That’s a funny-looking word when you pluralize it.
This is sort of vulnerable for me because I always used to try to look like I knew what I was doing in my career before the pandemic. To look like a “professional.” Someone who has his act together.
I had a big video in 2013, and it really got my career off the ground, made it so I was able to do music as my full time job, lots of success all at once. I built a substantial network and Nora and I toured heavily right up to the pandemic.
And it was awesome and we had a blast and I’m grateful for every moment of it.
But in those seven years…I didn’t really move forward. I got into a comfortable routine. Not like a day-to-day routine. More like a year-to-year routine. Book a tour, play the tour, record an album, shoot for another big video…
And those are all good things! But they were things that I knew how to do. Or I knew how to do them the way I knew how to do them so I always did them the way that I knew how to do them (tongue twister).
And my methods were rooted in strong work ethic and stamina! Banging my head against the wall til it got done or I got it right. Fun fact: The harmonic bridge in my tune “Dogs” took 127 takes in the studio.
I rarely stopped to ask myself if there was a better way. A more efficient way. A more joyous way. Things I could learn from others. Things I could learn from getting out of my comfort zone.
There were some creative projects that my soul was calling for that I repeatedly put on the back burner because I didn’t know how to record that kind of music.
I missed opportunities because I wasn’t willing to try in situations where I might fail, where I might look foolish, where I might look “unprofessional.“
I was very good at doing things the way that I knew how to do them.
But to quote Kung Fu Panda,
“If you only do what you can do, you will never be more than you are now.”
-Master Shifu
So moving forward in this post-pandemic music biz…I’m really trying to embrace the learning process.
Asking myself, asking my friends, my network, my role models…
“What can I do differently?”
“What am I afraid to try?”
And most importantly,
“Where does my heart lead me?”
And it’s uncomfortable and it’s messy and it’s scary.
And it’s new and it’s exciting and it’s rewarding.
Love y’all
Photo cred Angela Romano