Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Don't Drink The Cool Aid
As musicians we have to always keep ourselves grounded in reality. We are in the business of creating fantasies and magical experiences for our audience. People admire us for having the courage to get on stage and share our gifts so they lavish us with compliments and adulation. This is all fine and good until we start to actually believe in our own "so called" greatness. Don't drink the cool aid. All of us understand what being a great musician is about and even though our supporters love us and mean well, they are not always giving you the truth. I mean they dig it because of the moment and the emotion that was created but only you know the real. I've done shows that I knew I had some kinks or the band wasn't as tight yet we still created something beautiful so when the people come up and say, "You are the best I've ever heard" and so on and so on, this is humbling and well received but you can not internalize it. We must approach ever situation with the same level of professionalism and humility. The idea is to be so consistent that even your bad nights are great but to be humble enough to know that it is really not about YOU. I've played with a lot of great musicians and some of them have had some great egos as well. I've seen guys get so caught up in what people tell them that I actually heard one guy ask a band leader, "Do you know who I am and who I've played with?", he was asking this question after being chastised for not knowing and executing the music correctly. I guess he figured because he had played a couple of "BIG" gigs that he was immune to criticism. He was drinking the cool aid (LOL). The bottom line is that EVERY gig is a BIG gig and it doesn't matter if you've played with Michael Jackson or who ever. All that matters is you competently doing the job at hand without ego or a sense of entitlement. People will always compliment us but it's up to us to take those compliments with a grain of salt and keep our feet on the ground while focusing on playing a good pocket with energy, feel, space and melodic respect for the people we are sharing the stage with. Big resumes are cool but not as cool as a big humble heart. Enjoy the journey.
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