Friday, January 1, 2010

100 Days of Practice Round 2 Day 79 Take 2: Free Bird!!!!

I would like to say that I don't have any resolutions, because I know they're useless for the long term. Except I have them, and I'm hoping that the long term brings more exercise, and takes away 15 pounds. Yawn. The truth is so boring.

I do have one do-able resolution, and that is: more family, short term and long term. We know what that may mean: Less performing, for the short term at least. But much more playing, in every sense of the word.

For the Lindsays, this has been the year of, "Well, of course we can. In fact, we are!" Since Soul Papa and I first started dreaming with one heart, one night back at the Burren in Somerville in 1998 or so, one of major topics of conversation was how we'd like to make more of our living from playing music, and less of our living from working for someone else. Well, we're doing it.

How cool. But, as you've seen, it's not any easier than any other vocational path, and the big lesson of making a living playing music: You're still working for someone else. In fact, you're working for everyone else. And as the audiences get bigger, you get more bosses. A complicated position for people who don't like bosses.

Big Lesson 2: Playing music for a living doesn't mean your birdsong is the most beautiful in the forest; it does often mean that you'll sing anywhere, anytime, for a varying amount of seeds. If you're lucky, sometimes you'll get fresh worms, too.

How to get the big worms without having to wake up at 4 am and dig them your fool self:

Practice flying. Jump out of your tree sixty times each morning, perfecting your liftoff, mastering your backward double somersault tuck with resplendent charm, smiling through your armstand back double-somersault with one and a half twists in the free position, singing all the while. Then, do it live, for an audience and barely manage a half-ass swan dive. Your nasty splash douses everyone in the front three rows. Hand out towels. Make funny jokes. Laughter spreads through the audience. Everyone is joyous. Success! Fly back up to your perch. Inhale, exhale. Repeat.

I tell you, the worms will come, in spades. Somebody else's spade, of course, because you're a free bird now and you ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more. Remember?

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