Son of a bitch! They fixed it.

For those that didn’t notice, the site was down. Some disk filled up, at least the partition did.

This made me pretty fucking happy!

I was pretty pleased with this. I was like, “Hells yeah. I’m not telling anyone to fix the site. I’m taking today off! Labor Day weekend? Count me in!”

Some jackass, probably another hosting customer as it’s shared hosting, went and notified the fucking admins and they fucking fixed it.

That’s not okay. I was kinda hoping it’d be broken until Tuesday, and then I’d have an excuse to just laze around and maybe make something on the grill.

Bastards! Now, nearly 5 hours later, the damned thing is up and running again. I’m going to submit a support ticket asking them to kick the complaining client off the servers! This is horrible.

It’s no longer the best day ever!

So, I’m going to go find something to do that fixes that. I am still pretty much taking the day off.

The worst part about the server coming back online is that it came back after I’d decided that the site being down was a pretty sweet thing! It came back while I was typing out my text submission.

Like I said, “Bastards!”

Son of a bitch. No, it’s like 15:00 Eastern – and I don’t see me writing a damned thing.

Hmm… Fuck it… I’ll bang out a “Things Look Different From The Stage” article. Son of a bitch… I just can’t give up on my consecutive articles streak. Damn it all to hell.
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Lessons about performing, #44: Leave your spouse home!

So… I was ahead of the game! On Sunday, I had Monday’s article all set to publish at the scheduled time. Monday came and the phone calls started coming in. It’d turn out that I’d be busy until evening came, and then my ass would be sleepy.

I like to share my article links only when I have time to address any comments and concerns. (I’m still not sure what I’m supposed to do with the site when I go on vacation for the month of January. It might be a staycation, I’m not sure.)

Which means I didn’t submit ’em to the respective sites until this morning.

Sadly, only one of you appears to have noticed and read the article on your own. Y’all know I publish ’em once a day, right? Sheesh! Only one of you came to the site, using your own initiative, and read the article! Horrible! I know what browsers you use – and I know they have bookmarking built in!

You fool nobody!

I spend all those hours, working over a hot letter forge, to smith those words. Y’all can’t even make the effort to visit the site and actually see if maybe there’s a new article and I just didn’t submit it…

Anyhow, if you want to see the article then you can click here. Slackers…

(If you were all actually my guitar students, I’d be pretty grumpy! I’m not really, but I’m gonna pretend I am.)

I need a damned secretary. Hmm… And an editor…

But, enough about that… You should already know your shame! I needn’t berate you with it.

This next rule is one that is actually a bit contentious and some people just can’t figure out how to follow it. It’s a good rule. Trust me…
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Lessons about performing, #43: Dealing with Hecklers!

Holy balls! It’s Sunday night and I’m writing Monday’s article – early! I really am getting past my pissy fit and seem to have mostly mended my creativity bone. I didn’t even go see a doctor!

What I did do was make myself keep writing, even on days when I really didn’t want to. I didn’t even use my “holy shit” article. That one is still in the queue.

It seems to have worked and I know it’s worked for me when I didn’t want to practice playing guitar. Either way, I seem to be a bit more excited to write again.

If you don’t know what I’m doing, I’m really not sure what to tell you. You should be paying better attention! Sheesh! I’ve told you this – like 42 times already.

In the upper right, there’s a link. Click it. It’ll take you to most of the rest of this series and you can see what rules I’ve already put out there. I’m not even gonna link it. You can spot it on your own.

It’s also a few articles behind. My creativity bone isn’t completely mended and I’d have to click the ‘back’ page like twice in order to get the various URLs – and I’m still being pretty lazy and only doing the work that I want to do. You’ll adjust and I’ll update it, eventually.

Basically, nobody takes the time to tell musicians how to actually make a living with their musicianship. I’m making an effort to write down all the rules I can think of. They will not make you a rock star. They might make it so you can eat and pay your rent.

If you’re expecting these rules to make you a rock star, you’re in for a bad time. If you’re expecting it to be easy, you’re sorely mistaken. At best, you can hope to make enough money so that you’re able to reach the upper parts of middle class. You’re far more likely to be impoverished.

