by Angie Mack Reilly
I have always said that “my people” are musicians. I have come to know a lot of musicians over the years and the world needs to understand that we are a different breed.
We play to the beat of our own drum. We’re sensitive. We struggle. We dream. We express. We communicate with our fingers and our voices. We get excited about chords, licks, tabs and, most of all, our own creations. We’re innovative. We can be socially awkward. We have a language of our own and we are content being alone. We are prone to big egos and addictions. We think differently. Most of us are poor.
I have tried for many years to be “other things” that promised better pay. But in the end, I am realizing that I just can’t help but being a musician. These are the cards that I have been dealt. It’s what I am good at. It’s what I love. And mentoring others to be musicians is equally as rewarding.
The other day, I had a conversation with a performing musician who has been going through relational issues. His partner doesn’t like the time he spends on the road or collaborating with other musicians. But that’s what he’s good at. When he gets on stage, he mesmerizes audiences with the skills he has spent countless hours trying to perfect. He gets a sense of satisfaction performing for others. He’s working on a new album. And all of this takes time. How can he quit being something that he JUST IS?
I know other musicians who have jobs to pay the bills. But there is always a gnawing hunger within them to play music and to create music.
A few weeks ago, a lady from the U.S Census Bureau visited my house because I didn’t have time to fill out the survey they sent in the mail. She told me that in a lot of European countries, people are recorded as being WHAT THEY ARE as opposed to what their job is. So she recorded me as being a musician and Matthew as being an artist. Because that’s who we are, like it or not.
The other day, we watched a great movie on Netflix called The Wrecking Crew about musicians. During that movie, I couldn’t help but seeing myself. A lightbulb went off. “I AM A MUSICIAN. And there is no shame in that. I am wired this way. God gifted me this way for a reason. I need to quit apologizing for being a musician just because I haven’t made as much money as other people in other professions. I am still valuable. I need to be proud of the fact that I am a musician rather than embarrassed.”
When I see a piano, my hands immediately pull my body over to the keys. I didn’t choose this skill set. I was born with a love for music and I was fortunate to have parents who supported my talent through providing musical tools and instruments as a child as well as exposing me to a myriad of great music over the years.
Some people are just musicians. They need to make and/or play music unless they die.