Art and Music Professions worth Fighting For

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
So much this, and so many people figure this out late, just like I have. Now, for my mid life crisis, I dumped everything, got rid of expenses and am living super simply just so I can start over. It's much harder to do it now than if I had just followed my heart at the start.

One of my kids is working on a career as a musician (multiple instruments) because I realized my mistake and taught her what the author of this article taught.

No amount of money makes up for having a crappy job that you don't enjoy.
Ya, it's easy to get caught up in the whole American Dream thing being raised your whole life to be a good citizen and punch that time card everyday. Not much I can do about it now. I'm just burned out. I've been drafting for 18 years now and never really got anywhere. I just know when it's time to get out because I can't keep up with the technology and the schooling to learn new programs and such. Besides that, it's just not very interesting to me. I got into drafting to do manual hand drafting. That's what I liked, but computers took over and I had to earn a living. Reinventing now is the right thing to do and that's all people like us can do because we've already been there and done that. What's the definition of insanity? You know?
 

shemp

Silver Member
For you folks contending with the mid-life crisis...I was there about 8-9 years ago and maybe I can provide some insight.

I've been an engineer since 1987 and of course more if you count the rather difficult engineering curriculum in college. Anyway, in '05, I burned out...didn't really know that at the time, but literally on December 23rd, I walked into my boss' office and handed him my resignation..I was waking up in the morning, literally slumped in the shower saying "i can't do this anymore". So I quit. I took an equity loan against my house and took 14 months off.

In that time I remodeled my kitchen and went to GIT...great 14 months of my life. Guess what, after 14 months I woke up one day and said, "hey, i'm gonna go back to work"

I re-entered the work field 1 month later and have not looked back...made more money, added a few patents to the portfolio and still going strong.

My message is, don't be fooled by the mind. Don't harm your career by throwing it away. Life is not always what we want it to be...work was never intended to be fun and nobody ever said work should be fun or you would be happy earning money...work is work; not always fun. Don't be fooled into thinking that you can drop out and do exactly what you want and still take care of responsibilities; especially if you have a wife and/or kids. That's not good thinking. Thats where my mind was, but I learned it was poor judgement.

Take a break if you need to...but don't get sucked in by the errant thought pattern that one deserves happiness in their work...and also look at the glass as half full...working, not the actual work, is something to respect...something to be proud of....earning money and hanging in during tough/not so fun times is something to respect and something to honor.

Nobody promised a rose garden...where you are is due to your choices and actions...there is no guarantee and no promise of fun...nobody is entitled to love the work they do. Some do yes, but those folks usually took a big risk to get there. I don't love my work, but I now like it and it pays the bills and handles the responsibilities I have and it makes me feel honorable to have worked out my issues and hung in there.

Once you get to be in the late 40s or 50 it gets easier to accept one's location in life. Be accountable and drop the liberal mindset that one is entitled to happiness in work, or, entitled to anything for that matter. Our society has been so abstracted from a true understanding of what *work* really means...it makes it difficult for folks to feel good about putting in an honest days work. Sad.

Sometimes you have to do a lot of stuff you *don't* like....to get something you *do* like. There is no promise, guarantee or entitlement. It's poor thinking of which I was trapped in and I thank god every day that I did something about it and woke up.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Shemp, I know where you are coming from, but that's the dogma I've heard my whole life. It's a safe place to be, but success comes from taking a few chances in life even if the consequences might be severe. The reward is so much sweeter if things do work out. I think it's worth it, and even though I'm not making money at music, it is my priority in life and my j-o-b comes second. I still need my job, no doubt, but it's not how I define my life or my sense of purpose in this world. I want to be remembered as a drummer not a drafter.
 
G

gf2564

Guest
I'm considering a Porsche!
I thought about that a few years back........ended up getting a new refrigerator instead! I not sure what that says about my mid life crisis at the time, but I sure have gotten a lot of mileage out of that refrigerator and it didn't take near as long to pay for!
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Be accountable and drop the liberal mindset that one is entitled to happiness in work, or, entitled to anything for that matter.
Politics don't belong here. Young Shemp, I know you're so excited about conservative ideaology that you feel compelled to share but please try to desist. Most people are sincere and more grounded than you suggest.

I also question how much you know about the music industry to justify telling musicians how they should operate when you are an engineer with 4 years learning drums.
 

shemp

Silver Member
Politics don't belong here. Young Shemp, I know you're so excited about conservative ideaology that you feel compelled to share but please try to desist. Most people are sincere and more grounded than you suggest.

