Friday, November 27, 2009

'A Test of Faith'

Today is an especially down day. Maybe the post Thanksgiving blues, maybe something deeper, I don't know yet. The show on Wednesday was probably the best and most relaxed show I've ever done, for three college students. At least there wasn't any pressure. The review still has not come out in the examiner, and the even though the Chronicle came on Tuesday night, (an okay show) and even though I think the review will be good, it won't come out until next Thursday. Still, I've learned that a review is a tool, only a means of getting an audience. The newspapers are losing their power, as everyone is online, finding their information for what they will do, (if they can get away from the computer), which marketers are saying is the new challenge, getting people out to do things when they are finding so much entertainment online. Its easy to do, so much information, so much to discover online.

Although the music scene is thriving in Austin, the musicians are playing for much less money, because the music industry is in such disarray. The tickets here are cheap to see amazing acts, and these acts are playing often to make a living. I've been perusing jobs here 'online' and just read that Austin is still losing more jobs than are available. Its probably the same in lots of cities, there is still such a feeling of strife, or maybe its me, striving to do today what seems impossible. Still, with very little money right now, I'm moving forward, and learning much, even though some of the lessons are pretty tough. I've been doing the 'direct marketing' approach, but its fruitless until I get a review 'here' to refer my evangelism. If there is an upside, its always the show, and what I'm learning. Technique and theory I've been teaching for years I'm discovering, but today I'm asking, for what? I have to remind myself that what I'm doing is important enough to warrant what I'm going through. Its the old adage, 'when you are winning, the world is with you, when you are losing, its very lonely...' I've always been able to revive my enthusiasm, today, though, honestly, I feel like 'giving up'. I noticed yesterday in the paper, the two shows that are playing in the 'bigger' theaters are 'Greater Tuna Does Christmas', and the musical, 'One Hundred and One Dalmatians'. There are ads for these two shows everywhere it seems, and somewhere, there are thousands and thousands of dollars behind these shows. Today, I feel like going to work in a convenience store and writing a novel, (which would probably never get read). I've given up a lot to do this, and even though I believe somewhere there is a 'tipping point', it seems so far away right now. I'm telling myself to be patient, but you can't eat patience. I've never lived an opulent life, and now I'm finding that being poor and doing art was much easier at twenty seven than it is now--even though with the experience of living life there is the variable of getting at the meat faster, and the quality of course, tends to be much higher. I guess all of us have days when we question our choices, today is one of those days for me. Perhaps, as I get older, I'm recognizing that what I'm doing may be archaic, maybe it goes with aging. Its even beginning to affect me musically, I'm continuing to play my songs and attempt to write some new ones, but being in Austin has really taken a toll on my musical confidence, I may be way out of my league. There is no objectivity with your own talent, and at low tide, the subjectivity is so 'iffy'. Wow, this beginning to read like a eulogy for the death of an artistic vision, and I'm reticent to even post, but If I'm going to blog honestly about my experiences, I must also write about the down days, maybe its an exercise in purging. I do know that unexpected miracles (over used word but the semantics of it are accurate) have happened frequently on my journey, and so I will lean once again on those...

"Its amazing to me how quickly the notion of faith can fall within, how lonely I feel when a moment ago I was arm wrestling with the creator of the universe..."

Quote from 'Bohemian Cowboy'

"Faith, the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen..."

Hebrews 11:1


Gerry said...

I hope you have read my blog on our Thanksgiving, as I was thinking of you as we gathered together, and was just thankful everyone was working and bringing in enough money to eat.
I was was looking at a program on cable that recounted all the shows that opened on Broadway, mostly musicals, that closed almost as quickly losing thousands for investors, but this is the nature of theater. You explore where you can take it, and keep going until another turn in the road is indicated. Austin might be a reality fix in many ways, but we always have to go through those, so we can figure out what is the next most powerful move to make. Actually I think they are quite exhilarating, because the next move usually proves to be a little more fruitfal, just from trial and error. It is the nature of life.
But these moves have to be born in you, because this is your life. So it is up to the rest of us to follow along and encourage you in whatever phase you are in now. There is really no I told you sos in theater because as long as I have lived theater has been a big risk, something a lot of people were saying, no it can't be done, but you still take it as far as you can, just as far as you can reach, and then you are satisfied. I remember thinking quite a few times in Phoenix, this has to happen, that reviewer has to come, that article, and sometimes it did happen and someetimes it didn't, so then adjustmenets had to be made either way, another turn taken, always exhilarating. Like I can't wait to find out what I am going to do next! As you have said before I am going to take this show as far as I can. You might not be finished yet, you may have just hit a low point in the road, but never be surprised and never be unable to handle that point so you can recover quickly.

caroline said...

To misquote k.d. lang, "...the consequences of falling..." So you're not alone in this. Know that and maybe trust the road. I think you do. said...

I thought you were having a difficult Thanksgiving and sent you up some thoughts for your day alone, until we heard from Dale (see family site). There are more
dangerous and unstabling problems
to handle. Holidays can bring the best....and the worst. Love you.

LaRena said...

Oh those damn funky days. They came with thoughts of "Oh I have tried so hard and it has all been for naught."
Then suddenly (or not so suddenly)change happens, life is good, and you are thinking of the lives you have touched and the good times that have happened. You have touched many lives Raymond. Keep the faith.

Pamela said...

Hang in there Raymond. This is what you love to do. I really hope it gets better for you.