Learning to survive again

At this writing the covid-19 virus has shut down schools, bars, restaurants, theaters, forced people to work from home and for some reason spiked toilet paper sales. But for us, and other people who create and entertain, it has shut down our business and our income.

Please understand that I am writing my own opinions that stem from my life and where I am at right now. Others have had different experiences and I feel for everyone.

Get a real job…

So at 60 years old I am finding that ageism is a thing. How did I find this out? Well I thought to myself, “Den”, (that’s what I call myself) it’s time to bail on this music thing.” So I applied to a few jobs. One of them was to deliver and stock potato chips at grocery stores. After several online interviews I was suddenly halted by an email stating that they appreciated my efforts but they went with someone having more experience. I asked how much more experience could I have? I have been taking them off the shelves for a good 50 years! Putting them back on would take zero training. And I’m pretty sure I can lift a potato chip bag. Even if it was a box of 24 bags I would imagine the party size would still be manageable.

Reality shows…

Then I tried the reality show route. It would be a great way to gain some traction at the expense of the television show. I doubt that I could win anything but I could possibly make a mark or two. And the video I would get would be priceless. They do focus on the youngsters who admittedly have wonderful voices . Many of them are extremely young. And though they sound amazing their voices will change. Mine is pretty solid and I would give it another 10 – 15 years, managing it properly which I do. But again, I got the thanks for your efforts email.

Tribute artist…

Another thing that has hindered me is that I am part of the “tribute artist” group. I started back when karaoke started. We kind of grew up together. So I began all of this singing to tracks. When I sang on the Dick Clark produced, “Your Big Break”, it was to a karaoke track. Long story short, you can stick your head out the door and yell for an Elvis tribute or Frank tribute or Neil Diamond tribute and one will fall out of the nearest tree. Honest to God they’re everywhere and everyone. What can make it harder for someone like me who went the “full time” creator route is the performer who just does it on the side. The person who does it because they want to have a little fun and get out on a weekend. They don’t need the money it’s just a side hustle. So they perform for dinner and drinks or for very little money. Some would call this competition and in a way I would say yes it is. But, let me give you this to think about and then we move on. Hypothetically let’s say you’re an electrician. You went through training, apprenticeships and finally got into the union. You paid your dues and are ready to have it pay you back. But some guy who dabbles in it and watched a couple of YouTube videos is in the neighborhood making extra cash cause he does it on the side. I hope you get my drift.

Meat and potatoes of my story…

I began to investigate YouTube. You can find me on there. I post to it occasionally. Actually more now and you’ll find out why shortly. I got interested after reading a story about a multi-million dollar 8 year old who’s mom video tapes him brushing his teeth and opening up toys that companies now send him for free. He’s listed as making $26 million in ‘2019’. Did you know that there’s a market for people who eat live on camera stuffing themselves with food and making noises while they eat? It’s called “Mukbang“. I hate it when people talk with their mouths full and make noise eating so you may as well be scratching your nails on a blackboard or singing off key.

I came across a wonderful bunch of musicians who take their craft seriously and do an amazing job. They sing live, give lessons and talk about their business of making music. Live online shows are supported by tips as they perform. Donations are made through platforms like Patreon where the creator gives back in a special way to the sponsors with discounts for merchandise, special performances, videos, blogs, songs and more.

Over the next few days, weeks and months I am hoping to build a following in the same way as these amazing kids. I will post videos, try some live stuff and maybe even see you at an intimate House Concert.

If you enjoy what I do please share it and help me build my business back up. Here are links to my social media and my website.

As always thank you for being part of my life and career.

Take care, wash your hands and stay safe

Denny

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