Real Life

So, ever since I finished my Doctorate in May, 2008, I have been getting some heavy doses of real life.  I have been actively searching (and applying) for academic jobs since that time (even slightly before), and have yet to even receive a phone interview.  For the past year, I have been living in Terre Haute, Indiana and teaching guitar at a local music store called the Conservatory of Music (and despite the name, is not really a conservatory).  I moved to Terre Haute to be with and marry the love of my life, and even though Terre Haute is not an ideal city for me (far from), the move here was one of the best decisions I’ve made.  However, I did intend to move away once I found a job, which still hasn’t happened.

So, after a year of teaching guitar at the Conservatory (and having many wonderful students), it’s come to the point that I can’t make a living anymore doing this.  The past summer was especially harsh, and I lost many students.  So real life has once again stepped in, and I’ve had to look elsewhere for employment.

Last week, I found a seasonal job at Sony DADC – a large DVD/Blu-Ray/CD manufacturing/packaging plant here in Terre Haute.  It pays well, and it’s a minimum of 60 hours a week (because this is their crunch time of producing for the Christmas season).

Financially, this is a great thing for me and my family.  I’ll be bringing home WAAAY more money than I ever did at the Conservatory.  This part I’m very happy about.

The part that scares the shit out of me is that this will be the first job I’ve had to take since I went to music school in 1996 that is completely outside the sphere of music.  It will be hard work and it will be long hours (4 days of 12-hour shifts, followed by 2 days off, rinse, repeat).  At the end of those days, I’ll likely be drained.  No time for music.  On my 2 days off a week, I can practice and write some, but I still have the podcast to think about.

I know it’s only temporary, but by taking a job like this, part of me thinks I’ve failed horribly – like I’m giving up.  One great thing about teaching at the conservatory is it’s given me time to really get back into composing, and also practicing guitar and learning repertoire (which at this point I have enough to perform an entire concert and then some).  I’ve also started playing out around town, which is something I’ve never done before.  All that will have to slow down greatly.

But, it’s real life right?  I know many others have it much worse than I do, and I probably shouldn’t bitch, but I’m a bit of a worrier.  This blog is a bit more personal than I usually get, but I think many people in the arts are going through similar trials.  I also know that academic job is not synonymous with a music career.  However, the schooling I received prepared me for an academic career, and really nothing else.

I guess there’s not much of a point to this blog other than venting, but sometimes, you gotta vent.

2 thoughts on “Real Life

  1. Hello,

    Don’t you worry. This is unfortunately the harsh reality and always has been. Think of the many greats before our time who made no money at all for extended periods of time. Better a job at Sony then f.e. pimping prostitutes like a jazz musician I love was doing… I realize this answer is a bit late, but still, keep your spirits high and keep it up, I really liked the little I heard of your music. Now off to check out more of it!
    Kind regards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>