Go Ahead: Quit Your Day Job Part VII by Alex Walsh

Go Ahead: Quit Your Day Job Part 1
Go Ahead: Quit Your Day Job Part 2
Go Ahead: Quit Your Day Job Part 3
Go Ahead: Quit Your Day Job Part 4
Go Ahead: Quit Your Day Job Part 5
Go Ahead: Quit Your Day Job Part 6

pawn shopSo there I was at Black Market Music selling my Gibson. Rent was due. I was frantic.

How did things get to this?

I had started a trio in 1995. We played on Market Street one day and ended up getting booked into the Fillmore Lounge (see part VI). We were asked back but the bass player and drummer said they didn’t want to do it. I couldn’t believe it. They also said they wanted to play loud rock, like Green Day. Intrigued, I went along with it. But we never really got any louder because the bass player had no money and was trying to play through a cheap guitar practice amp. The band didn’t last very long.

I was almost finished with school. For my senior project I put together a full band that included drums, bass, keyboard, violin, and me on vocals, guitar, and harmonica. It was my first time trying to arrange a band. The musicians were very experienced so things came together quickly. We did one show and it went over well.

By 1997 I was out of school and working office temp jobs. My new goal was to record a demo to get a record deal and gigs. I saved as much as I could and got a producer. We did four tunes. I ended up not liking it and became very depressed.

The temp work started drying up so I got a job in a bagel shop. Money was tight. I ended up selling my guitar for $400.

I had no idea what to do now. My music dreams were slipping away. I felt trapped.

airline pilotThen a friend suggested I see a career counselor.

I went to the local JVS and signed up. My counselor gave me a few personality and aptitude tests that match your personality type with different careers. I was a wreck waiting for the results. Had I been wasting my life???

When the results came my counselor handed me a piece of paper. At the top it said:

1 – Musician

2 – Airline Pilot

3 – Librarian

I was elated. This piece of paper proved it. I was a musician!

I decided to keep trying. The next trick was to figure out what kind of day job I could do that wasn’t going to make me want to kill myself.

“No problem,” she said. “We just need to start with your resume and getting you into a job you can handle while you figure out your next move.”

Things changed quickly. I got a job in an Antique Mall and started playing out again. I made a solo acoustic CD to sell at gigs. I bought a computer and made a website. I was now an “Independent Artist” (with a day job).

To be continued:

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