NOTW: Creatives

Creative people are insane.

Like, legitimately.

I am actually fairly certain, that all of us creative types either belong, or have once belonged, to some sort of loony farm. We all just, somehow, managed to escape our, totally justified, confinement from society. Maybe we escaped using a smuggled plastic spoon, that we shaped into Abraham Lincoln’s head, and pick the lock to our cell with it. Not to escape, but so that we could go find a different room that had better acoustics for our ukulele practice. Then, one of the guards discovered us, and was so impressed by our mad skills to shred that tiny guitar, released us so we could unleash our madness upon the world.

What a mistake he made.

This week I have discovered how grateful I am for my fellow, crazy ass, right brained people out there. I am talking about the people who can never just see something and accept the way it is. Rather, they take it all apart, throw it in a cup, shake it, then throw it at the wall to see what sticks.

The sort of people when looking at a sky scraper, think how cool it would look upside down, like a stalactite in a cave.

The sort of people that hear a death metal song, then transpose it to work on a xylophone.

I am talking about the sort of of people who decide to throw on a wedding dress, cover themselves in white makeup, then find a place to stand in the park. Only so that they can observe how people react.

If you are one of these people, know that you are doing this world a service. You are adding a bit of kayos, in what would otherwise, be a very boring existence. If you are not one of these types and more align yourself with our left brained counterparts, know that you are doing this world a service. You add much need balance to this world, and a bit of ‘actually getting shit done’. Because I assure you, without you, we would just have a bunch of very colorfully dressed people standing around calculator, all asking “What do?”.

So, if your left brained, right brained, or even have a whole brain, what are you thankful for this week? How about something that you have recently come across that inspires you? If your feeling social, feel free to leave a comment or hit me up on twitter (@PunkMusical). We’ll talk about this potato chip I found that looks a lot like Sigmund Freud.

(photo credit: pexels.com)

Musicians are the Worst Employees

Every time I have the pleasure of speaking to another musician, artist, or entertainer, I have come across a common theme. Food service. I know that this is not true for every case, but if anything it is consistent. I have always thought that it was odd, but as I gave it some thought, it makes perfect sense.

Being a person has been far more intimate with the industry then I care to admit, so many creative people being former food service is kinda nice. If anything at least I am in good company. The reason I feel that if you ask any musician about their resume, that they will probably mention food service at some point is because, musicians are terrible employees. There are always positions in food service, partly because other musicians got fed up with thouse positions!

There are many reasons for that, but the biggest one I feel is that we don’t give a fuck!

Not giving a fuck about a cruddy food service position? Revolutionary Remy! How did you come to that conclusion?!

Look, I know that no one goes into a lower tier food service position or retail position, because they love it. You do it because you have to pay the bills. That is completely understandable, considering that is exactly what I am doing right now. The thing is though I was taught growing up to put my best towards everything I do, especially work. Which is exactly what I did and it got me to running a restaurant. Not to blow my own horn but I was a fantastic employee. I did everything I was supposed to do and then some. I never talked back to the boss, I always made sure everything was spotless, and I had some of the best ticket times in comparison to other Gymland locations.

Then, lets call it the “awakening”, happened. The “awakening” being when I was suspended from work for a ridiculous reason, and rediscovered my life’s purpose to be a musician. When I had this realization I had something new, a goal. This changed my life in many ways. One of them being when I got back to my position of power after the suspension, you better believe I didn’t give a damn about Gymalnd anymore.

Though with that you could make the argument that I was just fed up with Gymland and didn’t want to be there anymore. You’d be right! There is more to it though. Even in my new position, which is entirely different from what I was doing before. I am now a delivery driver and am hardly even in the restaurant. I still can’t say I care even the slightest.

The reason being is now I have a higher goal. Something outside of work to pursue. A dream to chase. After that there ain’t much room left for customer service ideals. Like I said earlier no one goes into the lower positions because they want to. It’s to make money, but it’s a slippery slope. You go there to make money, and then eventually you may get a pay raise, or a promotion. Then you have that much more intensive to stay. Because you put in the effort and invested your time into this position you are starting to establish yourself in that company. You have no reason to go anywhere else. Then time starts to slip by and you have been there fifteen years. You may try to get another job but all your experience is in that one area.  It is at that point you realize, they got ya.

I am not saying this is the end of the world, and some people do just want to work for a company and make a living that way. Which is fine! I couldn’t do it, but that just means its not for me.

For my fellow musicians, we have different priorities. If we could just live off playing music we would, but for most of us that is not possible. We need to pay our bills somehow, but that doesn’t mean we are going to put much energy towards a particular pleb position.

So if you are an employer out there, you have been warned. If you higher a musician or artist for a low paying job, expect them to be out the door in a couple of months.

When in Reality…

I have had quite a few things and people influence me to become who I am today. Which, of course, is true for all of us! Humans are curious creatures that are always looking to the world around them for inspiration, and rarely are we ever are just influenced by one thing. Take for example when you are a child, your greatest influence is probably your parents. They are your gate keepers to the world of right and wrong and you are not about to question them. Not to mention that they shape and mold who you become. Example being if you are raised in a Circus, chances are you are going to be a lion juggler (you know, if it’s any circus worth their merit).

Of course as we get older and we start our journey in this world, we discover other people and media to identify with and attach too outside of our home. This is what really starts to form who you are and who you will become.

I know for me my biggest influences came from friends and music. Alot of these were positive influences, and some not so much. For example, friends in high school asking me if I want to get in on selling cigarettes on campus, probably not the best influences ever!

Just like how some negative influences can suck you dry, positive stay with you and invigorate you. Like I mentioned before, my first real exposure to music was Nirvana, and because of that they greatly influenced my taste. I will always remember the first time I heard ‘Smell’s like Teen Spirit’ on tv after Law and Order (Did I mention I was a weird kid?). The excited feeling of something new, and the desire for more like it, and the gradual rise to my decision to become a musician.

When we finally find that thing or person that inspires us, it is the greatest feeling in the world. Because you have finally found your muse. Something to aim for and to be, but because of this we have a habit of placing them on a pedestal. Often forgetting that they are human too. They sometimes feel insecure about things, feel worry, sometimes don’t sleep well at night. Most of all get burnt out because fans and the world demand so much from them.

A few years ago I discovered a band that quickly became my greatest influence. They had the charisma, the musical skill, and label to make them complete bad-asses in my eyes. As time goes on, though, drama is sure to follow. This band announced, seemingly out of no where, that they have had enough of their label and broke their contract to go independent. Which is great! More creative freedom and independence! Little did they mention probably how hard that was for them. They lost their safety net and were on their own in a world that is known for being merciless, and as time went on cracks started to show. One particular member started to feel that he just had to keep pumping out something otherwise they would disappoint the fans. Even getting to a certain point to think of quitting.

When I found this out I was heart broken. I realized that I was among thous fans who were demanding so much from them, giving nothing in return. I had forgotten they were too, human. Just like I was. That they were fighting to keep afloat in this world, just like I was.

We fans love to receive and often forget to give back. The being said, there is nothing wrong with enjoying music or media that someone has made. It is a job that they love have chosen to take up for you enjoy the fruits of their labor! It’s a seemingly win win situation, but we do forget sometimes they they are human too. Humans that need breaks and coffee just like we do. Though we like to pretend our influences are gods, the exact opposite is true. They make mistakes and are learning just as much as you and I are.

Bringing your idol back down to your level actually isn’t such a bad thing either. It’s a reminder that they have the same struggles that you and I do. Just remember, like how you and I need some loved heaped on us to get through a day, so do they.