Every piece of knowledge that you don’t share dies with you”- Kenny Gilmore
What makes me qualified to call myself a successful Musician?
Fame? No thank you. Even on a small scale, it's flattering, but more of a nuisance. Money? Well, I pay all my bills and support all my habits with music, I don’t work for anyone, I haven’t had a boss for over 12 years. I've played over 3500 shows from outdoor festivals to nightclubs with a full band, as a duo, and solo act. Playing private and corporate events, rehearsal dinners, cocktail hour, reception band, DJ, and MC for weddings. I have multiple endorsements with very reputable companies, have won awards for my performances consecutively, played to packed houses of circulating clientele, standing room only, for seven and a half hours straight as a solo act, without taking a break or repeating the same song twice, they wouldn’t let me stop even to go to the bathroom. Then broke that record by doing the same thing for eight hours and forty nine minutes before I just couldn’t hold it anymore.
However, I come from very humble upbringing and slept on a lot of couches in my life. I’ve worked in almost every field out there. From roofing houses, locksmithing, cold calling sales facing brutal rejection from some of the most unforgiving people, literally digging ditches, serving customers and sweeping floors at an ice cream shop, and I’ve worked in fine dining restaurants where the expectations were so high, it wasn’t worth the money. These are just a few off the top of my head. I have been in jail and institutions as a result of some difficult times that taught me very valuable lessons that I could not have learned any other way. It was a part of my journey that I’m not proud of, but it was necessary for me to be where I am today. Even if that is cliche. No, I didn't mean to rhyme.
I have made many mistakes in my career on many occasions because of inexperience and ignorance, but that’s how it goes for someone like me that has a tendency to just go for it and ask questions later. I’ve also been known to be a people pleaser and have a hard time saying no, so I’ve found myself doing things that I wouldn’t have normally done just to be accepted by my peers. I’ve done pretty much all available forms of drugs, but am grateful to say I am just over two years sober at the time of writing this.
I’ve traveled all over the world with a guitar, played on the streets of Munich, Germany for 25 Euro an hour, have received multiple checks from ASCAP/ SESAC for music in film, I have won first prize in multiple songwriting contests, turn down more gigs than many are offered. I get to choose who I do business with as opposed to take any show that comes to me and tolerate the arrogant booking agent that is too important to return a call or message. I have shared the stage with national acts in multiple countries, run a non profit organization that gives demonstrations at schools all over the world to inspire kids to pick up instruments instead of iPads or video games. I have booked multiple venues for many bands, own and run a recording studio, videography studio, and podcast/ video cast featuring local and national acts as guests, and continue to sell music and merchandise on the internet and at shows from large music festivals to house concerts much like your home. I am debt free and can golf any day of the week, sometimes two rounds in a row if my game is on.
I have inspired other musicians to quit their day jobs and take the plunge into becoming more successful than me at becoming a full time working musician and building their careers. This book will not make you become me though, however it will show you how you can become the best version of yourself. No one can do you better than you, but I can give you the tools.
I’m a risk taker and I’m usually the first one to try the backflip off of the cliff. Much like this blog. I’m shooting from the hip and am not getting an editor. I’m just gonna use what writing skills I’ve obtained over the years along with auto-correct and just go. So, if you see some faulty grammar, try not to scrutinize it too much. It’s the content that is most important here.
Music is my extreme sport, my lifeblood, and I believe my purpose. Or at least one of them. I feel an obligation to share my experience with those who care to read about it here on my blog. Stay tuned for other tales and trails though the forest of my life.
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!