Entertainers Still Facing Challenges Off the Mic
Last night I returned home from Nashville where never more was it so evident that we all need to embrace the message that we seem to have been given over the last year-and-a-half. You’ve heard the expression before about ‘meeting people where they are.’ While I’m a real networker, it doesn’t necessarily have to be taken in its literal sense, meaning, traveling to wherever someone is. However, if the pandemic has taught us nothing else, it’s that life is precious, and you don’t know what someone is going through. So always lead with kindness (which, sadly, we shouldn’t have had to endure these trying times to learn).
My first full day in Music City last week I met up with a singer/songwriter, doing so at a local café. Every time the server came to the table, I told myself that he is probably a songwriter and/or singer who is trying to make it in Nashville but does that day job to pay the bills. It’s an assumption you have to make almost anywhere you go in that city.
To further validate that point was someone who I know in music that bartends in Nashville to keep steady money coming in, plus another cocktail server I met elsewhere who admitted that, yes, they even have another serving job elsewhere AND are trying to make a go of it as a singer.
I also did an interview for an upcoming episode of “ Now Hear This Entertainment” with the Founder, CEO, and Director of Artist Support for The Artist Minds, which provides awareness, education, and action to promote the wellbeing and longevity of the lives of music industry professionals. When that episode comes out, you’ll hear that nowadays performers are being weighed down — maybe more than ever due to social media — by the stress of not only having been sidelined for a year when everything closed, but feeling they can’t acknowledge mental health issues because of the spotlight on them as entertainers.
I spoke with an artist who said that, yes, they do know some who walked away from the business when the situation got too dire during the pandemic. So, imagine those people in their new workplace and how much they don’t want to be there, what with having given up on chasing their dream. You’ve got to cut that person — and so many others like them — some slack.
The attitude of entitlement that is often heard about nowadays absolutely must go. There’s no room for it at a time when a lot of people are struggling to pay rent, their utilities, their car payment, and buy groceries.
Someone who, like me, was in Nashville from out of town said that back in Los Angeles the recording studios had all been closed due to the pandemic. While you might think, “Duh — that was the case everywhere,” remember that closed out there means closed longer than anywhere else in the country and L.A., of course, is one of the three major music markets in the U.S.
Is it refreshing to hear about people that actually thrived despite the pandemic and are having tremendous success? Of course it is. In fact, it does the heart good to hear those stories since there are so many people who are still mirroring a boxer struggling to get back on their feet after a hard punch that knocked them to the canvas.
But for all the artists out there who you see really riding some momentum, there are others like someone in Nashville who told me, “I didn’t get the memo that we were all secretly booking tours for when things opened back up. Now I see everyone making all these announcements with a long list of shows they’re going to be playing and I’m having to scramble to try to start getting dates for 2022 because everything has been snatched up for this year.”
Meet the artists where they are. Buy their music. Go to their live shows. Tip them a little more generously at their day job. Support them. Their song just might be the one you play when things don’t go your way and you need to be lifted up.
Where do you fit into all this? Singer? Songwriter? Musician? Booking agent? Music fan? Tweet your thoughts to me via @NHT_tweets. Alternatively, post about it on Facebook or LinkedIn. You can also write to me via email. And, if you’re struggling with some facet of the entertainment business, take advantage of my more than 15 years in the business and book a private, one-on-one online video consultation with me.
Originally published at https://www.now-hear-this.net.