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.
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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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!