That’s just statistics. Following these rules will give you an edge. I know, ’cause I’ve done this for decades. I’ve been involved in the industry for longer than you’ve probably been alive.

Notably, only a (small) portion of my income has been from music. However, it has been my sole source of income. For a while, and more than once, it has been a very necessary income.

It is possible to live on money generated entirely from your musical skills. You can even feed your children and spouse with this income. It’s just a fuckton of work.

If that’s the path you want to take, this series is meant for you. However, you should know this already – ’cause I’ve told you this quite a few times now! Seriously, these intros are a bad idea! Someone should fire the editor.

Alright… On to today’s lesson…
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Things look very different from the stage, #9.

I love VNC. It’s awesome.

I am a passenger in my own car. Why, you might ask? I’m still not fit to drive. I got none sleep. None.

You’ll understand, as I share my adventure with you.

For those that don’t know, this is the most “blog” type of posting I do. I try to make the rest of ’em education, interesting, and sometimes funny enough to make you smile. These pretty much skip the whole educational part.

So, if you’re reading this and expecting me to impart some wisdom or lore, you’re doing it wrong.

These have been mostly aimless and I’ve never really been sure who the target audience is, but they do all have something in common. In each one, I’ve tried to share things that you’d probably not have experienced – unless you had spent some time on the stage.

This one is no different. Though, it’s exceedingly difficult to type in a car, I can only imagine it’d be much more difficult if I were also driving!
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Lessons about performing, lesson 42: Repeat shows!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled content! I told you that I was back!

It should be noted that the articles may not come at a specific time, unless I get back into writing them all and scheduling the publication time. Right now, that doesn’t appear to be happening. Tomorrow doesn’t look much better.

Actually, I might have to do tomorrow’s article today.

Why? I have a show tonight. I may not even make it back home until sometime tomorrow afternoon. I’ve already called and reserved rooms for the band. We’re staying in a hotel tonight.

Can you say party with fans? It could happen!

This ties in nicely with today’s lesson, by the way. See, we’ve played this venue before. This is actually the first time we’ve played the same venue that we’ve played in the past. It will not be the last time.

So, as a quick refresher, I’m writing the various rules for performing musicians. They’re rules that nobody else seems to take the time to write down. They’re lessons I’ve learned, often the hard way, about making money in an industry known for abject poverty.

Following these rules will not make you a rock star. They probably won’t even make you famous. What they will do is give you a better than average (which is a pretty low bar) chance at making an income high enough that you don’t have to beg on the street corner.

If you’d like to see the previous entries on the list, there’s a link in the upper right. It’s not actually complete, by the way. I’ve been slacking and haven’t added the most recent rules.

So, let’s get back to work!
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Things look different from the stage, #8.5.

Yup… Creativity bone is still broken. I did some digging and it looks like I’ve actually been doing this every day for 12 weeks. So, I’m not surprised that my creativity bone is broken.

So, I figured I’d keep it up but I’m going to tell you about the show we did last evening – or at least a small part of it. Why? ‘Cause I gotta tell you something and, besides, I think it’s moderately interesting.

I don’t really write these articles often. These are blog-like articles and they’re a bit about what we see from up there. People seem to like hearing about it, so I might as well share. It’s not nearly as exciting as people seem to think.

In fact, we had no strippers, mounds of coke, or nude groupies backstage. We didn’t even really have a backstage. Shit, we didn’t even have official dressing rooms. But, it does look different from up there. We’re watching you while you’re watching us.
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Things look very different from the stage, #8.

Well, my creativity bone is still broken. ‘Snot like it’ll keep me from pounding the keyboard, but it does mean I’m not very punctual.

For those that don’t know, I use WordPress as my “CMS.” That’s Content Management System, and it does all the back-end work for me. It’s really meant for people who want to write blogs but most of what I write doesn’t feel quite like a blog.

These things do. These are the little diary-type things. I don’t write them for every show, but I’ll write one for this one.

I’m still not sure for whom these are written, but I enjoy ’em and folks read them. So, here we go…
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Lessons about performing, lesson 42: Don’t do shit for exposure!

It’s amusing how bad at predicting the future of this site has gone. It has somehow gone from anticipating making a few posts and being done with it to the point where I try to get something out there every day for you.

