A Consumer Resource for Independent Artists

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Playing is, like, work.

I wanted to share this video that I stumbled across today.  A very talented friend of mine was recently complaining that a lot of people think that musicians should be playing for the love of it, not the money...as if somehow money cheapens the creative process or some ridiculous balderdash. The process of becoming a professional musician is a difficult metamorphosis, due to that attitude.  In this video, Scott Clark says that a lot of time and effort goes into what he does that isn't seen and doesn't pay in dollars (practice, chasing down gigs, practice, making flyers and promoting gigs, practice, and more practice).

TheFreewayLife- Scott Clark from FREEWAYarts on Vimeo.

I have long felt that the need to make a living as a musician ought to be just as respected as the need to make a living as a plumber or a teacher.  If it truly were only socially acceptable for a musician to "do it for the love" and then work a side job to eat, you'd be seeing and hearing a lot less quality music out there.  As someone who has a side job and other necessary distractions, I don't have much time (as in, hardly any!) to rehearse any more.  I have no time to gig, tour, or travel.  However, I love that there are musicians out there who are dedicated to keeping their craft honed so that I can have the privilege of hearing them do what they do so well--and I don't mind paying for that service.  I don't begrudge them their money, because their music makes me happy.  It's like an essential nutrient to me.

The career choice to become a full time musician is definitely not for the faint of heart; it isn't an easy way to make a living.   The bottom line is that if the musician wants to eat, he'd better be open to playing for money.  That said, there is no doubt that--as obnoxious as the business can be--in the long run, he is doing it for the love...because he can't imagine doing anything else.

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