Over the last couple of months, I’ve been taking resumes to fill a few open positions at 2NMC. Because we’re a small organization, and it’s very important that we have a good team that works well together, I’ve been calling most of the people who sent something in and doing a phone interview.
Most people who want to get involved with the music business, whether as a musician or somebody behind the scenes, have no idea what they’re getting into. They see the show, the album, or the otherwise finished products that we release, but don’t think much about what goes on behind the scenes.
People come up to me during 2NMC and say things like, “David, you have the best job in the world. I would love to do what you do!!”
And maybe they’re serious, but most of them have no clue what it takes to do something like 2NMC. They see me going around during the event, shaking hands, kissing babies, and being the “face” of the event, but they don’t see the hours and hours the 51 other weeks of the year that I work to make the one week during the event to appear so smooth.
When these folks got their shot at the “best job in the world” a couple of months ago, send in their resume, and got the call from me, most had second thoughts about it. They either didn’t understand what the job was, how much effort it took, or how little money there was.
“I didn’t realize it was so much work.”
“I’ll definitely have to me home my 6pm. My family eats dinner at 6pm.”
“My salary requirements are flexible, but I’ll need at least $5000/month minimum.”
Yes, it’s a lot of work. Actually, a lot of work is an understatement. I had one worker who got so stressed out last year that her hair started to fall out.
Just because you don’t wear a suit and tie doesn’t mean you’re not going to work.
Yes, there will be some weeks when you’ll work 10-12 hours (or more). And you’ll probably spend a lot of time on the road…and it gets old. I just flew back from Orlando last night and have four more trips lined up in the next five weeks…which should have been more had I not already been scheduled.
And, contrary to what people tell you, there is not a lot of money in the music business. When you average the money earned for work done, you’ll probably make less than if you worked a straight 9-to-5.
The music business doesn’t turn off at 5:01pm. It doesn’t turn off on the weekends.
And if you don’t work, you don’t make money. Nobody just collects a check for showing up…at least not those in the independent music business.
Which brings me to the point of this… The same attitude that I saw in the people apply for a position at 2NMC happens even more frequently in musicians.
This is work.
Playing shows is work.
Going into the studio is work.
Writing songs that people will like is work.
Being somebody that people will pay money for is work.
If you think that all you’re going to do as a musician is hang out in your MTV-style crib and eat ice cream, you’re wrong.
If you think you can hang out in the house you have not and expect people (each waving a fist full of money) to come to you, you’re wrong.
If you think you can simply exist and make people care, you’re wrong.
Now the good news…
You’re got to earn a living somehow, it might as well be doing something that you enjoy. Yes, the long days, the travel, and the other stuff you’ll do as a musician or somebody behind the scenes is enjoyable.
It’s not always fun, and there are parts that you’ll hate, but overall it’s enjoyable.
And I know… I’ve done a lot to make a living. Everything from delivering packages for UPS, to taking down patients at a mental institution, to answering phones for Miss Cleo’s Psychic Network.
Look at what you’re currently doing to make ends meet. You may be working less hours, but do you enjoy any of them?
Something to think about…