Anything worth doing is worth doing well
March 24, 2011 § 7 Comments
Well, not everything. Personally, I try to jog on a regular basis to puncture my ego and stay humble. Also, fresh air. It’s a, well, humorous sight, I’m sure.
Despite my claims to the contrary, I am not entirely finished with MIDEM. Or, rather, a phrase I heard several times as an attendee, that I’ve heard from others both inside and outside of the music industry.
I love being a musician. It’s like I turned my hobby into my job.
You know, I quite enjoyed playing piano as a child. It must be so nice, to work on your hobby all day.
I cook as a hobby. I lift weights as a hobby. I doubt a professional chef or body-builder would like having their vocation put on the same level as my mild to moderate interest. It’s not time that makes the difference – it’s a mixture of true love and sheer bloody-mindedness.
I think it’s fair to say that the majority of professional musicians don’t do it for the fun. We may do it for the joy, but not for the fun. We don’t live off rainbows and moonbeams, inspiration and Byronic mumblings. And we work fucking hard. And, often, it’s glorious work. But that doesn’t deny the blood, sweat, tears (and other clichés) that go into it. Or the requirement to make yourself totally vulnerable, give yourself out freely, and to accept criticism (not always constructive) when you feel it’s too personal and too raw to bear.
Calling the musical profession a ‘hobby’ implies a lack of hard work, a lack of drive, of perfectionism. A simple choice, charmingly made.
Oh, I’ve decided to take my hobby to the next level – isn’t it lovely?
In a similar way that the phrase “homosexual lifestyle” is a pathetic attempt to marginalise the reality of LGBT people’s lives, so “music as a hobby” totally fails to portray what it is that we do as professionals. I don’t practice my Hanon to relax after work. I don’t keep up to date on my research for something to do when I’ve finished the crossword. It is my work, and I give it the best of me. Maybe there are popular musicians out there who don’t feel the same. Which I say tells you all you need to know.