I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my stuff…

Sometimes at those points in life when you feel like you’re just drifting, maybe you’re just headed toward better shores…

Had a very uplifting heart-to-heart with one of my oldest friends earlier today about the music. Like I told him, I haven’t gigged in almost a year, although I maintain my practice regimen and my love of the music and of performing has not diminished. Matter of fact that’s why I started taking lessons over a year ago was because I wanted to keep myself inspired and wanted to continue to grow.

Bottom line? After more than 30 years of playing bar gigs I just don’t know if I can take that anymore. At this stage I’m thinking and believing there just has to be more. If there isn’t then I will continue to perform and create for myself and whatever small circle wants to listen, but there does come a time where you have to ask yourself “Is this all there is?” and then decide if that’s what you’re willing to accept.

The answer I keep getting back from deep down inside is no, I’m not. This hardly means I feel like I should be playing Carnegie Hall or the Hollywood Bowl by now (although I am not opposed), but I think most would agree there is quite a wide and wonderful gap of rich and fulfilling performance opportunities existing between all-night bar gigs that never end and pay nothing, and Carnegie Hall.

The point here is that growth is essential to creativity. You either grow or you die. Well, maybe not die, but then running in place may be even worse. And I know that when I first picked up the guitar at age 12 after my cousin Rowena first introduced me to Jimi Hendrix when she bought his “Smash Hits” album and played it for me, running in place and settling for less was not what I had in mind. To quote Erykah Badu (with her crazy self) “I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit.”

And that’s OK, because, as an artist, I should be.


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About the author
Writer and musician.


Joel Wise

2015-02-25 08:23:59 Reply

A person has to do something and lean back and say, “I love this.” Music, writing, sports, it makes no difference what it is. Satisfying yourself is the goal in life. Try everything you have an interest in. My biggest fear is laying on my deathbed and saying, “why in the hell didn’t I try that.”

Good writing Keith.



    2015-02-25 11:24:18 Reply

    Thank you Joel. I always say the purpose of reaching for the stars isn’t that you will actually grab one, but that in doing so you’ll rise higher than you ever would have if you hadn’t tried.

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