This was taken from the van as we entered Manhattan.
The past number of weeks have been a blur for me. I spent about a month rehearsing for a show in New York City with a band that I play in. The artist, who’s been signed to a major label, I’ve played with since June and the label set up a show for her for industry people. The band packed up a van with all our music gear and clothing and we drove 10 hours to NYC. The label put us up in a hotel in lower Manhattan and from there another band member and I did some exploring. We ate the local food (too much deliciousness to talk about) and we also experienced a NY jazz jam session. MUCH different than the Detroit sessions I’m used to but awesome nonetheless. These musicians were on another level.
The next day, we did some minor sightseeing and even rode the subway for the first time before prepping for our show. We arrived at the venue, got setup and waited for showtime. When we got on stage, it was a strange feeling but all we did was what we’ve done before… put on a great show. The show went very well and everyone loved us. After the show, we were invited to an after party with some of the label people and industry moguls. It was at that after party that I realized that I had taken a major step forward in my life. Oh sure, the free food and drinks were great but when you’re sitting in a room with people from MTV, New York radio stations and sitting down and talking to and breaking bread with the COO of EMI, you realize that you’ve truly accomplished something major in life. It was awesome to make some great contacts in the room and I wish I could’ve spoken with everyone there but I did plenty of talking We spent an additional day in NYC and got to hang in Brooklyn before coming home.
When I got home and woke up the next morning, I had to sit in awe of what just happened. I didn’t just go to New York to play music, I was living my passion! I wasn’t just playing music, I was traveling and playing music! Something that I’ve always wanted to do in my life even when I was singing, long before I picked up a saxophone. I lived something I’d only dreamed about before.
Along Come New Appreciations
One of the things I realized is that the end product was a result of everything I’ve done in the past. Unfortunately, I have a terrible habit of not giving myself enough credit for the things I do. In this case, I had to reflect on my past experiences. All of the time I spent practicing, rehearsing, going to jam sessions, taking gig opportunities whether they were “right” or not and ultimately, performing, I gained a new appreciation for. I realized that I didn’t get this opportunity by sitting on my hands and waiting for a call, I earned it! I created it by doing all of the fore mentioned things. I put lots of time into my craft and I saw the fruits of the labor firsthand. There’s nothing greater than knowing you created something.
This experience was more than I could ask for. In the end, I feel like this trip humbled me. I learned things about myself that I never would’ve learned. I saw a place I’ve never seen and always wanted to visit. I gained an appreciation for the growth process that I didn’t before. I also learned to be grateful for each experience. There’s a lesson to learn in everything but also to cherish those experiences because they may never come again. From this point, I’m not exactly sure where to go but I do know one thing… I want to continue to have these experiences. I want to continue to have fun and live my passion on a daily basis. I feel like everyone needs an experience like this because it puts everything everyone taught them into perspective. I think my next goal will be to create a set of goals to accomplish. Something I’ve never done before.
As for NYC, I don’t know when, but I’ll be back for sure!