How to Be a Human(,) Musician
It’s been a few months, now, of hosting a Facebook Live conversation every Monday at noon. It started with How To Be A Hero For Independent Music and has grown from there. March 4 we talked about how to stay human as a musician. (The video is right there for your enjoyment.)
How to (think about) be(ing) a human being? Self-care: those things we do to be, cultivate, and remain who we beautifully are. In this case, as musicians (though you could use this list for just about anyone, m’thinks).
How do you, musician, cultivate, care for, and enjoy a life in which you feel deeply, happily, meaningfully and healthily human?
TO CONSIDER WHEN CARING FOR YOUR MUSICIAN SELF IN YOUR MUSICIAN LIFE:
Comfortable, powerful clothes
Outside: sunshine, air, water, trees
See a doctor/dentist if/when you need to
Rest/recovery time (before AND after - bookend filling the well)
Give your ears a break sometimes
→ Can you do better than allow for these things, can you PLAN for them?
→ What do you need to fill the well before and after a gig, a project, a tour?
?Do you have on hand your favorite remedies for
→ Sore Throat
→ Impending immune crash
→ Mood groove
→ Tour belly
Take a shower after every gig. (If I don’t do this, I feel like I still have hundreds of eyes on my skin.)
Turn it off. It’s so easy to fall into a hole. Yes, you probably have something to post before/ during/after your gig andbut set yourself a time limit and put the d’vice down when you’re done. It’ll help be present for your work/play/rest/life.)
If you’re going to screen something, stick to one thing at a time. You’ll keep yourself from scattering to the winds.
Give your eyes + ears a break
Checklists/ToDoLists. (But don’t let them become another shackle, themselves.)
Brain dump, free write, free sing, play without listening.
When you’re off be OFF.
→ Do you need some space from humans?
→ Do you need a break from music?
→ What helps you stay clear + sharp?
Other music, enjoy
→ What keeps your heart open? When do you make the time to ask yourself this?
Going into/coming off of a project or tour
Expectations (Will you come to all my gigs? Who does the dishes? I wish you’d call when I’m away…)
Public/Private life balance
→ What do you find challenging/nourishing about relationships with other artists?
→ What do you find challenging/nourishing about relationships with non-musicians?
Gig, Tour, Record, Write, Collaborate
Can you delegate?
Keep up with your Life
Communications: text, calls, emails, mail……..Is it on pause? Or not? Be honest!
Who’s got Home?
Food for when you land. (For me it’s batch cooking: bone broth, cooked beans, stew in the freezer, pasta in cabinet. Can anyone get your groceries, fresh veg? Can you make sure you get this ASAP upon landing?)
→ What food always stands by you?
→ Back to the basics: how are food, exercise, sleep, love, etc, different on a tour/project?
Fan Safety → instincts
“No girls on tour.” (My musical partner, Paul Miller, insists on this one. No distractions.)
What happens if…..?
INFORM YOUR PEOPLE
What are you up to?
How to communicate?
Requests + needs + preferences
How do you ____ (gear up to, come down from, survive/thrive) a gig/tour/session?
Address the impact of the high of collaboration, recording, writing?
What brings you juice?
What enlivens you?
What puts you in touch with your Source? (The Muse, the words, your Maker, etc.)
What do you do to reflect?
How/do you step back from things?
How do you remind yourself to let yourself be?
How do you ground?
How do you manage/relate with the inner critic?
How do you manage/relate to the outer critics?
How do you manage/relate with fans?
What other questions help you be human in the asking?
TYPE 2 FUNNY
Stories that blew chunks at the time, but you’re far enough away that you smile when you tell them, because they taught you something you’ll never forget.