Starting today I am starting a weekly series called “Thursday Therapy.” For about a year now I have been conducting interviews with almost everyone who has signed up on the Musicgoat mailing list (You can sign up too and I'll throw in a free ebook). I ask them 6 questions.
These interviews started out as more of a marketing exercise (as in “get to know your audience”) but quickly turned into piece of mind when I started to understand more about what other musicians like you and I are going through.
So in an attempt to sharie these stories with you, I came up with Thursday Therapy.
This week I start with the gal who was sort of the catalyst for the Thursday Therapy, Cynthia Brando. Thank you Cynthia!
Link where we can hear your music?
As a musician, what is your biggest frustration (what keeps you awake at night)?
Being a musician is a full time job, with all the frustrations that any person might have with any job. At the end of the day I have to be content with what I strived to do for that particular day. I get countless rejections that can be hard for the ego, and also for the sensitive spirit that a lot of people have inside. It is frustrating to work hard and not get noticed.
At night when I think that I am finally done with working on music for the day, I start obsessing about why my music may have been passed up for an opportunity, and if there is anything I can be doing better, but this is so counterproductive-a music career happens in small steps and requires patience-so I try to keep this in mind, and keep my spirits up! I write about my experiences often at my blog, The Perils of Being a Songwriter, and this helps me vent my frustrations in a positive manner.
As far as promoting your music, what have you tried before?
I have tried-and currently try-everything. I am a member of countless websites that feature independent or up and coming artists. There you can put up a webpage-sites like Soundcloud, Reverbnation and Sonicbids, to name a few. I sell jewelry online in several places-and even interject my music on those sites-to let people know that by purchasing my art, it goes to help me create more musical projects.
I have a facebook page and website-and am always discovering new sites to place my music links on. I just discovered Women of Substance Radio-they have inexpensive ad spots where I placed an ad for one month to direct people to my webpage.
Here in Los Angeles, there are also songwriting networks that let you post a profile on their site. I have been getting some good responses from twitter-I think the key is to post regularly, to keep your audience interested in what you are doing.
What are your goals, dreams or desires as a musician?
I have had a passion for music for some time, and find an incredible amount of joy simply playing my guitar and singing at home-but I have to make a living, so my goals are to be involved in the music business in some capacity so that I can be financially independent solely from my musical endeavors.
Currently I am pursuing music licensing for film and television, and my ultimate goal is to have artists cover my material. I am also pursuing performing as an option, and would love to have a band and tour or get signed to a label. I have a strong emotional desire to connect with people through music. As I continue on the path , I would like to get involved with volunteer projects which implement music as a way of healing. Currently I am about to get involved in a project in Los Angeles, where musicians visit the sick and elderly at a care facility and play music, solo and in a group setting.
How much have you spent in the past trying to achieve those goals, dreams or desires?
Oh dear!! This is a rather depressing question because I have lost count, and the amount of dollars is high! Let's just say thousands and thousands of dollars, which I guess is not a huge amount of money, but I haven't had high paying jobs, so it has been a big sacrifice for me.
Ultimately I am looking for a patron, someone who perhaps sees something in me and wants to contribute. This has happened to me in the past on a small scale, but the truth is, is that I shell out a lot of money to be doing this. I do not do this in a foolhardy manner, but as long as I am improving and gaining traction from the money that I spend, I find peace with that. I get contacted by people in the industry who ask me to spend high amounts of money on certain things-I research everything thoroughly, like a spy 🙂
I haven't given out large amounts of money yet-but am definitely looking into spending a considerable amount of money in the future on a publicity firm, which can be an important step in the career of an artist when the time is right. It is a sacrifice, but I wouldn't want my money to be spent any other way. There are lots of costs-websites, studio time, services, travel expenses, song writing contests-but it is for my dream, and I can't put a cost on that.
How did that make you feel?
Honestly, I do feel foolish at times, and second guess myself. I have a degree, but because I wanted to focus on my music, I have chosen work that is not highly demanding, and does not require an education, which means that it does not pay well.
This does get tiring, because to keep my own schedule, I am always hustling for money here and there, so recently I have had to find a balance between finding work with a job that is more meaningful with higher pay and more responsibilities. The pay off is that the hours allow me to continue to pursue music because I end my day early and have time off in the summer. It is also a job that I am passionate about. Living in Los Angeles is a big expense, but was a necessary move for me (I have been here 7 months) to continue my musical goals.
As a musician, you always have that dream in mind, and you just make it work. The truth is that I have two full time jobs-one of which pays poorly! (guess which one that is?!) But as long as I feel that I am moving forward with my music and have new ideas, it is worth it.
[Tweet “As a musician, you always have that dream in mind, and you just make it work.” – Cynthia Brando #SingerSongwriter]
And check out Cynthia's song “Dreams.” Listen closely to her lyrics because their message provides a perfect way to finish this Thursday's Therapy session.
Thank you for sharing Cynthia.