This is either the third or fourth post that I’ve tried to create around this theme. The other two or three, I later deleted because they just didn’t come out right. But if I’m to move forward with my project here, I need to solidify this concept within myself, and be strong about adhering to it. Writing about it cannot hurt, because one never knows if the reader will grasp what it is that I’m trying to do, and why I need to go about in the way that seems to be revealed to me.
In this current obstacle of not being able to find singers for a demo who will work for me for free, it’s occurred to me that there probably are some singers who would work for free, if only I could find them — if only this were the Ideal Universe.
But it’s not. I thought about trying to tap of the church, where the Music Ministry seems to be “taking off.” The Choir, for example, is stronger than ever. We have a new Choir director who happens to be the new director of the Concert Choir at the Conservatory of Music here. He and his wife were looking for a church, and they wound up finding one, with a job attached as well. His wife is an accomplished soprano, and she’s also singing in the Choir. The previous Minister of Music, whose name is Erika, is now free to sing in the Choir with her own very professional contralto, and Paul himself is a great tenor. So one would think that, since it’s church and all that, maybe these people would help me out, and sing for free, without pay.
But it’s not happening. This is not to criticize or implicate anyone, but whenever I ask somebody from the church to help me with this project, two things happen:
(1) They don’t prioritize listening to the music that I send them. It’s not high on their list. They say “yes” but in reality they have all kinds of other more important things to do.
(2) They wind up being more concerned about my mental or emotional state, how is my relationship with my daughter, how is my relationship with the Lord, and so forth. Obviously. Because they’re church people.
I don’t quite know how to say this, because I really want to be a decent Christian bloke as much as the next fellow. But as far as my project is concerned, I need #1 and #2 above like I need another couple of holes in my head.
I was so upset at one point that I called my pastor in the morning and said that I had discovered that it was a mistake for me to be trying to draft singers for my personal project from the church. He actually agreed, and I became less upset, because it became clear to me. Church is church, the Choir is the Choir, and that is that. There is something ugly about me trying to solicit performers for my project from within the church context. It’s as though I have an ulterior motive or an agenda.
So we both decided it would be wise for me to refrain from further seeking of singers from among the congregation, and I have in fact ceased to do so. If any of them actually like my music or are drawn to it, that would be another story. People do occasionally want to work for me for free, but that’s usually on the basis of their somehow resonating with my music, vibrating with it, being on the same musical wavelength, and so forth. And just how does one encounter such kindred comrades? Well he sure as heck can’t advertise for them! They seem to show up every now and then, as in once in a blue moon, when the “moment is right.”
I’m not a magician; I don’t conjure up “right moments” as per incantation. I can pray to God all I want about the matter, but the bottom line is:
So, I hate to transform this introspective dialectic into yet another pitch for financial assistance, but guess what? So far every penny that I have made to forward this project has come from guess where? Right here. So isn’t it only logical that I would continue to ask for money, until I actually do have enough money to take the next logical step here?
If I were to succeed in creating a demo, I wouldn’t need to hassle coming up with a greater amount of money and a venue and all that. I would be going about this the conventional way, and I would be able to submit the musical in a complete package to anywhere in the world where there’s a theater company accepting new musical submissions. I’d be taking my chances, as opposed to self-producing it, but it would cost much less money than it would to self-produce it.
It’s also sort of the more — “humble” thing to do. I mean, my musical is important to me, and hopefully it will be important to a lot of other people, once it gets off the ground. But it’s not so important that somebody should decide to kick all kinds of big bucks in my direction to just to help me produce the damn thing. It’s more likely that I can gradually come up with the much smaller amount of money for the singers from donations.
So, I just talked with Danielle, and her idea seems to make sense to me. We’ll keep accepting donations until we have enough money to pay the singers. Then, once we do, I’ll put up flyers all over campus. This will attract people who sing, because there’s money in it. Then I can select from all the people who responded, whose voices fit the project the best. Then – do the demo. Then it’s over. Finally. And done.
No more depression over the whole stupid setback. No more seeking out random companionship from whoever happens to be sitting next to me at the moment, just to commiserate. No more “misery loves company.” No more misery, period. Productivity. Forward motion. Sense of purpose. Sense of calling.
Not sure what else to say, except maybe to ask you to take a look at my bio. I had not yet turned sixty when I asked somebody to write that bio for me. I still remain every bit as “dropped out” of the “mainstream” as I did when those words were written, seven years ago. But the point is, all these people with whom I worked in the past have no reason to think ill of me or my skills. I told them all that I was dropping out because I wanted to write — and I’ve been writing. Would you not think that at one of those many theatres where I’ve worked, somebody might decide to produce my show? It’s not as though they’d be receiving submissions from a total unknown, or a quack.
Anyway, enough of this. I gotta go figure out how to scan this receipt I have for spending $26.74 on the only hard copy of Eden in Babylon in existence. Danielle and I are both going to save the receipts, and she’ll reimburse the $26.74 to my account once she has the evidence. To me, this sounds right. We’re off to a nice fresh start. It can only get better from here, as long as the knocks are good.
Funny about those knocks. I just came out of a situation where anybody would knock on my door, at any time of the day or night, for the dumbest of reasons.
“Hey sorry to wake you but do you have a cigarette lighter?”
“No, I don’t have a lighter, I don’t smoke, and I did not smoke the last five times you woke me up in the middle of the night to ask for a cigarette lighter.”
I’ve had it with hard knocks. If your name is not Opportunity, from here on in, please do not knock on my door. I worked hard to get this door.