Friday, October 15, 2010
I realize I've left this page to collect dust as I reassess my life from my cabin on the hill. Recently, I've also been made aware that there are real-life people who actually read this blog. I know this, because they have seen me at shows or passed me on the street and have inquired as to when I'll grab the Pledge and a paper towel and dust 'er off again.
Since I last logged on to blogger I've been busy getting my head straight, rather than dusting. I moved into a small cabin in Manitou Springs, CO. I've been able to pay rent thanks to my job as a freelance field-technician for a growing company out of Ohio who sends me all over America to install, download and upload various things for TJ Maxx and Marshalls (it is for this job that I leave for Portland, Oregon tomorrow for the third time this year - although there are no shows scheduled, if you decide to pop into an open-mic in the area, you may see me).
When the mid-west tour was cancelled I felt rather deflated and defeated. I just couldn't do it. I couldn't keep doing what I was doing to myself. I tried to blame it on age; "man, if I was only 22 instead of 32, I could sleep in my small car for another 6 weeks". I tried to blame it on the economy: "I don't mind not making money, but I do mind creating debt while constantly working my tail off." These things were both true, but there was a third, overwhelming and frightening voice inside my head that was saying "I just don't want to."
Don't want to? This is what I've been waiting for my whole life! A chance to throw everything I have at the endeavor. What do I mean, "I don't want to?"
The voice was loud and it would not quiet down until I gave it it's proper respect. "No, I don't want to". No, I don't want to live this way for the next 5 years so that I can make a decent wage living this way for the rest of my life. No, I don't want to live on the road. Then, more voices - what am I running from in Vermont? In Washington? In Nebraska? What am I looking for in Oregon, California, Massachusetts?
I always dreamed of opening up for certain acts. "Michael Penn, man it'd be awesome to open up for him." "Martin Sexton - oh man, could you imagine?" It wasn't because I adore these guys as solo singer-songwriters (I do), or because I wished to shake their hands or see their show for free. All I wanted was to share the same spotlight as those guys. I wanted to share the bill with them. I wanted my talent to considered along with theirs, whether my talent deserves to be considered at that level or not. I wanted acceptance from their fans. I wanted validation for the years and years of smokey bars, bloody fingers and damaged vocal chords. Out of the coffee shops and into the streets! I had tastes of it in opening for "Blessid Union of Souls" and Tim Reynolds - fleeting tastes of "I could be a somebody", fleeting tastes of acceptance.
I realized acceptance isn't out there, it's in here (author pointing to chest in a dramatic fashion). That's why musicians who are seeking what I've been seeking through music get that "acceptance" as they're playing sold-out arenas... then develop massive drug addictions and/or kill themselves. It's never enough. You have to accept yourself for who you are, for what you bring to the table of life. That's what I'm doing from my cabin.
I was always quite fond of a Joni Mitchell line from the song "River"... "I'm gonna make a lot of money, then I'm gonna quit this crazy scene." I ALWAYS loved that idea, even in the midst of my recent quest! I don't know that I ever really wanted to tour the country for the rest of my life. I think I would have been fine (and would still be quite happy) with selling "Bijou Bridge" to Campbells soup for a few million dollars and retire - which, to me, looks like making more albums, playing regionally and spending most of my remaining time on earth with a new family nucleus, friends, and my ever-growing collection of sports and music memorabilia.
Anyway, I'm doing great! Man, I can go on, can't I? In summation, if I accept myself I don't need anyone else's validation. Now, once I do that, is there a desire to tour the country and go into debt trying to beat people over the head with my music? The answer to that is a simple and sane "no". I don't need a fan base in Portland, or Watsonville, or anywhere to feel acceptance or validation.
There are thoughts for a make-up tour of the mid-west come spring 2011. Just thoughts. I'm putting together new songs and revamping (or correcting?) old tunes I wrote 10, 12 years ago and discarded. The solo shows are making way for a new project, as Lindsay Weidmann and I are forming a duo. We haven't named ourselves yet, but you can see us February 17th at The Studio Bee in Colorado Springs... it will be our first official show as a duo (our 64th un-official show). Hell, we may even release an album together. I may return to school to study music, as I have no formal musical training whatsoever and wonder what I might be capable of as an artist if I had a clue as to just what I'm doing. That really excites me.
In the meantime, keep an eye on www.jeremyfacknitz.com for updates, shows, and pictures of my face.
I hope you are well.