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Friends withOUT Benefits

Tag: Podcast

Be Nice

I’ve been making music since 1987. I’ve played live in Gainesville, New York, Texas, Los Angeles, Highland Park and Chicago. I’ve recorded albums. I’ve created videos.


No one cared.

For 3 years I had a radio show.

No one cared.

I’ve hit open mics, participated in countless songwriter competitions, made the pilgrimage to the South Side of Chicago for story jams.

No one cared.


I would argue this is the best thing that ever happened to me. It helped me to get underneath a lie. Here’s the lie…

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

This is what you’re told to get you back on track by people who’ve let go of their dream, or never had a dream to begin with and by getting you to act like them, there’s a sense of camaraderie.

But make no mistake, they want you to be in the club where you’re as miserable as they are, and at the same time, those who have found the spotlight are too busy dancing with the moment to lend a hand. How can you blame them? What’s more satisfying than being prolific when there’s asses in seats or jiggling to your groove.

Insanity is listening to people who push you around by offering a hug. I would argue doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a slightly different result is the definition of craft.

Seek out the rough drafts of Picasso. Seek out clumsy versions of Starry Night where van Gogh didn’t get the colors right. Seek out the rejected poetry of Emily Dickinson. Seek out the early versions of The David where the marble penis is chipped.

I spent most of my 20’s and early 30’s chasing a result. What a waste of time and energy. Turns out, the work happens on the other side of bombing, in taking the note from the failure, in getting back up. Turns out, the shows that went the best actually held me back since I began dreading the next show, creating excuses to skip an appearance, clinging to the glory.

Glory is a waste of time. Pining for rejection is the calling card of mastery.

Do the work. Love the work. Treat the naysayers like trolls, have fun with them on Twitter, have fun with them on Yelp. Be nice! It confuses them.

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