THE DIRECTOR'S PAGE
From time to time, this page will feature an article from Jimi on various topics, usually about the Network, but sometimes we may just let him ramble a bit! Take the time to read this, enjoy, comment, etc. - Thomas, webmaster
THE VALUE OF YOUR CAREER, by Jimi Yamagishi
My brother called a while back: "Jimi! I got a couple of tickets to the Paul McCartney gig at Staples!" "Cool!" I replied, "whatta I owe ya?"
"Just $450.00 EACH..." gasp-choke.
Heck, that's more than my last guitar cost! Or how 'bout an all day pass to a local amusement-land park? $65.00. Oh yeah, & parking. Food too. Double that if you're with someone. Sometimes as serious musicians & artists, we have to look at the reality of what we do and double-think in musical terms. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes, when it means being responsible, it can be a little tough. A new set of strings, or lunch out? An instrument cable or a cool new t-shirt?
There's a balance in life that needs to be maintained, & unfortunately, creative types are often too busy to pay attention. Growing up, we heard the phrase "to get a good job, get a good education". Makes sense. You wouldn't want your physician to have a degree from Joe's mail order dockter skool. Even pro atheletes have coaches, go to training camps & pay for seminars. What about musicians?
A famous artist once said "yeah, I took some lessons, but it didn't hurt me too much." He failed to mention the lessons learned in bars & clubs, the hours learning licks from other artists, & the cost to his personal life from too many late nights, too much alchohol, buying drinks drugs & meals for those other artists & managers so he could spend time gaining knowlege from these people.
Yeah, it all has a price. Paying your dues. You don't go out & put a Strat on your credit card & expect to get signed next week. Every day I hear musicians whining that there's no place to play, literally cryin' in their beer.
How about NOT buyin' that second brewski & INVESTING in a copy of Music Connection dude?
Or passing on those lava lamps & subscribing to the magazines & papers that LIST all the gig opportunities?
Recently LAMP put together ALL the major booking agents, indie labels & manager in one place, & charged a hundred bux for it. One of the attendees commented that he just spent almost TWICE that over sushi with one of the guys from one of the labels represented. Another panelist teaches a class & UCLA. $375.00. Just one of the vocal coaches @ the Vocal Mecca event charges over 300 dollars an hour. There are 3 coaches of that caliber, networking opportunities, deals to be made, over a thousand dollars worth of value, for one tenth of that there. Or Songsalive!, who's membership is only 35 bux a year, & provides members with high-profile showcases, international connections & seminars. And of course SongNet, providing access to some of the industry's highest profile people that could make a difference in your career...FREE!
There are many others too. The Songwriters Guild is has a percentage based membership, & provides legal assistance & special rate referrals. NARAS has insurance plans. ASCAP is now free to join. NSAI & WCSA memberships are about a dollar a day, and give you opportunities to play at some of the best venues in the country. Sure, there are some things that are not a great value out there.
There's a little risk to anything you do. Research & ask around & you'll be able to avoid most of the scams. If you take the time to look at the big picture, evaluate your career goals, & invest in what's real, that is, investing in YOURSELF, you'll always win.
So which is it, two movie tickets & a couple o' hours watching cartoon fish, or a tank o' gas, and going to meet & learn about success from someone who's at the top of their game? Your move.
www.TheSongNet.org for more info
by Jimi Yamagishi