With how the world has been coping in the aftermath of the COVID-19, some of you will have been able to do what you have always wanted to do by spending all this time creating. Let me be the first to say, I am ecstatic for you! If you’re like me, creativity has been slow going. You get something done one day, the next you are finding yourself distracted by a myriad of things, including the search for your next “Day Gig”.
The job market has been pretty bad for a lot of folks, especially friends of mine who make their livings as performers. I, and many others, have had to find methods to keep solvent and make plans for future endeavors.
That’s why I want to dedicate this post to the situation most of us in the music fields are in: Day Gigs.
For the past nine years, I was working for a company that had absolutely nothing to do with music. I went there, logged in my time, and left. I was taking lessons to try and remain productive, but when there are variable daily hours of 8-10 hours a day, That will put a drain on a person. My family told me there was a marked difference in my overall attitude and demeanor when I finally left the place. Much of this time unemployed, I have been recuperating, studying, and trying to find something that would help me and better fund my music. For me, that answer, for now, is IT.
Now I want to tell you, it doesn’t matter whether you are in food-service, retail, technology, whatever job you may find yourself in. As long as you are finding ways to keep the power on, and put food on your table, you are doing your best. Too often I and other people believed that if we weren’t doing anything in music, we weren’t who we thought we were. I and so many others were wrong in this thought. I have known skilled DJs that worked for Amazon, Blues and Jazz players that work in Pharmacy. You take work where you can get it because its part of the fine print we didn’t read of our craft when we signed up.
In my case, I am lucky enough to land back in with a music store in my area, after so many of them had gone under after the housing market crash of 2008. I am in a position where even if I can’t find full-time work, I am now teaching lessons to young students and it has revitalized me. It helps me get back into the mindset of practice and being active again. So now, even as I look back to find regular work, I know I have something that ties me back to the music community.
That’s what you should remember when it comes to finding Day Gigs. Yes, it will very likely not have anything to do with your craft. Don’t let that get you down! Carve out that time where you can practice, find that connection to your local music community, and most importantly…