FACT: I don’t have a great relationship with money. I never have.
FACT: Folk music is half feelings and half joking about how there’s no money anywhere for anyone and you might as well get used to it. Or quit. Just quit because money’s never going to be part of the deal.
FACT: This past week I’ve been doing a lot of internal work regarding purpose, dreams, self-talk and how I want to fashion plate out my next best self and it finally dawned on me that me and Money have some work to do.
Money and I have to call a truce. We have to start working together instead of distrusting one another. We have to walk over to Music and say, “Hey man, I think there’s a way we can all go into business together and not lose sight of the real goal.”
AND CUE ALL THE THINGS WE SAY ABOUT ART AND MONEY TO THROW US OFF COURSE:
“ Keeping a day job is how you free up the music to just be what it wants to be instead of adding the pressure of a paycheck on top of songwriting because songwriting has enough problems and pressures to begin with.”
“It can’t be about the money. Simply because there isn’t any. Get used to it. If you feel like a beggar then you know it’s working. Join the club, sweetheart.”
“Getting paid feels great. Every once in a while you’ll get that feeling. Most of the time, it’s catch as catch can.”
“The new model doesn’t value art. The 21st century isn’t interested in paying for your work. I don’t care how long it took you to write that song. People pay for coffee and netflix and sports. No one pays for art.”
BUT MY PINK FASHION PLATE GIRL DOESN’T WAIT TABLES ANYMORE
If all I ever do is resent my day job and wish like heck I could just be a musician, if my real dream is being a full time singer/songwriter, then step one feels like throwing the beggar out the window, and rethinking how I see money.
And that’s coming clear for the very first time. So clear and so great.
Why? Because it feels like something I can actually do. I can’t, of my own strength, get bigger artists to book me as their opener (if you know how to strongarm the cool kids into letting you sing while people get to their seats, let me know), but I can look at the numbers, see how they need to play out and start making a plan to do business just like if I were a hair dresser or a mechanic or a waitress.
We joke about the lack of money in music. Some of us even tell others of us to give up. There’s no such thing as “making it” in 2018.
But with a little bit here and a little bit there, some commissions here and commissions there, I think I can hobble together a living. It’s what I want. So I don’t think I have time for the jokes about being broke anymore. They served their purpose, but they’ve run out of steam and now I need a new idea.
Music and money. Tough stuff. In honor of the hard working musicians pouring their hearts out in between shifts so that someone somewhere can feel not so alone, here’s a song by musical warrior, Jana Pochop. She’s a friend of mine and all ‘round rockstar.
“Martyrs don’t walk through their own open doors.”