It is nearing the end of the busiest time of year for a performing musician. I have played more than 125 shows this year and we are only halfway through September.
The purpose of this Blog is to give these shows and weddings a place to live. For the most part, these events go by without a second thought. I wake up and know where I have to be and what time. I get to the venue, set up, pull from my usual list of songs, perform the songs, tear down, go home and turn my mind off. I realize now that I never reflect on these incredible moments because it has become routine. This is my attempt at an outlet for reflection.
I want to start with a huge thank you to all of the people that have given me this opportunity. There are so many venue owners, brides and grooms, CEO’s and event coordinators that have allowed me to perform at their events. I want to make it a point not to single anybody out in this blog (at least for now). Earning trust and developing solid relationships with these extremely busy people was not an easy thing to do and it never stops. Think about how difficult it would be to allow someone you don’t know to come in with a guitar and a microphone and make noise in front of your customers and clients. It is an absolute honor and pleasure.
Now I’ll take the time to reflect on this year. I could go way back to my high school days with The Carsons or to my move to Nashville, but I want to pick a starting point with a definitive beginning. What better time than the beginning of the year?
January is the 2nd slowest month of the year for me. That is probably the case for most businesses. Christmas is over. Everyone has spent all of their money on gifts. People are indulging themselves in resolutions so they are not out drinking, eating, and spending money. Not to mention, the weather is awful. The days are short. I hate the winter. I HATE the winter. That being said, I did one of the most beneficial things for my business with Vince Lundi. We shot a few videos at a new venue, The Madison, and turned them into an awesome promo video. (Not calling myself awesome. I’m calling Vince’s skills awesome). I’ve been told by countless people how much this video, along with my full length cover videos, influenced them in booking me for their event. You gotta spend money to make money, and this has paid off 100x over.
I played 11 shows in January, which is pretty low for me. It sort of forces me to view those shows as “nights out.” February was about the same. I did get to go to Chicago to play for a cocktail hour which was a great experience. I’ll elaborate on how fun, but lonely the out of town shows can be in a later post. March is when things began to pick up quite a bit. I only played 13 shows, but a lot of them were corporate events and weddings. The last day of March is when I got to go to my favorite place to play, hang out, party, chill, etc….
Oh Vegas… What have you done to me? The first time I ever went to Vegas was for a bachelor party, and I knew then that I would be performing there.
It has everything I want in a vacation, so why wouldn’t I take my job there? I love gambling (Not problem gambling. Have fun, but don’t lose your car.), partying, sports, warm weather, swimming, theatrics, cleanliness, food, and happy people. Everyone is happy in Vegas. It is difficult not be be (unless… you know… the gambling thing).
I started performing there with small opportunities. I would take a loss just to get there and network. Getting reviews and photos playing in front of Caesars or in the Eiffel Tower at Paris. The ball started rolling quickly as it usually does when I fully dedicate myself to something. Eventually, I was playing big corporate events at The Venetian, Tropicana, and I’ll be playing one at The Mirage coming up next week.
Vegas, in all its glory, would eventually cause one of the most traumatic experiences in my life. (Quick turnaround, huh? No setup or anything) I had my first ever panic attack at the Four Queens in April.
I don’t want to dwell on that too much here, as I’m sure I will have an entire blog post about it in the future. I’m admittedly excited about writing on the topic, because research tends to put me at ease. I will say that since that initial attack, I have yet to fully recover. It f%*$#% sucks…
Apparently, I started formatting with the Vegas portion of this post.
I had a few scattered weddings earlier in the year, but May is when wedding season really kicked off. I got to start of the season in Nags Head, North Carolina. AKA The Outer Banks. I stayed in an ocean themed AirBnB that was just a few minutes walk from the beach. The wedding had an ocean view and was absolutely gorgeous. One of the sweetest couples I have ever met had me play, “If We Were Vampires” by Jason Isbell as their first dance. I still play that song to this day. Such an awesome choice. (Good work).
After the Outer Banks, I had a few weddings in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, played the Tropicana, Las Vegas, in May, and then every single weekend in June, July and August. I played 22 shows in June, 17 in July, 26 in August, and am on pace for 18 in September. Easily my busiest time of year.
I know this was a pretty scatterbrained post. I plan on narrowing things down and going more into detail on a lot of these topics, but this should be a nice, quick overview. My goal is to post weekly and review the shows I just played, preview the shows I will be playing, and to dive into some heavier topics. (Panic Disorder, Time Management, Tips for Making Money Playing Music). Hopefully, I’ll be able to capture your attention for a few minutes while you drink your coffee or are on your lunch break. Thanks for reading!