A Snowballs Chance in Hell

This is an older blog from my blogger site. I like it so I’m moving it here.

Believe it or not, I’ve conducted some research. I’ve spent some time as an active study participant. Actually, this is how I met my beautiful wife. In fact, she unambiguously revealed that she had married me in order to conduct a lifelong study trial. Fair enough. I can be a guinea pig with benefits. Where do I sign up? Life long trial it is. For a long time I was convinced that she was with me for my charm or for my fantastically chiseled good looks. Was it for my musical abilities perchance? More likely it was to study my giant head. She certainly didn’t marry me for the money. Which, conveniently, brings me to today’s topic: A Snowballs Chance in Hell.

I’ve been a semi-professional musician for many, many years, far too many to mention. I’ve worked for money; I’ve worked for food. Certainly I’ve worked only to glean abuse. If truth were told, however, I’ve chiefly worked for beer. (After all I did begin this endeavor in Ireland.) I’ve slept in buses, depots, planes, trains and airport floors. I’ve logged more miles than I wish to remember. Sometimes there was admiration and applause. Friends and fans have even taken me into their homes, tucked me in and let me sleep through their mornings. But mostly, there was “the moment.” That indescribable dreamtime when the room, the song, the people, the universe and little old me would align. No monetary prize can transcend that moment, that ever-elusive sliver of time when all is good with the world.

This business of art is a fickle beast. It will invite you in, give you a martini, lull you to sleep and then beat the art out of you and dump you in the street. Or, worst of all, it will turn its uninterested, arrogant head and just walk on by without a glance. There are easier, less heartbreaking ways to make money. It has been estimated that there are between 40,000 and 80,000 songwriters in Nashville. Measure that against the number of major label artists that adorn the airwaves. How many are there, ten maybe twenty? Statistically speaking, there’s a snowballs chance in hell of success. True, some of us will eventually break through. Occasionally it even happens to someone who has actual talent. (Occasionally). Yet, however improbable the chance, still we pursue. Why do we do it? It has to be, in all its simplicity, the love of our art, the pursuit of those little slivers of time.

And so to all those in pursuit of any artistic endeavor, please do some research. Take a moment and explore your reasons. If the art is a means to an end, if the pursuit is only a search for fame, money, recognition, and reward, then the bounty, if ever achieved, will be fleeting. Save yourself a lot of hassle and heartbreak and just put the gun to your head now or remember your true purpose in this endeavor and live for “the moment.” Everything else is a bonus.

What are your thoughts?

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May 4, 2012 · 6:07 pm

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