Alright – this isn’t everyone’s dream, but you would be surprised how many people secretly wish they could perform in a band. They wouldn’t tell you this out loud.
The only reason you know that they have a secret ‘I want to be a pop star’ fetish is because every now and then you find a selfie on their phone where they look like they are playing air guitar or it looks like they may have been singing along to a Bon-Jovi song with the hair brush or whatever they can find as a pretend microphone.
I’ve never done this by the way.
But for those that have sort of thought it would be cool – let me give you a reality check.
To start with, you get very little sleep, you travel a lot and live out of a suitcase. You rehearse for hours each day, you play in all sorts of odd venues and locations that can sound anything from brilliant to terrible or atrocious. You are expected to look your best even though you only had three hours sleep. You have an expectation that your next album will be better than the last one and you are forever making decisions on what has to happen in the next week, month and year, way beyond what you can anticipate. You play the same songs over and over at every gig and there’s always that one person that doesn’t like your music.
By now you are probably thinking that musicians are crazy… right?
BUT – I wish everyone could have the opportunity to experience the life of a musician.
I look at people that spend 9am to 5pm sitting at the same desk, repetitively processing the same paperwork for the same people and I sometimes wonder who’s really the crazy one. (No offence intended)
As a musician I get to travel, I get to travel a lot. I get to meet absolutely amazing people. I get to write songs that have never been written before. I can create something from nothing. I have the opportunity to create music that becomes a part of other people’s lives, something that they will remember forever. I have the opportunity to connect with people in a way that is not just a business transaction.
I remember performing in a small town where one of the song’s lyrics was about suicide. We didn’t know, but a student at a local school had taken their own life only weeks before. When we found out afterwards we then understood why people started crying and many went outside. The openness that music gave to that situation meant people felt more comfortable talking about what had happened. You don’t get to do that in most jobs.
I get to record in some amazing studios and work with amazingly talented artists and performers. I get to see people enjoy the music that I play.
I wish everyone could sit on the stage side of a gig and see what it’s like to watch people enjoy what you do.
There are so many people that would find a new energy and a new focus in life if they had the opportunity to experience being a performing musician. I’m not saying you need to make a career from music, I’m just saying that you are missing out if you don’t give it a go.
Being on the other side of the microphone is a privilege but it is also a mountain of experiences that so few people get to do.
If you are ever given the chance to get on stage and perform, I highly recommend that you take it and see where it leads you.
It’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. You won’t regret it and you will have some great stories to tell the grandkids.