Don’t knock the hustle.
It’s happening. October is drawing to a close, and we’re entering that time of year when everything seems to accelerate mercilessly. My schedule through the end of the year is, happily, packed with lots of great gigs, like this one, this one, this one, and this one. I’ve also been hired by a composer to record his (very challenging) original music in December, and I’m happy to have locked down a New Year’s Eve gig, as well. Throw in a smattering of swing and country music gigs around town, and, well, my palms are sweating just thinking about it all. Oh, and did I mention that I’m also doing postproduction on my first solo album? As soon as that’s finished, a whole new phase of busy-ness will begin.
Lest I sound ungrateful, please let me be clear: I am so thankful for my full-to-overflowing calendar! Not too long ago, I was waiting tables full time, attending school full time, and doing gigs whenever and wherever I could squeeze them in. My calendar was full then, too, but not with things I really wanted to be doing. In between attending classes and feeding the proverbial thronging masses at the restaurant, I dreamed of being able to focus exclusively on music and leave the constant hustle behind. Ha!
Now, faced with a schedule of symphonies, swing bands, studio sessions, and completing my own record, I find that everything–and nothing–has changed. Gone are the endless subway commutes to Brooklyn College, and these days, the only dinners I serve are at my own table. But that old hustle has been replaced by a new one: spending countless hours at the computer doing networking and correspondence, hauling my cumbersome PA system up and down subway stairs, and many other mundane tasks.
Here’s what I wish I’d known back when I was a waitress/student/aspiring singer: the hustle never goes away, it just transforms. And if you keep hustling, you’ll be transformed, too.