I'm a musician. I'm an artist. I'm a teacher. I'm also a student.
This past weekend, I had scheduled some extra lessons with my piano students, to make up for a week that I was away on tour. I dropped the ball. I was at home, tending to the week's homework assignments and administrative preparations for my upcoming LA showcase. Set on making the deadline that was fast approaching the next day, I forgot I scheduled 2 hours worth of music lessons, before my 3-hour gig later that night - which is very uncharacteristic of me. It wasn't until halfway through that I noticed my boss' texts. SHOOT. At that very moment, I learned a valuable lesson for myself: don't ever forget to write down your daily to-do list before you go to bed.
I've gone back and forth about whether to start a blog or not. It requires commitment. It requires vulnerability. And it requires to have something interesting to say. Last November, I returned from a very successful (for DIY standards) California tour; I played a number of super fun shows and shared stages with fantastic musicians with good hearts, made new fans, and spent time with some of my most favourite people in the world and shared food with them. But returning home, I was faced with the damning question, "what next?" I suddenly realized that plateauing isn't something I envisioned my career to be about and I decided I would have to step up my game in order to reach the next level.
I decided to invest in myself (more than ever before) in the new year. I was hungry for an outlet. I was hungry for inspiration. I was hungry for something fresh. So I enrolled myself in pottery classes and a couple of music business courses at Berklee Online. I also decided I would return to California in April. Two months since then and I'm being dragged along by my decisions. I'm learning. A lot. And I appreciate all of it. In these last two months, I've learned more about the industry than I have in one year. Its been hard work. Many late nights and early mornings. But in the process, I've reinvigorated myself. I have a plan and, most importantly, I've re-calibrated my compass.
Your compass is also known as your passion. But sometimes, your passion can start to dim as you get tired. Or worse, you can get scared. Artists know this intimately. This is called The Plateau. The worst that can happen is that you get comfortable with feeling unfulfilled and start to think it's where you're meant to be, even though you can envision yourself further up on a higher summit. The truth is that if your vision is within reach but you haven't gained some height to grab it, your next task is to decide what to do about it. I knew I had to switch up the way I do things with my music career, so I decided to get help in the form of music business education and a new creative outlet. I know that if I hadn't taken this first step (and I'm still in the middle of it all), I would have never decided to wholeheartedly pursue two big career ideas: to tour Europe one day and create an online piano course for teens and young adults. I would say the latter has been my wildest dream. It's what my current music artist self would say to someone when they'd ask me what my greatest aspiration is.
I'm grateful to have such a caring and all-around kick-ass boss and gracious students/parents. My lessons will be rescheduled and I'm happy to report that my 3-hour gig was totally awesome. I was treated well by the staff, fed well by the chef (in addition to being paid, of course), and appreciated well by an audience member who requested his favourite song off my very first album, Through the Dark (this dude dug deep!). My day ended up being a success.
So here I am.
This is my blog of mistakes and - hopefully - twice as many victories. Welcome.