Today’s post is the fifth and final installment of a 5-day series where 5 different full-time artist share what it looks like to pursue music for a living. Today’s contributor is ilyAimy, a Baltimore, MD-based duo. These guys are an interesting two (you’ll catch that below)! *hehe* They’re pretty honest folks, from my personal encounters, and give a very real-world look into what their average day looks like. I think their input is especially meaningful for this blog series b/c they shine a light on the fact that living as a musician is slightly spastic and hard- fun but hard. Note they they are also freelancing their other talents on the side…and there’s no shame in being versatile and doing what you need to do to pay the bills.
ROB: It’s a bad time to ask about “what a full-time musician does with his days” – there’s a lot of real-world crap that piles up for the holidays – and this December in particular gigs will be a little bit thinner and we’ll be in town for the rest of the month at this point. Christmas Eve and Christmas wipe out a Friday and Saturday. Yesterday was eaten by a furnace debacle that involved much internet research, a wrench and a LOT of spilled fuel oil. The day before we’d gone and caught a Christmas tree, came home, untrussed it and trimmed. The day before THAT my brother had a son and I’ve gotta act like an UNCLE.
Monday we’ll play out. Tuesday we’ll play out. Thursday we’ll play out. Saturday we’ll play out. (yup, that’s “thin”) On the schedule for the in-between time? Continue mixing Live material for a possible solo release as well as a new ilyAIMY Live disc. Finish a freelance web design job. Record a friend’s new acoustic EP. Go to the Baltimore Aquarium with an old friend and HER new kids. See if we can put a band practice together. Rewire my guitar….
I get the head of the student activities office from a college we played last week on the phone: Yes. I’m still waiting for the check. No. It’s not here yet. The conversation drags on. Conversations like this are rare, but every once in a while actually getting paid becomes a runaround that I’m just NOT in the mood for.
I update the mailing list. I update our schedule. I spend too much time on Facebook, resisting the urge to get personal on it. Resisting the urge to get political on it. Feeling guilty for resisting the latter. I send booking emails, try to gauge where we should be touring to, try to gauge what’s a good risk, what’s a sure thing and where I simply MISS being. Indiana Jones is in the background. It’s days like this when I need a whip cracking over me in any case because MAN it’s grey, it’s raining – but Christmas is coming and between all the stressors, it’s my favourite time of year and even if it’s mostly just my welcome-home late-night night-light, the tree looks AMAZING.
We don’t get weekends. We don’t get to see our friends. We work days AND nights and never get to go see other people’s music. It’s a difficult job and not one I’d trade for any other. And then I remember that taxes are due in a couple of weeks and I think that sometimes I’d trade SOME parts of it…. (hush rob, focus on that tree!)
HEATHER: My day usually starts anywhere between 7am and 1pm. My one prototypical musician trait is my love of staying up late and sleeping in late.
When it starts at 7 am, it’s because I’ve picked up a substitute teaching job at my old high school, eight minutes from my house. Subbing has been an excellent way to make money for big expenditures not in the standard gigging budget. I’m currently subbing my way through the last $250 dollars on a new Martin. Another long-term subbing job paid for mixing/mastering on my solo CD. It also allows me to work only when I’m available, and guiltlessly step away the rest of the time (they just call the next person in the phone tree). Subbing, though an early wake up, ends before 3pm. So a nap has me ready for a gig later that night.
On days when I don’t sub, it’s all band business. I’ll spend about 4 hours or so researching, sending e-mails, organizing schedules. I do most of my writing at open mics while out on the road. If we’re on tour, my work days are spent in local internet coffee houses.
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