Last month I was musing about making my own album. I haven’t taken that off the table. It’s something I always wanted to do, and I feel that if I’m always encouraging everyone else to do it, I should experience for myself what DIY is like.
Some of my dearest and crazy-talented colleagues have made records on their own…Beth Nielsen Chapman, Phil Thornalley (very soon-to-be-released), Kasim Sulton, Blake Hazard. I will ask for their guidance. AWOL or Tunecore? Kickstarter, self-funded or small label? I’ll learn from them. I’ll learn from you! I'll need HAaaaaalp
But there are other endeavors rolling around in my head as well.
Like…I’ve developed a belated joy for playing out. Problem is I’m a songwriter’s songwriter not an opening act. I’m never gonna sell out the El Ray. So what about a stand-up one-woman-show about the life and times of a serial songwriter and a changing music biz? (God knows there’s enough humorous material). I could play the songs that go along with the stories. Sorta like my book readings, except I’d PUT THE BOOK DOWN and have a face-to-face up-close-and-personal experience with a small crowd.
(I swear I started thinking about this before I saw Bruce Springsteen on Broadway. But it goes without saying, he inspired me further.)
I could travel around the country and perform the schtick in living rooms. If a host could gather 25 friends we’d be in business. I could sell books...or maybe record that CD (I'd better hurry up) and sell that. Only thing is, nobody has a slot in which to slip a CD any more! It’s such a waste of plastic. Yes, I have a hallway with craftsman shelving filled with thousands of discs. I can’t listen to them though. But I can’t throw them away either. They’re more like Retro-Art (that needs to be dusted).
On one of our weekly Sunday hikes my WorkWife Suzan, shared an idea. She said, “Yes! Write the show" (and "can I come with you wherever you go…because…hilarity ensues whenever we travel together?”) And she added, "Don’t stop there…memorize it, rehearse it, workshop it and then FILM IT. And SELL IT as a documentary TO CABLE." WHAAAAT?? Was she kidding? She wasn’t. Really? I LURVE that idea! (I LURVE my WorkWife.) THAT's a BIG idea. But...it actually feels like a natural flow of events. It does.
There’s a story there, right? Hit Songwriter wonders if there's still room for her in a youth driven music business. Goes through death defying FUNK, writes a book about it and comes out on top. There’s a happy ending. It gets published and nominated for a GRAMMY. blah blah blah. Hmm.
It would be informative for songwriters of any age or for anyone with a dream for the matter…or for anyone who has stopped dreaming. Inspiring (I would hope), for the more mature writer who wants to stay connected to their creativity. It would be heartbreaking and funny.
Maybe I could include some conversation about how songwriters are falling off the face of the earth figuring out how to get paid. But how do you talk about that with humor? That's NOT funny at all.
I hear that cable channels are looking for female-oriented content. I wonder why.
Am I nuts?
I love goals.
I'll lose 10 pounds and get a stylist.
And so, I’ve narrowed a 7 hour audio book down to an hour’s worth of the best bits. I put a mic and an amp in the corner of my office and every night I've been firing up the purple lights and running through the script. I'm enjoying myself immensely. So are my cats. I'm not sure how to proceed next, but I'll figure it out. One foot in front of the other. Like everything. If you build it they will come.
That’s where I’m at right now…wherever I travel over the next few months, I’ll be rehearsing. In the living room of a pal in Nashville next week…or, if you’re LA, on June 10 (save the date), at Gary Calamar’s Mimosa Brunch at the Federal Bar in Noho. (I can’t wait). And some other places TBA in between.
Invite me over!
I encourage everyone to, in the wise words of Nike, Just Do It! Whatever “it” is. Life is short. Let’s have some fun.