Earlier this year, a talented rock band that I played with broke up as a result of ever-dwindling audience numbers. I have spent this year working on my stage performance as The Meh, with no regular audience to speak of. And I played for a while in a band I might call Emo Hipster.
A performer is not a performer without an audience. You can play music at home for fun. But playing music alone on a stage is not fun. And it is not performing. We can all have an off night. But if you are at the mercy of whoever was going to show up anyway, you need to re-evaluate your life as a performer.
That’s where I am now. I’m not saying that you have to give up. But you have to re-evaluate your plan. Up until now, my plan has been to get some swagger on stage and finish my album. Both plans are coming along nicely. But now it is time to start building an audience. It’s transition time.
How do I tap into the world of people who go to see live musicians? I’m not friends with those people. The people I enjoy hanging out with aren’t those people. When I was in the Emo Hipster band, I learned that Emo Hipsters go to live performances. Did I meet any new friends? No. But so what?
And now, as I write this, it becomes clear to me. I don’t have to like the fans as people, and the fans don’t have to like me as a person. I pour my heart into my music and lyrics. And I might expect that people I connect with will connect with my music.
And I might expect that people from another generation, religion, or worldview wouldn’t get what I’m throwing out.
Long ago, artists would disappear behind their art. And if that is what I do, then I should be bold and cast a wide net. I should find people looking for musical expression, and see if they like what I’m expressing. I need a list: 10 things I can do to bring my music to people who are looking for music. 10 things that are totally out of character for me. Things that bring my honest art to people who might be looking. I did a lot of “selling out”, like playing wine bars for 60 year olds. I’m not talking about trying things that are fake.
I need to write a list. I wont do it in this post, because I dont want to wait. time to go to work. goodnight y’all.
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