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Monday, November 25, 2013

Do you want to ride The Beast or the Ladybird?

Hi there,

When I was starting out in this business, I sang in a Top 40 Dance Band with another female singer. She also did regular gigs in cocktail bars and even sang at weddings and parties. She had gone to a Performing Arts High School - like the kids in 'Fame'. To me, she had it made and I looked up to her. She had what I wanted - she lived off her music and even owned her own microphone. I felt I was on my way to living the dream she had already achieved. 

But she always seemed restless and after a few weeks she sat me down and told me she was leaving the band. Why would anyone want to do that? We had a gig that was highly sought after by every other covers band in town - a well paid residency to big crowds in a classy venue. But she looked at me knowingly and said, 'look while you're 21 this is all great but I'm about to turn 25 (!) and it's time I got on with life.' She wanted a real job with a real income and some stability. 'You'll be the same when you're 25, you wait.'

Well I'm not going to tell you how distant a memory my 25th birthday is, but let's say that things are still looking green and lush from my side of the fence. I experienced a solid wage and security thanks to the corporate jobs I took after uni, so the lure of that life was never that strong for me. 

recently overheard a muso saying something particularly wise to another after listening to him bitch bitterly about our industry (we've all been there). The wise one said and I paraphrase, 'As professional musos we sign up for the rollercoaster. Our lows can be really low but our highs are right up there. If we wanted safe we would have got on the Ladybird ride but that just wouldn't be much fun'. 

I'll take one ticket to white knuckled exhilaration and stomach lurching intensity with the earth teetering beneath my feet, thank you. By the way, I now own three microphones.

See you next time,

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