Now that I have limitless time on my hands, I figured it would be a good idea to give a status update to everyone who cares, since I rarely post on Facebook and not everybody know and love follows me on Instagram, the only social media platform I regularly post on anymore.
First, I’m still alive and healthy, which I’m very thankful for.
Second, I know I said that I have limitless time on my hands just a few sentences ago, but that’s actually the opposite of the truth. Due to a unique set of circumstances, I have actually become much busier since the pandemic began than I was for many months preceding. As everyone and everything else is shutting down in isolation, I seem to be just waking up.
This is due to a simple reason: I got a day job.
Now, I truly wish I could look each and every one of you in the eye and tell you truthfully that I got a day job because this pandemic cancelled my large portfolio of upcoming gigs and took away my healthy stream of income, but I cannot. To be frank, I dearly wish this reality (the same reality many of my working musician friends are unfortunately experiencing right now) was my own, but it is not. The real story is that I have been struggling to survive for well over a year now, getting very little work and having to sell quite a few instruments and other gear just to get by and be able to pay rent each month. So, I have been applying to day jobs for a long time now and happened to finally land one essentially right as the California lockdown hit.
It took a long time, but this employment opportunity was perfect for a few reasons. First, I was at the end of my rope financially. If I couldn’t find a sustainable income by the end of this month, it was likely that I would have been out of Los Angeles for good by the end of the next. And considering I had essentially no musical dates lined up for the entirety of 2020 well before and right up to when the virus shut everything down, I would likely not have been able to find that income through music even without the virus.
The second reason this job is the perfect thing right now is that it’s for an essential business, so I am working full-time when most other people are unemployed. It’s not glamorous work (no retail job is), but it IS steady income and my coworkers are great. So, in a very interesting twist of events, when most people in the country (and much of the world) are now being forced to experience the lifestyle I’ve voluntarily lived most of my life as an introvert, I am now out of the house most of the day and interacting with more people on a regular basis than ever before (since I finished school, anyway). Granted, the “interacting with people” bit has me concerned in the midst of social distancing and isolation due to a global pandemic that I have no idea how my historically weak immune system would cope with if I got it, but right now I don’t have a choice.
The final way this job is perfect is that it’s a few blocks from my house, so I can walk there. S C O R E.
With a full-time work schedule, I now only have a few hours every evening to myself, and most of that has been spent doing some quick remote horn recording for clients through Fiverr. So, that’s another twist: I’m suddenly getting quite a bit of online-only musical work, which is awesome. I still need the job to get by (LA is expensive), but it’s helping me to get out of my financial hole faster (and believe me, it is quite the hole). In an ideal world, the pandemic would be over very soon and I would begin getting all kinds of gigs once everything opened up again, allowing me to go back to being totally freelance sooner rather than later, but…remember how crazy optimistic I was about 2020 (along with everyone else I knew) in my last blog post? Yeah…probably not a good idea to plan for that.
But here’s the point, and I promise it’s a positive one.
I have a job that will cover my expenses, and during this pandemic there’s no gig that that job could get in the way of so I can get down and make some money grabbing all the hours they’ll let me work without worrying about compromising my career. I’m getting paid pretty regularly to record horn parts for people on the side, and there will (allegedly) be a $1200 stimulus check coming eventually which will help a ton. So, even though my bank account looks bleak right now, it will only get better from here. In a few months I could be doing better financially than I was before I moved to LA, so hopefully by the time this pandemic gets solved I will be in a great position to make the rest of 2020 (and the rest of the decade) amazing.
I’m blessed with health and employment and, although my mental health is still very fractured for a lot of reasons, I have reason to be joyful. And right now, I will gladly take that.