Monday, December 28, 2009

'Cracking Open Texas'

It's almost midnight here in Austin, after the long day, I'm trying to muster up energy to write. Since the show has closed, and there isn't another one until the 20th of January, I'm trying to find ways that I can stay here in Austin until the spring or summer. As of now, all my commitments here will be finished on the 31st of January. I am discovering, however, that I really like this city, it offers so many directions, finding the one for me is the key. Today I went to the offices of Rozone Entertainment, a company that produces a lot of the concerts here in Austin. I met one of the CEO's of the company at the dog park, (I love that dog park!) and he invited me by for a 'chat'. The doors to the office were open, but there wasn't anyone there. I finally left, but will return again tomorrow to see if there are any possibilities. Yesterday, (again at the dog park) I met a business consultant and a television sound tech, at practically the same time. I pitched my Caffeine! project, gave them both a post card with all the information and left excited, but I also know that there is a good chance I won't hear from either one of them ever again. Eventually, however, I will run into the right person, who will understand and 'get' the project and its potential. As I've said before, being in the right place is the key, and Austin is the 'right place' in so many ways. Wednesday, Rustin and I will do a radio interview at College Station, about two hours away. My friend, Ann Preston works and lives there, and does art related interviews for a radio station, and we will also look at a theatre there, to see if there is a possibility of performing. Today, I was also invited to a coffee house not far from where I'm living, and found out they 'book' performers for music gigs. I got the number of the booking agent and will write an e-mail to investigate the protocol.

Rustin and I have been playing two to three hours a day together. I'm learning much from him, he is great at helping me rearrange some of my songs so they are in a range for me to sing them. Its strange that I have written several songs that I can't possibly sing the key I have written them in, but I am picking up lots from him very quickly. This week, we will look for the 'open mike' nights, and will venture into one of them to see if we can do a few songs. Last time I was here in Austin, I sang a couple of nights, exciting because it was 'Austin'. Like the theatre, I get excited about musical performance, even though I know I'm not the most talented kid on the block. I do, however, have lots of performance 'chops', and always feel confident that I can pull it off, and usually, I can get through some songs in a semi-professional manner. I certainly learned this summer that I am a better live performer than a recording artist. Recording is another world, another learning curve. I did feel better after I read that it took Elvis thirty takes to record 'Hound Dog'. I finally understand why it sometimes takes two or three years to record a record that is really good. Still, Eric, (in Salt Gulch) helped me get my songs recorded, and for the first time in my recording history, I could actually listen to the songs without wincing. It will be ironic if my first record gets completed in Salt Gulch, one of the most remote places in the American west. This summer, I played in Salt Gulch as often as I could, with some really fine musicians.

So, I am getting out into the city and meeting lots of people. As I always thought with LA, give me a year and I'll crack this town wide open. I still believe that, even though I'm now in Austin saying the same thing. Contrary to lots of people, I really liked LA, but felt I could only be there if I found a way to make a living, a good one, as its very expensive to stay there. Austin isn't cheap, but I feel like its 'doable', and the 'scene' here is a better fit for me. So, each day, I try to have a 'plan of attack', following up every lead, and scraping up new ones. Its anybody's guess right now where I will land in a couple of months, still, I'm excited by the possibilities, and I have just as good of a chance as anyone, to 'crack open this town'. There is so much production that goes on in this place, if I can find the right company, I think I could get production work.

Its almost twelve thirty, and if I'm going to 'attack' tomorrow, I better get to bed. Baby is lying at my feet presently, she rarely lets me out of her sight, I think we are have a bond that is for life. I find I love taking her with me everywhere, she jumps right up into the cab of the truck and seems excited to go anywhere I'm going. Occasionally, I have to leave her in her crate at home. When I do, she looks at me from the inside like, "Where are you going and why can't I go?" This dog is an actor! I know that most dogs learn the art of manipulation, but Baby does it with flare, and with me, (even though I'm a pretty soft touch) she has to create some real drama for me to change my mind about taking her, more often than not, she pulls it off. Having a dog is a mystical thing I'm discovering, and its true what I've heard about border collies and kelpies, they make 'you' their job. I find I love her at the dog park, she has an uncanny ability to get the other dogs to play. She's diplomatic and friendly, and has a smile as big as Texas... Goodnight.


Gerry said...

Oh, this entry reading it first thing in the morning made me feel so good. It is so full of energy and enthusiasm and yes determination. I feel now like I don't have to worry about you because you are taking hold of the city and are really working to make it yours. Everything takes work.
It was fun reading about Baby. She is having to learn to be a city dog, but she is adjusting, too! said...

I just finished that book about a crazy border collie and found it fascinating! You will have to write about yours some day. (I mean a dog book, you are writing about her.)
I am amazed that such good things come from Salt Gulch! Nothing like hearing about your old HOME TOWN. Ha!
I also read that Austin, TX is very advanced..the SF oF Texas, but it is still in the Lone Star wonder cowboys aren't coming out of the woodwork. Keep the faith, Texas is still Texas!
Austin must be full of Bohemian Cowboys!

LaRena said...

Good for you. You will feel you have left no stone unturned to crack that city. Every now and then something really good happens against all odds.(See my Blog)

I love hearing about baby, as the personalities of dogs has always interested me no end. Hearing about Conner's surgery on the family website took me back to Robert's many surgeries on his leg while in snowy Colorado. One intriguing thing, was his dog Woodrow.He was the wildest acting dog I had ever witnessed strong and full of playful enthusiasm. I worried so with Robert in a cast and on crutches that he would cause another accident but he seemed to sense that he had to settle down and be very careful It was amazing. Unfortunately I kept losing my entries to Marina on the family site so I finally gave up. Dogs are very smart people even if the are great manipulates.I love Austin's dog park just hearing about it. You make it a place of great interest for us all with your superrior writing skills.

DB said...

I enjoyed reading this entry very much Raymond. With that attitude you will crack Austin. It sounds like a place where you feel you belong. That's a rare thing.