I recently left my full time job to pursue my career as a professional musician. This was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I’ve been playing an instrument since I was 5, and although it took me a few years to settle into the drums (I started with guitar, then trumpet, then violin, and finally percussion), I’ve wanted to do nothing but music for as long as I remember.
On the other hand, I’ve been working my musical career around full time jobs since I was out of high school. I find people have a tendency to get comfortable quickly, and I was no exception. I would tell myself, “Once I accomplish this goal, or overcome that hurdle, then I will leave my job”. Y’know, it never really worked out that way for me. I toured, had a few indie deals with some of the bands I was in, and still that ‘moment’ never came. So, what happened that now at this late stage I decide to take the plunge?
Well, I think that my issue was that I was trying to force things to happen the way that I saw fit. Any band I was in would be run like a military operation, with me at the helm. It never worked. I finally decided to change my entire view on things, my whole perspective, everything.
I went back to school, at the Drummers Collective. I learned every style that was thrown at me. I practiced night and day, which wasn’t any different from what I was doing before, except now I was following direction, instead of giving them. I listened, I learned, I investigated, I asked questions, I WAS A SPONGE. I opened my eyes to what was out there, and let the universe guide me in whatever direction it wanted. I started teaching, I started going on every audition available. I said yes to everything. I reached out, I made and kept connections. And finally, I started to get work. And then more work.
And so it has come to the point where I was able to leave my full time job. I’m currently teaching part time, and gigging. My goal is to be a full time performer (which was my goal all along). It’s scary not being sure where your next paycheck is coming from, but at the same time it allows me to see that the possibilities are limitless. I am not constricted by the guidelines that a corporation sets for me as far as what I am valued at. In the long run, I feel I will be able to grow spiritually this way. I will enjoy the journey.