Friday, March 28, 2008

Back to the Basics: Booking 101

If there's something I've had a lot of time to think about over the last six months, it's how I was going to approach booking for this coming season. As you know, I've been up to my eyeballs in work for Restoration Project, and it's been a struggle to balance booking with recording, promoting, producing, writing, living, etc. BTW, the album drops next week. You should buy a copy.

But seriously, this week marks another hard push for me with booking shows all over the country - for friends and family and fans. Here are a few things I have been reminded of, as I've made calls, sent emails, and in other ways tried to get shows:

1. I love the music I write. If I didn't, I wouldn't have the motivation to call people I don't know and ask them to consider me to play for their schools, venues, coffeehouses, churches, etc.

2. There are a lot of people in the world who suck. And they're going to screw you. The only question is: "How am I going to react when it happens?" I've decided that I am only responsible for, and can only control, my own actions. I have to do what's right: forget about it and move on. And I have to believe that in the end people will get what they deserve: "Not well done, wicked and slothful servant..."

3. Finally, I believe that a lot of people can relate to my music. They hang on to the words; they are looking for some resolution to some of life's most mysterious questions. I can be passionate about booking concerts because I think I touch on some of these things. I'm not saying I have all the answers, but I do think great live music can *change* people - how they look at the world, what they think about when they wake up in the morning.

I'm *really* looking forward to playing some awesome college shows this year, meeting new people, and following the passions set in my heart. I can't wait to serve you (and you're just like me!) and share my life and music. Because, as you know, I am a songwriter. I was *made* to write. And if I didn't, I would probably cease to exist.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Pay Without Work: The Status Quo Reality

Here's something I've been thinking alot about lately:

Americans are lazy. Yeah, I said it. Every single one of us. Well, let's take a minute to define what I'm talking about here. I guess I'm really defining "lazy" as: living unproductively and trying to do just enough to get what we want - but not any more.

I've discovered that there's a crisis in the American workforce today. People are apathetic with the companies they work for, they don't "believe" in what the company does, their bosses (typically) suck, and they are satisfied with a performance level that meets the status quo.

The question is: "Why?"

I think it comes down to a few things:

1. Companies are big. Even companies in America classified as a "small business" can be quite large in personnel. When you don't feel connected to the "top dog", you don't get a full sense of the vision he has for the whole company.

2. We are all working for the almighty dollar. Most of us live paycheck to paycheck. And if we don't, we're living to save money so we can spend it on something we want later. I guess there's nothing inherently wrong with that, but the problem comes in when we equate "getting what we save for" with "true happiness". It ain't gonna happen, and we'll always be disappointed.

3. We lack purpose in life. Obviously, living for the "buck" doesn't "produce" like we seem to expect. We also know that people disappoint and let us down. Joy is fleeting for many people.
Concluding thoughts.

A song I heard once goes: "There is joy but it can only be hung from HIS hand." I think there is lasting joy in life... somewhere... There has to be. We wouldn't have minds like we do if there wasn't - able to comprehend abstract concepts and contemplate death and soul and spirit. *That* would be meaningless. I hope that this sort of lasting joy can one day fully influence my attitude as I work part-time jobs to pay bills and continue to follow my passions and dreams in music.