Life update time. This post, if it had a subtitle, would be "Meg Gives Herself A Pep Talk"
I'm going back to working full time with healthcare software. I'm not going back to work directly for Epic, but I will be working with the software again. I will be independently contracted to use my skills working for a hospital.
Why am I doing it?
2. I enjoy the intellectual challenge of the work
(I'm going back to work for the money.)
Why do I need the money?
1. I'm moving to New York, the most expensive city in the country. I'm not going there without $ in my savings account and a steady income. I'm not going there without being able to afford to see a Broadway show whenever I want. That would be like buying a house and never living in it. Oh wait...I do that now...well...more validation for me!
Christina winning at Empire State of Mind
2. To afford my lifestyle: I like to go out, I like treating my friends to things, I don't want to have to leave my studio (I pay monthly rent to operate out of Clutch), and mostly it really stresses me out to worry about it. I'd rather worry about my job itself than about money anymore. Everything's a trade off isn't it?
3. I realized I don't really like teaching. If I were to continue to try and make it work as a musician, I'd have to get a lot more students. And I realized I don't really like teaching private lessons. At least, not to the volume of students I would need to have in order to make it work. Too often I find myself with a sweet young person having a hard time clapping out eighth notes and although I do have the patience gene, I am shouting 'JUST BE BETTER!' in my head so....I don't think I'm cut out for teaching.
4. Doing shows in Madison doesn't pay enough, doing shows outside of Madison is always a crap shoot whether you'll make money or not, theater pays poorly compared to the amount of time you sink into it, there's not enough bands who I actually want to record, I refuse to take on projects I'm not passionate about, etc. Long story short I'd rather only work 40 hours/week doing something that I'm good at, knowing I have a steady income, and a really good one, rather than work all the time for not enough money doing work with music that I'm not into. I've learned a lot in the year and a half I haven't had a 'normal' job. It's kind of ironic that I want to go back....'want'....but I do. ($$$)
Reminds me of Liz Phair's song 'Shitloads of Money'
"It's nice to be liked / But it's better by far to get paid / I know that most of the friends that I have / Don't really see it that way / But if you could give 'em each one wish / How much do you wanna bet? / They'd wish success for themselves and their friends / And that would include lots of money"
5. It's really insane just how much I can make working with software. I'm gonna be like Robin Hood stealing from Rich Meg and giving it to Rockstar Meg, using my paycheck fuel to buy amps and stage dolls and ridiculous merch and protools plug-ins and weird fashion choices. Consulting is less hours than I was working at Epic, it's less pressure, and it's more money. It's a win-win-win. PLUS I'm gonna buy like 5 couches and throw more house parties. Good god I miss throwing house parties. You know, the good kind where I buy all the booze and you come over and plan on crashing on one of my 5 couches? The kind where we're up until the birds start chirping at 6am and we've been arguing about string theory for hours, not the scientific kind but the spiritual kind because we're too drunk to recall any facts and we're just pretending we're right? The kind where when you wake up the next day at noon the table is literally full of beer cans and you test each one to see how much is left and you drink that for breakfast along with the rest of the half eaten cold pizza? Yeah I miss that.
Doggy Robin Hood: My Hero
Why am I moving?
1. I've always wanted to live in NYC. Ever since I went for the first time when I was 18. I fell in love with it. If not now, when?
2. I want representation. The kind that you have to go to a bigger city in order to get. I've realized I don't want to pursue the DIY model anymore. It's too much work for too little gain. I'm not giving up until I'm on a tour bus. I just really want a bus. And I want to play Bonnaroo.
3. The current music scene in New York is really cool and I want to be a part of it. Jake and I are starting a new band and we plan to take over the world, nbd.*
A visual representation of how few women perform at summer music festivals. Less than 30% of bands have just one women in the band. This means the gap is even more when you think about the performers male:female, not just the bands. Let me in there, dammit.
I'm scared that I won't be able to have the discipline to go to bed before 2am so I can wake up in the morning. I'm worried I won't have time to write or see my friends or take care of myself (i.e. eat healthy, exercise). I feel a sort of guilt that I've given up somehow, that I'm selling out, that I'm selfish. If only I would have worked harder or smarter I would be doing fine. I'm scared that I'll miss my community and my friends too much.
Well, I'm still making the choice to do it. I've burned the candle at both ends before and I can do it again, it's just going to take focus. New York is a tough city, but it is my favorite city and I'm really stoked to wrestle it to the ground and make it my bitch. The music scene there is awesome and I'm gonna bury my face in it like a big pair of ...soup. If I end up hating it, or if I'm put in a position that compromises my ideals or my ability to continue to make music, I will come back. Proudly. With my tail wagging, with lessons learned, with secrets of how the biz works in a bigger city, eager to play with my friends again.
Madison is a fantastic city and I am incredibly aware of the awesomeness I'm choosing to leave. From all of the people that I love to the liberal culture to the little things like Tom Ka at the Weary or running down State Street or seeing bands at The Frequency or playing The Frequency or making out in the basement of The Frequency or the couch that I sleep on at The Frequency or the couch that I sleep on Emily's shoes at the High Noon or the candy in the basement of the Crystal Corner or dancing at The Cardinal or karaoke at Plan B or BSG or freezing in the Merc Lab or running up and down the stairs trying not to trip and fall on my face at The Bartell on my way back from buying a pint of Bitter Woman at intermission...or the amazing community that is Girls Rock Camp. Speaking of, I still plan to teach GRC once/year until the end of time so that's great too.
I got a job through a firm working for Meriter, so I will be staying in Madison working ye olde 8am-5pm Monday-Friday starting on November 11th.
I'm going to throw a 'Un-Retirement Party' at my house and everyone should wear their slacks, blazers, and business socks. (I don't know when this will be, probably not until December.)
Re: moving, I need to sell my house. My realtor told me the best time to do that is in the spring. So as long as that works out, I estimate we'll move in May. Plan is the Lower East Side in Manhattan. There are some cool venues and rehearsal spaces in that area. Assuming our income is what I expect it to be, we'll have a 1 bedroom so we can host friends for visits!
Ok, phew, now it's out there. Thanks for reading the inside of my head.
*We really are starting a new band. The working title is Howl & Move. It's based off a John Lennon quote related to his guitar playing: "I'm okay; I'm not technically good, but I can make it fucking howl and move." We have been writing new songs and are going to record an album at Clutch in January with Emily Mills drumming. We'll do a release party in Madison and then take those songs to NY. And there will be much rejoicing!
More Courtney quotes to inspire me and you:
"I wanna affect culture in a very large way," she said in the early 90s. "If I fuckin' die without having written two, three, or four brilliant rock songs, fuckin' I don't know why I lived."
"I think commercial success is really important—it means you're affecting the zeitgeist. If only a hundred people know you exist, it's harder to get your message across."