Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Singers and musicians are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth...."*

Sing!
Photo by Debbie Friley
 “Singers and Musicians are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, they face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they'll never work again. Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. With every note, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life - the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because musicians and singers are willing to give their entire lives to a moment - to that melody, that lyric, that chord, or that interpretation that will stir the audience's soul. Singers and Musicians are beings who have tasted life's nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another's heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.”*

~David Ackert, LA Times

UPDATE: I verified that the original quote was slightly different - it referred to actors and not singers and musicians. From the original author:
"I wrote the quote almost 20 years ago for actors but it has since been adopted by numerous disciplines, including musicians, dancers, and painters. Each of these groups have swapped out the references to acting to match their creative experience."
David Ackert
I am still enamored with the quote. It describes beautifully the creative process (but the quote as above was not the original). I'm not sure who changed it but if anyone finds out, please let me know so I can update this again.

12 comments:

Jen said...

beautiful and true.
Though why the distinction between Singers and Musicians? Aren't they all musicians?

edwin lugo said...

You Tell em'.
-LUGO

Paul Nelson said...

@Jen - I think technically there is a distinction between singers and musicians, for example I believe a singer does not need to join the Musician's Union to sing on a Union session.
That said, most of us musician/singers probably do not make the distinction in our day-to-day activities.

Anonymous said...

I think this sums up why music is a dead Art form. 'the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth'! Ridiculous and deluded. I'm a musician but to describe musicians in those terms is insulting to the many people who struggle through life with other battles, and that's before you even discuss the millions living in poverty trying to support their families. A reminder, what made music great was that musicians like Ray Charles, Nina Simone and others were people first and musicians second. That meant they had something to write about unlike most of today's who have nothing to say because they think that thinking you are a musician is enough to make you a great one. Articles like this are clearly written by someone who buys into the fantasy that people who make music deserve something more than everyone else. They don't, it's just a different struggle and not a single bit more noble than any other struggle. Ultimately it's entertainment and it has it's place. That it's place in our society is now above those with greater practical struggles says a lot about our society and the writer of this article.

Nick Petron said...

This Anonymous fool needs to chill out. What are you a bitter failed musician who never made it anywhere? Shut your damn mouth. It says "some of..." not "MUSICIANS ARE THE MOST COURAGEOUS PEOPLE ON EARTH, SO F*** everyone else!" Over-sensitive, hating-ass jerk. The author of that quote is just trying to give props and respect to all the aspiring artists out there who struggle to be dedicated to their art and make something of it. You keep sitting at home making your "real" music that probably no one will ever hear.

Dan Garr said...

Hey Nick, you blasted me with that great response to anonymous. I love your poignant and direct awareness of the greater vision. Your characterization of anonymous' condition was what I might have thought but not brought to words so readily like you did.
Sometimes I rise in the morning like Rocky in the 10th round and I look for inspiration. You made me laugh so hard my breakfast cereal almost came out my nose.
However Nick, please be aware that it was so hard to sustain my own family in poverty as an artist that I started my own business and improved the life of my wife and daughters.
I do understand Anonymous. It's helps to see yourself as humble and common as anyone else. This may allow your own solutions to rise on your path.
You made me laugh with the world today. Many thanks to you and Anonymous.

Matt G (Multi- Genre Recording Artist/Song-Writer) said...

Anonymous' comments was uncalled for... Fact is there is no easy way to making it in the music world. Some of us live every day with that painstaking feeling that maybe this shit isn't worth it. We put our hearts into something "everyday" laborers can't even fathom because they didn't have a single passion to chase. I understand providing for families and what not, musicians have to do that too much of the time, fact is when you dedicate your life to this shit, you sacrifice relationships, jobs that require 50+ hours a week of decent pay... And put up with criticism from everyone and their mother... Think we deserve more???? FUCK YOU ANONYMOUS, I'd be thrilled to make a measly $30,000 a year of my music just to say I'm surviving day to day off a talent I was god-given and a craft I worked my ass off to perfect every day for years... Whatta pompous douche-bag seriously.

DRac-Z said...

'Anonymous' is upset, but read it closely.... it says "SOME" of the most driven people......!
Maybe "among" should have been used, but who cares, as singers and musicians often get the same treatment and recognition as Nurses and cockroaches. Very few singers are truly able to "sing" (as seen on X-Factor, Idol, Talent, The Voice etc), but many still make good entertainers. The world needs entertainers, but doesn't need tone deaf audience members/friends/families that 'phone-vote' a person that doesn't make the grade into a belief they are truly great. Then there are the musicians, mostly very underpaid, under-rated, who are the backbone of almost all singers. Congratulations to anyone that entertains truly well!

teresa bowen said...

This is really an inspiring blog! There are lots of entertainment companies that are starting your record label if you are good singers or musicians but you need to ensure that they are a reliable companies. You should be aware about laws and rules in entertainment industry.

Anonymous said...

I saw this identical quote but with the word "actor" in place of singers and musicians. Trying to track down the original quote. Both attributed to David Ackert, LA TIMES.

I think the statement is true in regards to any freelance artist, musician, actor, etc. Anyone who takes a risk and the not so traditional career path. Although I agree there are definitely some things that take a heck of a lot more courage.

me said...

I'm currently trying to verify this and will post when I hear back. Thanks for mentioning that you've seen this quote with different wording so we can double-check.

me said...

I heard back from the author and he said, "I wrote the quote almost 20 years ago for actors but it has since been adopted by numerous disciplines, including musicians, dancers, and painters. Each of these groups have swapped out the references to acting to match their creative experience." I'm updating the text to indicate this.

Thanks for your interest, everyone!