Thoughts

Is after midnight right now, but I can’t sleep until I get some assessments (reassessments? re-reassessments?) down.

Why do I want to do my three violin passions:

play in a pro orchestra

play in a pit orchestra

play in a recording studio?

1. I live for challenges. When I feel mediocre, it pulls me to catch up. Mediocrity is completely unacceptable for me, and I will work my ass off to catch up. I need to be surrounded by musicians on a higher level.

2. Nothing beats hanging out with other string players day after day. It’s a way of thinking and being. Fellow commiserators who completely understand what a fucking miserable beautiful bottomless pit well string instruments are. We acknowledge our collective insanity.

3. Playing gorgeous music in the midst of a vast orchestra produces for me the most sublime, august, glorious, sacred, spiritual experiences. Why wouldn’t I want that daily? A day of playing even music I don’t particularly enjoy beats a day at the office – which I did for sixteen years, by the way while in denial over the value of violining.

4. I love to dress for concerts – formal black attire and stuff. I love being on a stage. Recording studio? You get to have all that fun of producing an album and don’t have to dress up. And that’s ok.

5. I love being part of a team making beautiful art, as opposed to, I don’t know, a visual artist or a pianist.

6. Fame isn’t a motivator, because once you lose it, you’d better have a lot more going for you than fame. But, what does motivate me is being part of a superior organization, just because I appreciate quality. If it happens to be famous, well that’s fine with me.

There are more reasons, but it’s almost 1 AM.

Obstacles? i.e. why am I not doing any of these things (yet)?

In a word, competition. Openings are scarce, and usually have hundreds of applicants. This article addresses some issues with trying to make it professionally in the US. In Europe, it’s different, as there seems to be more funding for even relatively local groups, or it used to be that way anyway.

Ten or more years ago before the economy tanked and funding was far more generous for orchestras, it was easier to get into a Broadway pit. It was actually considered a grunt gig. After the dissolution of so many orchestras from lack of funding in recent years, displaced musicians have headed to the pits.

Don’t get me wrong – I am not being negative. But this is just the reality of things, what I’m up against.

Strategy? Be the best violinist I am able to be. Took on a teacher of my own. Tell everyone where my sights are set. Am open and ready for opportunities. Practice, practice, and more practice. Get frustrated. Keep an open mind. What does the world need from me?

Someone said something like What the world needs are people who share their gifts enthusiastically. Also, Playing small does not serve the world. Don’t you dare not use your gifts.

Is any of this realistic when I need an income right now? Nope. All this prep work must be squeezed in between working and day-to-day life.

And let’s not forget the VB! Letting her out to play is totally fun, and something I can do now regardless of anything else.

So these are some of my thoughts at 1:10 AM.

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