Musicians: So Much More to Them Than You Thought
Singers and musicians are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth.
Now, I know exactly what you are thinking ... you have to work your 8 to 5 [mostly] monotonous work days while musicians get to work three-day weekends, jam on stage, drink as much as they can handle and sleep off their hangover the rest of the week. Well, my friends, wake up and take a seat. It takes a brave soul to take on what these gals and fellers are doing to entertain you on your nights off. And it ain't easy. David Ackert of the LA Times puts it beautifully....
The only numbers these musicians are stacking up are the miles in the rearview mirror. They give everything they have to give in a new city every night - every venue. Although most have a place to go back to, it tends to be a place for them to lay down their head at night - their home is on the road. But if they're lucky, they'll find that special someone who can support them being gone.
Oh, and that song you hear on the radio? It ain't easy getting it on there. After playing a 3 show stint on the weekend, some will leave early Monday morning for what they call "radio tour." They could be visiting radio stations in Austin, Houston, Dallas, and Lubbock within 4 days, making friends with radio DJs and growing their fan base. Often times they are too broke to get a hotel so they sleep in their pick-up, then onward to the gigs they have booked Thursday night. These folks work 24/7 all day, every day.
So next time you see a musician looking haggard on stage, grab them a water not a beer. Let them know how much you love their show. It keeps them going. Regardless if they make enough money from selling merch to pay their diesel, seeing your smiling faces singing their songs on Friday night makes the empty pockets and fuel tanks worth it in their hearts.
Now I am by no means a musician. My ten years of piano lessons apparently did not pay off. I do, however, have the privilege of going on the road with some artists to film an intimate look into what they do, the good and the bad, in a documentary series called "Down Every Road."
My most recent adventure with Statesboro Revue starts here:
You can catch more episodes on http://natalierhea.com, and future series right here. Stay tuned.