Trust me, I want to know what the fuck happened to me in the last two months just as much as you do. I’m stuck in a Matrix glitch for real. I haven’t had not a moment of peace to myself that didn’t involve me working in some form or fashion. The only writing I’ve done lately has come in the form of angry letters to agencies who have failed to do their jobs. Now that’s not any fun, is it? I have so many thoughts that need to be committed to paper but no time in which to write them. However, I keep convincing myself that the work I’m doing now, will give me the time to do this later. And then I always floor myself with the thought that, “later may never come”.
I’m feeling lately like I belong in this music world. I didn’t ask anyone’s permission to be here and I certainly wasn’t going to wait on an invitation. The problem is, maintaining the courage to keep going. It’s not like having a job where you know the building will be there when you get back tomorrow. Jobs in this industry can be shady, short, and sometimes scarce. Yet the reward of the entertainment industry is a bit like playing the lottery. Once you’ve won once, you just want to keep playing until you win again. Fortunately, small wins in this business can actually make a living wage. And that’s what I do here in Myrtle Beach. I’m a small winner.
I’ve run into a few musicians with families down here, but they are usually men with wives at home to take care of their children. I know a couple of ladies who are single moms and do this part time. But I have yet to run into someone as nuts as me with five kids, doing this full time, and solo. I swear I’m trying to find a balance, and my gut tells me there is one, but my sanity is strongly questioning my ability to find it faster. I create my own promotional materials, book my own gigs, (work said gigs), manage four small children, manage not to kill one young adult child, run and balance the finances of a large household and a small business. I’m not complaining. I know there are many women out here that do this successfully. I just wanted to write it down because those women, as well as myself, are my continuing inspiration to keep going.
But there are times that I want to stop too. Sometimes I seriously consider getting a cubical job and starting a free-range chicken farm in my backyard. This business is hard. I’ve been rejected by three agents in the last two weeks because I’m fat. That’s a tough pill to swallow when you’ve lost 60 pounds in the last 8 months. But I keep the attitude that I’m still working on the weight and damn it, someone will see past it. And then someone does. And the waiting begins. The wait to find out how soon the next gig can start, how much it will pay, and long it will last. And while this waiting goes on, it makes you question your worth, how good you are, and how you can make yourself better. Sometimes I go for days without sleep, just trying to improve my craft. Or now, what I can officially call, my product. And do you want to know where I learned that endurance? My children. Breastfeeding, diaper changes, colic, croup, viruses, ear infections, school projects, field trips, sleep-over fails, boogeyman fears, being the Tooth Fairy, being Santa Claus, road trips to grandma’s… I could list a million ways that having children disrupts sleep patterns, but again like I’ve been pointing out in this whole post…I don’t have the time.
Between feeding demands and feuding siblings, I seem to pull it all together. But I often wonder what is suffering. Like, am I taking enough family photos? This usually brings about a lot of late night staring at the ceiling fears. Questioning if I’m doing the right thing. Then I remember, “later may never come”. And I know I’m doing what’s right.