I know this a bit late, but after traveling so much, I didn’t have a good chance to breath and write. So here’s some musings from June 🙂
The Heartland Marimba Ensemble tour went from June 1st to the 23rd. The first week was filled with eight hour rehearsal days and a show where we had to take all of our equipment up three floors… Week two felt like never ending drives through endless fields of soybeans, performances with some serious logistical problems, and a lost stick bag; all of which sometimes made me question why I was even doing this. It was HARD work and honestly, it was not always the most fun or rewarding experience. I could easily post about all the highlights and make tour life seem pretty glamorous, but that would be a lie. Truth is, most of what I did felt like work. It was work to set up and take down after every concert; it was work to drive hours and hours when you; it was work to smile and stay positive when everything felt like it was going south; and sometimes it was work to just play the music. Is my passion supposed to be work?
So why even do it— what made this experience pertinent?
I think about it like this: a concert is worth it to me, not if I’m happy at the end, but if someone who heard me is — happy they smiled, happy they were blown away, or happy the they cried — that makes it worth it. I love performing, but in the end when you feel burnt out, you don’t feel like you can move one more instrument, play one more note, or travel one more road and someone tells you what it meant to them, you suddenly have some strength left, some measures left to play, and a few more miles in you to travel even after you told yourself you were done.
So despite the work and frustration of getting to the final result, it was worth it.
Is that how you know you’re doing the right thing? That you’re in the right field? That what you’re doing matters?
I guess so.
I don’t see music as this opportunity or passion that gets dropped in your lap, but as a love that takes a bit of masochism to succeed in. How many time do you fail before you succeed? How many concerts do you play to five people before hundreds? How many projects do you do until the right person hears your work? Time will tell, but so will hard work.
And it’s worth it.