OK. I haven’t written in a while, because I haven’t felt up to it. I have no idea where my career is going, if anywhere at all, and it’s been getting me down.
I think of the barren lands that have been completely deforested by generations of humans overusing their trees and wonder what the woodsman felt who chopped down the very last one, leaving a sea of stumps where once old growth forest had lived.
I am approaching the very last recital on my calendar, and I am realizing that the entire spring season went by without me working to procure more engagements, and also without anyone contacting me for any, and I find that very discouraging. After my July performance at the Chicago Cultural Center I have no further solo gigs lined up, and I have been frankly depressed about it. I understand that it is my job as a freelancer and an entrepreneur to make these opportunities for myself, but it is so exhausting. Somehow this end of my job has never gotten easier and I have no idea how to break through the barrier. Every day my to-do list has an item about firing out some email proposals, and every night I accept with a sigh that I still have not done so.
All that said, I played tonight on the Dake Faculty Recital. I performed the Lofstrom Concertino, which I will also be presenting at IDRS in a few weeks, and also the quintet arrangement of Le Tombeau de Couperin, which might have stressed me out if I had taken a moment to think about it.
And it reminded me. I was born to be a performer. I love being on the stage, dancing around as I sell great music to an audience. I could do this all day – it energizes me. The harder the program the better I like it, and the more material I play from memory – totally without a net – the more ecstatic I become. It wasn’t perfect tonight, no – I’m still working on delivering the PERFECT performance – of anything – but alone on stage I am in my element.
And this can’t be the wrong path. It feels too great. I’ve been thinking about going back to school. About changing my direction. About studying to be a nurse, or opening a coffee shop, or walking dogs. But performing, for me, is so right. I just haven’t quite cracked the code for how to do it more. How to make it a greater percentage of my income stream.
BUT THIS IS WHAT I HAVE TO DO.