My Tour Fund closed yesterday, reaching 44%. Given the fact that this was my first time trying out a crowd-funding campaign, I think the fundraiser was a success. I didn't really know how much people would contribute but I can honestly say that my expectations were surpassed.
The most popular Gift selection was Gift #4, which included a digital download and a signed physical copy of the album. I also received a lot of donations for just the digital download (Gift #3) and a handful of donations for Merch Packages (Gift #5 and #6). A couple of people also opted for Gift #2, which is a handwritten snail-mail thank-you card. Also, a couple of donors opted for the skype vocal lessons (Gift #7 & #8), which I'm really looking forward to.
At first I found it awkward to ask for financial support so publicly and I didn't feel comfortable promoting my Kapipal website. But after receiving some support from the Alberta Music Industry Association in the form of a grant (which I applied for), I used that as motivation to get over my shyness and go for it. What was really cool to see was the show of support and encouragement from people who were local and people who were as far away as Australia. I think that has really inspired me and has given me motivation to truly put my best foot forward, as I had said in my promo video for this campaign. Knowing that there are a lot of people who believe in what I'm doing is great, and its even greater when they say that they see and appreciate the amount of work and effort I'm putting into what I'm doing. My contributors recognize the amount of hard work and dedication any independent music artist must put in to develop a career and that, to me, means so much.
The music industry is a tough scene to work in. Any artist, whether indie or not, can attest to that. You gotta have guts, you gotta have thick skin, you gotta have vision, you gotta have a plan, and talent. Above all, you gotta stay grounded. And all of that takes time to develop. Not everyone will understand what it takes to be an artist, let alone go on tour - or even book one without the help of management, a record label or a booking agent. But for those who do, those are the people we artists play for.
So to my contributors, thank you so much for your support and respect. This tour is for you.
I'm very excited and pleased to see that I've reached the $3000 mark. Things are going really well with preparations for the tour. With my album releasing online in a few days, I've been busy focusing on promoting that, and it has been working out well. (See album review.)
These next couple of weeks will be all about reaching out to community, college and online radio stations in the cities where I'll be performing to ask for air play and tour date promotion. So far things have been going well with radio (see press clippings) and I hope to continue that trend!
Just 12 more days left til the fundraiser is done - let's keep these donations coming!
You know, if it weren't for really awesome humans with beautiful souls, I don't know if I would get this far. What I mean is that I wouldn't know how to be as open-hearted if I didn't have examples to go by. The war in life is love vs. fear, as cliche as that sounds. A lot of the world claims to know love, but love is expansive - not expensive - and so you gotta give it, even when you're not sure if it will bounce back to you.
But do you know what you can count on, when you have doubts? Those special, unassuming beautiful people that will inevitably cross your path, for a moment or for a while. They'll show you reality, and they'll show you quality.
Reality and quality - that's the true definition of value.
Think often of these people and you can never go too far and stray.
'Flow' comes natural to some, but it comes as a lesson for me. I'm observing this closely these days, in my daily work. Flow can be experienced at any moment. I think it begins with joy. Finding joy is as much a coincidence as it is a simple decision you've commited yourself to making. Joy can't come until you choose to be open to it. The cost? Fretting. Worrying. Giving up on negative, "judging" thoughts. Sounds like an easy trade-off but you'd be surprised how quickly stress can affect a person's focus, myself included. What you get in exchange is a higher tolerance for the unknown: more patience, more trust and less baggage.
Baggage is an awful thing to have to carry with you. They're like cement shoes, designed only for torture. The opposite of torture would be gratitude. And for me, gratitude is something that can be real or put-on. When its real, you find that the need to complain becomes less and less important and you're more inclined to be accepting of the things beyond your control.
Organizing a tour and preparing for it has been much more challenging than recording a full-length album. In the studio, everyone you work with wants to make something great with you. In the business of music, its a different story. Its nothing personal, of course. The end result is that the time it takes to make something simple happen takes longer than you'd think. You're required to do a lot more convincing, more selling, more letting-yourself-be-at-the-mercy-of-people-who-see-you-as-simply-another-indie-artist-knocking-on-their-door.
The process of booking a tour is, to say the least, the most amount of work I've had to put into my music career within a 4-month period. But its been a really good process. I can look back right now and say that I booked it and that alone is a big deal. An equally big deal is this other opportunity its created for me - to refine myself as a human being. I've been long-aware of the adjustments I've needed and I'm happy for the fact that I've been able to work them out in these past months.
In just three weeks I will be away on my first tour. I'm excited beyond words. I still have three weeks worth of preparations but all of that seems like cake. There will be many more tours that I will book and the workload is going to remain the same. But I'll be less resistant to it and I think that will make a huge difference.