Much. Time. Passed...Since I wrote my last blog entry. No matter, things have been a mite busy for me these past few years. Amidst the craziness of life with two tween/teen kids, single motherhood has forced me to hone my focus and time management skills to a fine pointed razor, cutting right to the core of "What Am I Doing With My Life?!"
Needless to say, I've become even more passionate about my music, more dedicated and oh, so productive. Having just completed my 211th (!!!) show since beginning on this musical journey I feel so blessed and proud - This is NOT to toot my own horn at my own awesomeness but simply to share my joy because, "I'm doing what I love! I'm doing what I love! I'm doing what I love!"
So...how can I make this thing that I love work? Because it's not just about how many performances I can have under my belt. It's about how can I make this even more meaningful, and yes, finally, how can I sustain myself doing this?
Let's break it down: First the creative part. I am already getting a great deal of joy and satisfaction out of performing, and I really connect with people through my music. But a new Album recording is definitely on order for the near future to give me a fresh project to focus on, and a new platform with which to show who I am within the broader Jazz community. It's time - WAY past time. So, more to come on that in the not too distant future...
A few years ago I discovered that I love teaching kids about Blues and Jazz. I started doing short, 30 min workshops in my kid's elementary school, with the help of the music teacher, then I did it at another school, etc. Slowly it has turned into a full-blown educational/performance presentation that will be provided as part of the Arts & Sciences enrichment offerings, here in my school district, and then hopefully, to other districts. I have so much fun teaching the kids something they wouldn't otherwise learn in their current school curriculum, and showing the kids what I do brings me so much satisfaction because it merges two sides of me; the Jazz singer and the Mom. It's a good thing all around.
In addition, I have been keeping myself quite busy during the day doing more and more performances for the elderly in various types of facilities, from Independent Living to Alzheimers Units, and even to Public Assisted Housing Facilities. I even did a show to a group of Holocaust survivors, which was one of the most warm and memorable performances I can remember, not to mention an honor. Singing for seniors brings so much mutual reward, as the audience shares personal stories and memories of my songs, some of which are quite interesting! The best part is seeing some of the vacant, expressionless faces come alive as they recollect, and begin to mouth the words and sway their bodies or tap their feet. Of all the experiences I've had while performing, there is no greater joy than helping someone dance in their wheelchair.
So, as my son's school principal so eloquently put it, I really do have three important avenues with which to provide value through my music; The Entertainment value, through creating music and performing, the Educational value through the school program I am developing and the Therapeutic value I bring to performing for the elderly. This assures me that I CAN make this work, and I have every intention to. I am following my path, and picking up rose petals along the way.
Thanks for reading