I got a question from a guy we’re going to call “Bob.” Bob is not his real name, but he asked why I do this – if I’m not making any money at it.

Well, Bob, I enjoy it. I also like the idea of helping people. People seem to enjoy the work and I enjoy seeing the comments and hit counter go up. No, they don’t click ads, but I’m rewarded in other ways.

Yes, I’d like the site to break even. I don’t much care about a profit, so breaking even is just the goal. Anything additional would go to some worthy cause, perhaps some sort of gift for the regular readers.

Bob followed this up with asking why I didn’t seek out sponsors. Well, Bob, I’m pretty lazy and I might someday want to write reviews – and I’d like those reviews to be untainted with the smell of bias. So far, I’ve written mostly nice things, but I have plenty of not-nice things to say.

So, there you have it, Bob. Those are the answers to your question. They have not a damned thing to do with today’s post, but I’m going to put it here anyhow.

No, today’s post is something different. It’s yet another lesson that you might want to learn. This one has some caveats, but we’ll try to address them.

I’m not going to write my longer intro, ’cause I was busy answering Bob. If you want to see the complete list of rules for performing musicians, see this link.

Now, onto today’s article…
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Lessons about performing, lesson 41: Venue follow-up!

Well, here we are again, my dear reader! If you’re reading this on the day it was published, it’s the Friday and that means that we have our weekly guitar thread tonight.

If you’d like a reminder (and any updates that may apply to that thread) then there’s a spot right there on the right. It says, “Subscribe for thread notifications.” If you put any ol’ name and working email address in there, I usually remember to send out reminders.

Note: You’ll have to confirm your email address. We take issues of spam pretty seriously, so you can’t just put in any email address – you have to have access to it. If the email containing the confirmation link doesn’t arrive in short order, check your trash/spam folder.

We’re a fairly new domain, on a non-standard ccTLD, and we live in a bad Internet neighborhood. So, it’ll probably get filtered to your junk folder. Sorry ’bout that, but there’s not much I can do about it. You can configure your email provider’s settings to filter it to the inbox, which is what I recommend. You can also send them hate mail, or a horse’s  head, but it’s probably just as effective to use your own filtering mechanism.

Now, this is our 41st entry into the lessons for performing musicians. They’re rules that you can pick and choose from – but most of them are applicable, in some way, to your particular situation – assuming you’re going to be a performing musician and would like to eat more than frozen meals and peanut butter.

No, they won’t help you be a rock star – but they will help you reach the point where you’re able to make a successful living by just using your musicianship. It means you might not have to try to juggle three different jobs.

If you’d like to see the whole list, sort of – it’s probably a little out of date, then click here. Otherwise, I’m going to assume you’re all caught up and we’ll just jump right into the next lesson.
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Lessons about performing, lesson 40: Remember why you’re there!

If you don’t know what I’m doing, why are you even here? Sheesh! I write these intros and explain what I’m doing. I probably should have just written one and the copied and pasted it to start every article. It’s a little late for that now.

So, what am I doing? Well, I’m telling you how to be a performing musician and how to actually increase your odds of getting paid to do it. No, I’m not telling you how to become the next person to have an album go gold. That’s entirely unrealistic (sorry, but it’s true).

What is realistic is that you can be a professional performing musician and not have to work multiple jobs. What is realistic is that you can do so without having to resort to eating nothing but generic cereal and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on cheap bread.

The odds of you getting rich are pretty low. The odds of you getting great fame are also pretty low. The odds of you actually being able to afford an off-lease car are much better. So, if you don’t want to be rich and famous, here’s the lessons that have so far been published.

There has been new daily content for the site for over two months now. The amusing part about this is that I never expected to do this. No, I expected it’d just be a few articles and then abandoned due to lack of interest. I figured the greatest lack of interest would be on my end. But, here we are…

I get a lot from writing these. I don’t get paid, ’cause y’all don’t actually click on any of those ads. In fact, it costs me money. However, it costs me more time than money. But, I do get rewarded.

I get rewarded by honing my skills as a writer and, more importantly, learning to understand my audience. That’s an art in and of itself and it’s one that can take a lifetime to truly master. It is also related to today’s lesson.
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