Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Be the audience member you'd like to have

We recently had a fellow musician attend one of our shows, and it left me with a bad taste in my mouth about them - which was disappointing, because I had admired them before they came to our show. Let me back up.

If you're in a scene for any length of time, you will come to know other musicians, and you'll attend their shows, and they'll attend yours. Hopefully some of those other artists will become (if they weren't already) actual friends!

Okay, well, that's not -- whatever. Sure. Friends.
Everyone tells you networking is really important. What no one tells you is that no matter how much you like other artists, you'll always feel a certain amount of competition with them. That competition can be motivating and provide an opportunity to learn from what others are doing and grow as an artist, or it can ruin your relationships.

If you allow it to be toxic, you'll find yourself jealous of the gigs they play, trying to find fault with their performance, hoping they'll fail. This is a shitty way to feel and to be, for you and for them.

But it's also probably not realistic to say that you should be hoping all the other bands you know will be super successful even if you're not. You're working hard. You believe in your product. You want to be successful. Hoping for someone else's success when you're getting nowhere may be very Jesus-like, but it's probably not very human-like.