Why I am not Coming to Your Event...Right Now…

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In the summer, I have no day job with zero regular income coming in, so during that time I become a full-time musician supporting myself solely with music and a little savings that I don’t like to dip in to. I have no “team” per se. I am my own booking agent, PR agency and business consultant. It’s a full-time job, and unfortunately begins way before the summer when I am out of a job, but right in the middle of my 30-40 hour a day work week. During this time, I am also working 30 hours or more on music. People ask me all the time how that is even possible; I mean, if I am working at another job, how do I manage to fit an additional 30 hours a week into my schedule? Currently, I do substitute teaching, and a lot of times you will have a prep period, some down time, and of course lunch and breaks. Those are all times I am working on my music; answering emails, booking shows, making flyers, doing PR, interviews, working on my blog, my music side business, updating my websites, submitting to opportunities, working on future music plans- and that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what I do. I also fit in time when I am in line at the grocery store, walking the dog, waiting for food at a restaurant, when someone else is driving, on the weekends and during the evenings in the week.  In winter, before my summer tour begins, it is crunch time. To book my tour schedule for summer, I must start at least 6 months in advance. I spend more time than usual during this period on my laptop researching opportunities in different towns, securing places to stay, negotiating my compensation and figuring out the complicated puzzle of traveling to many different places on limited resources.  

  Often, I have to give up a lot of my “free time” and can’t really go out much and support my friends that have shows or events. This makes me feel terrible sometimes, especially when they are supporting me. It also gets pricey going to events and sometimes I have to budget and go into money saving mode.

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  As an independent artist, I’m constantly working towards a future that includes better finances, stability and more free time. I put a lot of pressure on myself to stay focused as the path of the music industry is a difficult path. There are a ton of sacrifices and I sometimes question whether or not it is worth the stress and lack of a “regular” life. Then I get on the road or am engrossed in a creative project that I see to its fruition; put my music out there and get a nice review and email that my music touched someone; write a new song and sing and play guitar for my supporters or strangers-and it’s the most exhilarating and fulfilling experience that brings me so much joy. Sometimes doing what you want to do in life is not as easy as it should be, but there is nothing else besides music that I want to do….


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More writings from Music Emerging:

A Simple Wish

Age is Just a Number: Aging in the Music Industry

Your Music’s Not Literal Enough: Story Songs vs. Poetic Songs

Coaching Services: www.musicemerging.com/coaching

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Cynthia is just about to go on her second 8 state tour! You can support her on Patreon-even for a limited time while she is on the road! Check out the support tiers-for $30 she will send you postcards and goodies from the road!

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Giving In is not Giving Up

I recently read a blog about a fellow singer songwriter in the Los Angeles community who passed away from cancer at a young age. Her name is Jenny Pagliaro and she belongs to a duo called, “Roses and Cigarettes.” I did not know her, but the info that she had passed away popped up on my Facebook news feed and I clicked on the link. She had been documenting her journey on a blog called “The Breast Cancer Chronicles” and I read her last blog post titled, “Giving In.” It was posted on December 10th, 2018. A little more than a year later, she was gone.

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Reclaiming and Proclaiming our Resolutions

Every year there is a buildup to the big day-the new year. There are so many expectations and stresses around the holidays, and I get freaked out more and more about the “routine” of it all-so I kind of stopped caring, which is not necessarily a good thing. I have always been the kind of person to break away from traditions; not to necessarily be a rebel, but mostly because I feel the magic and specialness around them gets forgotten.

Once again it's a new year and people are talking about their resolutions; and even though I may not always voice mine-I have them. Every year around the turn of the change over-I reflect on the year before and what I want for the next. This year the word resolution bothered me-I know what it means, but sometimes these words we throw around at parties lose their meaning and their spark-so I looked up the dictionary definition to remind myself exactly what it means.

Resolution: “A firm decision to do or not to do something.” Pretty simple, but wow-kind of scary. I had forgotten about the firm part. Whenever I make a firm decision to do something, I feel a lot of pressure-that's actually served me well on my music journey when I have given myself “resolutions” to complete a music career goal in a certain time frame. It has also given me a lot of disappointment when I didn't complete something. I still remember the stinging feeling when I was giving myself a deadline to complete a music project and was stressed out; and someone telling me “why are you so stressed out?-it's not like Capitol Records is waiting for your project to be complete.” Yes, that was true-but that should not be the deciding factor to giving myself a deadline for my goals. Resolutions are for ourselves. Having said that, it's important not to make ourselves sick over our goals. We feel really good proclaiming our resolutions-and really bad when we don't follow through. I don't know about you, but I've grown tired of the incredible highs and lows of resolutions and have been exploring a more fluid way of sticking with the tradition, but not beating myself up over it. In reaching many of my music goals, the fiery passion and excitement I have for music fueled my drive to stick with it, but it did not necessarily happen in my resolution time frame. Some of my goals took more years to complete than I imagined, but I always kept them in my mind and heart, and smiled and felt excited when I thought about them-dreaming, fantasizing, making plans of action, small steps, talking and writing about them; made my resolutions part of the fabric of my life and not separate.

Life is going to happen around our resolutions; constantly changing; fairly unpredictable and a lot of it out of our control. Though a firm statement of purpose is a wonderful launching point, we might want to “go with the flow” and see over time how our dreams and goals change as new information and opportunities present themselves.

I found this packet of inspirational quote cards for every day of the year, but the same one has been stuck on the mantle for over two years now because I love it so much. It also explains what I am talking about perfectly:

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Happy New Year-You Are a Badass

I always hated the holidays. Although I have had pretty much only lucky and good ones, it reminds me of hard times growing up, guilt and loneliness. This holiday I woke up alone on Christmas morning and was sick in bed for several days-left to evaluate my life; to put it under the microscope once again.

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