I also question how much you know about the music industry to justify telling musicians how they should operate when you are an engineer with 4 years learning drums.
It's a good question, but I stopped counting gigs at 500, my dear, seriously, and that was back in '02 including regular working bands in Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Orange County and Riverside County.. I would be sitting in the club studying before gigs in college and then take my gig dough and buy food....drums 4 years, guitar since 1976. It's likely safe to say that my musical experience and actual paid work in the gigging realm makes you look more like the young grasshopper....rather than me as you suggested.

I will bring up my political leanings if I so desire....you may suppress your own ideologies if you wish, but I might mention mine from time to time regardless if you care for it or not.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
I look at my life today and realize what a stupid career choice I made thinking that I belong in this square world of Engineering and Architecture. I'm nothing like these people, they don't impress me, nor do I want to be anything like them. I feel like I've wasted my youth and given the best years of my life to a bunch of people who I don't particularly care for or want to be around everyday. I'll just leave it at that.
I have a great job in the insurance industry. I work for one of the larger US commercial insurance brokers as an Account Executive...I get to go see clients, meet people, handle issues, and drive a lot. It's not particularly challenging so it's 9-5 really. In fact most days when I'm out it's less, giving me more time to practice drums.

Problem is I feel EXACTLY the way you do. It's hard explaining to my friends, people who generally speaking have quite mundane and manual jobs, that I actually despise this job, and with a couple of notable exceptions the people I work with and that I've never felt 'corporate' or that I 'belong'.

Perhaps if I was more ambitious to climb a career ladder I'd be more enthusiastic. I'm not. I've reached a position which I'm happy with. And when colleagues such as my boss blather on about 'career progression' and I come over glazy eyed, they are genuinely shocked that I have no aspirations to go any further other than work my time, and take retirement at the earliest, conceivably workable, point in life so that I can spend more time pursuing my hobbies whilst able. Even if that means selling my house and downscaling. that's me plan.

The way I get through the day is simply looking at my 'career' as something which funds my hobbies. Simple as that for me really.

Thanks for outlining your thoughts....I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks similar.
 
W

wy yung

Guest
I enjoyed the article very much. The author's attitue was something I could relate to.

I have not read all the responses in this thread. I don't want to. I read a few that spoke of money and security etc. And I respect that. I have no family to support. However, I have managed to become a professional musician twice in my life. My first attempt ended to a very serious physical injury. But I kept at it and kept dreaming, and here I am again.

To those younger people who may read this, I feel there is hope. We cannot predict with accuracy what the future holds for this industry, but to put it in perspective, GM just closed it's doors in Australia and left thousands out of work.

Yesterday I signed a contract to be the first call drummer for a Sydney recording studio. I have several offers to teach and run music schools.

I have a career that I love. I bound out of bed everyday to get to work. In fact I never work because I love my job. Today I answered phone calls from 3 new students. I am fully booked and it is Summer vacation here in Australia.

I think the idea of the rock star drummer is mostly over. But if that is the only reason someone took up drums.....well perhaps it was a insincere decision in the first place. When I took up drums I had not considered a band. That was just something that came next. Can you imagine then being on live TV and signing autographs?? I was shocked.

Bottom line I believe is that you have no choice if this is what you really want. And you will work for it. You who want it will practice. No excuses. Because practice is part of the passion. I tell students to avoid forums as a general rule. Better to consult professionals in person. I mean no disrespect to forums of course. There is simply too much confliction of opinion and it can sow doubt.

People do make a living doing this. It is a job. You may not have the same benefits as an office worker. But if this is your passion, that office is gonna kill you anyway.

My brother is not a musician. He is a producer who has shows all over the world. India, the Phillipines, China, Europe etc etc. Many of these shows are music and dance based. He has over 500 shows in Australia every year. Thousands around the globe. I never know where he is!

My nephew is a film maker who has worked all over the world.

One family.

Three members of one family from Austrqlia make their living doing what they love.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
The way I get through the day is simply looking at my 'career' as something which funds my hobbies. Simple as that for me really.

Thanks for outlining your thoughts....I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks similar.
Just speaking from the heart, brother. I feel the same way about my 'career'.

Funny you mention Insurance business. My guitar player is an ex-Insurance executive much in the same way you described your job. He gave it all up because he also feels the same way. He is a Julliard trained musician too. I already had this mindset before I met the guy, but apparently we are not alone. In fact, many people are coming to the realization that there needs to be more of a sense of purpose to life, and the corporate world just ain't getting it, if you know what I mean.
 
Top