I’m getting tired of working a job that has nothing to do with anything I care about. (Ok, we all know that sushi is one of my favorite things in the whole entire world, but that’s not exactly what I meant.)
I mean, when do I get to “live the dream”?
I had coffee with friend Tony Margiotta yesterday. Tony and I went to Shenandoah together, and then we each moved to New York after graduating. Me in 2000 and he in 2001. It wasn’t until one of my best friends (from SU) came to visit from Pittsburgh last fall that Tony and I made the connection that we have been living in such close proximity for so long.
Anyway, to the point, we both also got graduate degrees in music performance at big schools in the city. But, the thing is, as we discussed, you get this awesome degree that you work your ass off for, spend half your life (or more) in a practice room, and then you graduate. And then what? I have so many friends who have given up (that doesn’t seem like the right turn of phrase) the art or found other things that make them happy enough. I also have friends who have been ridiculously successful right from the start. Where do I fall? This is what we ended up talking about over coffee.
Tony is getting ready to launch a music publishing company, in addition to his own CD which is already out and a book that he is working on. All music related. But he had to put in about 7 years of working a “rent” job and sacrificing time he would’ve rather spent on the art in order to be able to do this finally.
I know that many of my friends and colleagues think that I’m successful in my field. I work all the time, I always have a project lined up, or am in demand for one thing or another. But, in my mind, since I’m not supporting myself financially with all this “work” I’m not at all successful. Instead, I start to feel resentful of the time I have to spend away from the work, in order to make money, so that I can do the work as often as I do.
So maybe, I need to be more specific with myself about what my “dream” is. (This is where my inability to commit to anything comes into play – I can’t even commit to one focused dream.)
Anyway, it was refreshing to catch up with Tony and discover that I’m not the only one struggling. I’m sorry that anyone has to. I wish careers in the arts were as easy as graduating college and getting a job in the field. It’s not quite like that. It’s so freelance, and starving artists actually do exist. And then we end up in places like restaurants serving douchebags or running sound for conferences in New Jersey… Just to save a few bucks for new strings or a ballet class.
I guess the ones who love the art the most are willing to sacrifice the most for the privilege of courting the art.
And my search for contentment continues…