For years, I have felt totally disconnected from my dream of being a professional trumpet player.
I worked my tail off in college getting my BA in trumpet performance. And just when I was starting to feel like I had things figured out with my trumpet... my mom got cancer and died.
Meanwhile my dad took the loss extra hard and eventually had to be hospitalized for depression.
It was like, life dropped a grenade in the middle of my plans. And for the first five years after college I did NOTHING. Absolutely nothing to further my trumpet career.
(Maybe you could say I was a little depressed too)
I did a lot of things to get my writing career moving forward. But trumpet not so much.
Then I moved to a small town in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico. By then I was ready to start playing again. And there were plenty off opportunities to play.
Most of the playing opportunities were (and will continue to be) amateur gigs with volunteer players (who sometimes get paid). You can literally play every night of the week as a volunteer in my town.
But it's harder to find professional gigs.
Now don't get me wrong. There are some
excellent musicians in my town. They are fun to play with. It's just that locally speaking people see music as something to do for fun, to give back on a volunteer basis.
And looking around the groups, the majority of the players are people who make a lot of money in their other professions. So they are not going to even worry about whether they get paid.
Which leaves me in an awkward position. I still want to play professionally. But it just didn't make sense to me how I could make that happen in the environment that I was in.
I wanted to do something to move closer to the trumpet career that I wanted, so I started to read Seth Hanes book,
"Break into the Scene; a Musician's Guide to Making Connections, Creating Opportunities, and Launching a Career."
In his book he described himself in a way that I could totally relate to. He just graduated with a shiny new music degree. And he asked himself, "Now what?"
He was completely unprepared for the world outside of school and he did not know how to find work.
After he got tired of sitting next to his phone that never rang, he decided to take action.
And so he started studying marketing, and he hired coaches and he invested a lot of time and money and energy into figuring out how to self promote as a musician.
And guess what?
The process of getting gigs is simpler than you might think. And anyone can do it.
I followed his advice (I had to get my binoculars and contact people in the bustling city of Albuquerque) and already I'm seeing opportunities that are right for me that I didn't see before.
I've found someone who can and will help me get into those professional positions around the state. And there is the possibility of going back for my Masters in music.
I'm so excited because I feel like the ball is finally starting to roll. And once I took the first step opportunities presented themselves.