Archive for October, 2008

Stealing time

Rather than taking a break and going for a walk, I’m stealing a few moments of high speed computer time to blog before I turn the computer off for a while. I mean like…maybe two whole days or even more. I might just go for a long drive instead of staring at a screen, look farther down the road. Maybe then I’ll be able to see which way I’m going.

I’ve been balancing other people’s budgets while neglecting my own. I’ve been promoting other people’s events while taking the odd hours of the day to prepare my own upcoming shows. Today I had a call from someone at 8 a.m., who does not pay me a salary, telling me to pull the interview from tomorrow’s paper, without even reading the article. Fortunately, a few hours later my actual salary paying boss had cleared the matter up and the article was run. But, I realized that besides the average of three people who I am dependent on each week to hand me the money that pays my bills, it seems there are more and more people who feel they are responsible for telling me what to do.

It’s wearing me out. It’s time for me to cut ties and fly until I can get enough air of my own to breath. Maybe then I can sort out the good advice from the garbage and see the pathway that will lead out of the rut some folks wish to put me in for their own convenience. I know that 50 a hours a week in front of the computer does not allow me to be a happy person and after one year of it, it’s time for something to change…and fast.

Okay, back to finishing up the last details that will allow me to shut off the internet and steal some time in the real world.

October 30, 2008 at 10:01 pm Leave a comment

The push & pull of it all

It’s Sunday night and I’m worn out from a full weekend of artistic events and communication. The autumn breezes are stirring everybody up and I find it hard to keep focus through the frenzy of politics and personal drama reaching my ears.

It seems as though I get pulled to help everybody but myself. It was a pleasure for a couple of hours last night to sit and simply listen to amazing music by Frank Vignola & his Rhythm Machine. I should say phenomenal. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a standing ovation in the middle of a first set before. After meeting and greeting everybody while valet parking, it was restful to hide by myself in the back of the theatre.

However, I couldn’t help but wonder what it might be like to watch such a show in the company of someone who would simply sit and appreciate it with you. Perhaps it was being offered a free ticket for a companion and despite my efforts to contact folks who would enjoy the music, there was no one to use it.

So many times I go to these events without ever thinking about trying to bring someone with me. It is work for me. I talk community business at intermission, or get pulled from looking through a gallery opening for an idea about an article that someone needs me to write to promote the next big thing. I rarely make plans with other people because I’m always thinking about work. Even just watching a show is educational for me and inspires me to the next thing to practice. I end up running away to Asheville to hide without a plan, just hoping to see a friendly face that doesn’t need something from me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to be needed and feel valuable to my community, but sometimes the push and pull of it all gets to me.

I feel like everyone I know is under strain right now with the pending election and the state of the economy. I believe the arts are necessary to help us learn and grow together. Long ago I learned to diversify my income sources. Yet the push and pull of it all reminds me that my only true investment is myself. I can only hope that one day my “sole proprietorship” becomes a “partnership” that lifts and supports us both in this crazy business of living.

October 20, 2008 at 3:17 am 1 comment

Frank Vignola

I just had the pleasure of interviewing the amazing jazz guitarist Frank Vignola before he arrives for a show here in Tryon, NC on October 18. I am in utter awe. Here’s the video link he sent when I mentioned learning to play clarinet.

I mentioned some of the folks playing for our gig earlier in the day (Dan Petrella who he met years ago in Detroit, Tuba player Henry Westmoreland, piano player Reese Gray) and he said “bring instruments and we’ll jam in the second set.” I said I didn’t know if they’d have a piano set up and he said “I was thinking of the clarinet.” I think I have some practicing to do before then.

October 6, 2008 at 3:46 pm Leave a comment


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