I recently did this video about something that’s completely been missing from all of my musical pursuits. It’s the answer to the most common question asked of an artist – ‘why should I care?’ – and it’s the key to credibility and all that comes with it. I lack leverage.
I have a talent, according to my friends and family, and more believably, according to the kind strangers who have told me so at the small, infrequent, poorly attended shows and performances that have characterized my career as a performing violinist / dj / musician thus far. Thanks to them, I have been able to transcend the idea that people close to me are concealing the truth because they love me, and I go on.
So I’m kinda stuck in the middle right now. I am way past the immature temptation of blaming Cape Town (let’s face it – most people don’t have the money or transport for music shows), and I’m also done with blaming myself for a lack of talent, time, equipment, etc. I just don’t see these negative thoughts as useful to anyone with a serious intention.
But on the other hand, I also don’t feel like I am anywhere musically. I have one friend – Emile – who regularly expresses interest in using music to change the circumstances of his life. All the other musicians I know seem either not interested in making anything of their skill, or worse, starry-eyed with the idea that they’re gonna be the next big thing. Meanwhile, the quicker you rise, the quicker you fall. I’m going for a once-off permanent switch thanks.
So my average week consists of only around 4 or 5 hours practice. I intend to say ‘per day’ at some point, but for now, it’s not enough. The rest of the time I’m doing everything from tutoring Koreans to uploading web content to documenting this journey, even to selling donated chess sets in order to pay my somewhat living cost – R6000 per month. Half of that expense is the rent, a beautiful farm cottage with rehearsal potential, but not being used! How can I capitalize?
So I need to make some changes. Suggestions? How am I gonna break out of the catch-22? What do I have to do in order to make something extraordinary?