Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chasing Pavements

That song right there is resonating with me in the worst way tonight. The chorus, especially:
should i give up
or should i just keep chasing pavements
even if it leads no where,
or would it be a waste
even if i knew my place should i leave it there.
should i give up
or should i just keep chasing pavements
even if it leads nowhere

Tonight, I felt a real hurt in my heart...again. I don't know why it's all of a sudden hitting but it's been building for a while. A little history on what I'm talking about. I'm sure you've gotten the gist of the whole me and the music business thing, if you don't already know me and know all about it. But long story short on that one is that the music's my passion. Like you know how a singer or songwriter feels about their music and performing and all? I feel that way about the business side. Particularly the management area. You need to understand that I'm really a rare bird, in that respect. So many people who've gotten into management have done so out of sheer luck and situations and though it's happening more and more now, not a lot of people know off the bat that management is their goal.

That said, I chickened out during college. Went to a school that didn't have a program that was as good as I thought it'd be and then just plain went into IT instead. But the bug, it never goes away. So, I started a small business and decided to actively pursue this thing while maintaining the day job cause a girl's gotta pay her bills. The day job is really rare cause it allows for so much flexibility and the ability to definitely go after the side thing. Before long, I was volunteering at Music Conferences (and working my way onto a key role on staff) and I met a band. And you know what? It felt right...for a long time it felt really, really right. This stuff is so much like a relationship, you just can't even understand. I loved them...we had a lot of good times and man, we had our share of fights, too. But then, there were signs everywhere telling me that it was surely turning into what would be considered abusive in a relationship....abuse of the mental kind. The respect that I should've been given for the work I was doing and ideas I was bringing to the table was so obviously not there but yet I hung in cause I believed. The whole thing lasted nearly 3 years til I just realized that I couldn't do it anymore. The break was long and hard and I had to go through periods of grieving the whole thing and I'm not even gonna lie, there are times when I'm still really bitter about how it all went down, especially when I see that they're doing things we recommended years ago and it's slowly working. It's just bullshit.

I knew I had to take some time to just kinda let all that stuff simmer and let it all go, so I did. I didn't really do a whole lot with respect to the music stuff. I did take a class online in Touring and casually paid attention to stuff. But me casually paying attention to industry stuff is like still more than the average person pays attention to it. Trust me, sometimes I'm not so much fun at concerts cause I'm so distracted by the behind the scenes going ons.

I was given the opportunity to go and help out with a celebrity basketball event and then later a baseball one. Though it's not necessarily the most logical thing to do while trying to pursue a music career, things that happen in event planning are pretty damn close to some happenings in the music industry. I worked some logistics stuff and definitely left an impression on people involved in the event, which felt amazing, especially coming off not feeling respected. Imagine that, I go somewhere for a WEEKEND and leave a lasting impression on that I apparently couldn't leave on some other people I'd worked 3 years for (for free, did I mention that?). But I, after all that I figure, let me get out there again. Let me start to look for talent and offer support and get myself back in the ring. All while actively trying to make contacts both by reference and cold emailing. I got few responses and it was frustrating but hey, it's the nature of the beast, I figure (and dammit if I ever become one of those people who doesn't at least tell someone I'm busy and can't answer).

So, then, I go and find an artist. A really promising artist...he's really good. We connect, we chat a lot, he gets a MAJOR gig within like 2 weeks of us "working" together. Now, I'm not gonna take complete credit for it but I think some of the things I did for him didn't hurt in the matter. I know he's got a lot of developing to do, so I kinda fall back and let it happen. Start to check for where his head is and where he wants to go with his music and we talk less and less and finally I just kinda watch from afar. Which brings us to tonight...damn the Internets but I decide to go check on him and not only is he growing as an artist (which I'd expected he'd do) but he's formed a group/crew and they're doing a lot of smart things on the business side. Things I told him I'd be willing to help take off his hands in some sort of a management roll for both him and /or the group. He said he'd like that and then we didn't talk again and now they're rolling.

Now I don't know if it's cause they're working with someone else or if they're doing it with their own initiative but man, it's hard and it hurts. And it makes me want to re-examine all of this. The hardest part is that I know that it's my passion. I've loved music since I was 5 years old. How many people can place the exact moment when they knew what they loved? But at the same time, this shit is just SO hard and the thing is, I know I'm not going after it in the most aggressive of ways. I'm not the girl to up and move to NYC or LA to try to go for this (especially when I know there are viable music scenes in my city and I'm just a short drive from NYC). I'm not out every night at a club checking out talent. But I am doing all of this on the sly...educating myself, checking all over the internet trying to find that needle in a haystack. But in a lot of ways, this breaking as a manager is harder than breaking as an artist. Artist want "big" managers, even when they're not so big themselves. Never mind the fact that they could have someone who'd bust their ass day in and day out for them and who believes in them more than any big management company could.

It just really, really stings. I have a few things lined up to try to get to so that I can be in situations where I might be able to network but I can't help but still just sit here thinking, WTF, am I supposed to just never really get anywhere with this? So, what do you say? Should I give up, or should I just keep chasing pavements...even if it leads nowhere?!

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