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I am a Los Angeles-based twentysomething. I have a profession, and I have a secret life in music, and this blog isn't about any of that. I like Blogger because I can't read what you're thinking.

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- Piano Jazz


Friday, March 18   >>

IT'S GONNA KILL WHEN YOU DESERT ME

There's a really moving part in the Joan Rivers documentary where she says she never aspired to be a comic. She had always wanted and continues to call herself an actress. In her eyes, she's always been an actress playing the part of a comic.

She also says that she had never been hurt by people telling her that she's a shitty comic. She couldn't care less. But if anyone had ever said she couldn't act... oh man, I don't even want to write about how sad she said she'd be. It's one of those jarring documentary moments every filmmaker wishes they got. While that moment doesn't necessarily keep me up at night, it's definitely part of my mental library of "Important Moments from Working Artists."

It made me wonder about my own life (as most things do, since, yeah, I'm a closet narcissist [this is where you keep your narcissism to yourself and still have the ability to not talk about yourself with others]).

Perspective: Right now, I'm fired up about my new trio. We play tomorrow. To the guys, I'm like, "FUCK STANDARDS (for now)! We're doing The Police, The Cure, Circa Survive, As Tall As Lions, and Arcade Fire! BALLS OUT!!!!!!!"

But what if this mentality bites me back in the ass? What if people say I'm some kind of hack for pandering to an audience not necessarily conventional to most trios? What if my style of trio arrangements makes me look like a fool/wannabe-jazz artist? The jazz community is relatively small, and any deviation from traditional trio form almost always turns heads. But will it be for the right reasons? Will the musicians I look up to in this forum hate me for seemingly trivializing the form? Will they think I'm an asshole who found a cheap backdoor to a niche? Will I be shunned by them? Will I even get their respect?

Most importantly, as much as I don't care anymore to be called a jazz musician, will I even be considered a good musician? At all? Like, will I have any cred for being a musician in this context?

I think I'd break down if someone said I wasn't a good musician. I can take critique more than most people, but the unfounded, general comments like, "You're ...not a good musician" would probably destroy me.

Being an artist is something you can't deny. You either are, or you're not/on the sidelines criticizing everyone else who is because you don't have the balls to be an artist yourself. I'm the former. And it's a painful ride. But it's nice to know that, when I'm dead, I'll have lived a life where I fucking tried. I tried my fucking heart out. And that's better than not having tried at all. I'd rather be an embarrassment than someone who never found out where their art could have taken them.