooms a year, then you're now ready to work some more - a lot more. To expand the base, structure partnerships with professionals, distribution partners, management agencies, and even labels. Because even total control needs to be sacrificed at some point.

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