After that last entry and all I put into it and the previous entries that include tips on the music Business, I needed to take a breather(which is needed from time to time). Well that and I have been having computer issues. Anyway, I really hope my last few entries gave you some serious insight into what is put into a career as a professional musician. What I really mean is an original band that plays professionally. All the Orchestras you may have heard(think Star Wars) in movies, Tv, or in plays or operas are all classically trained musicians, some of which have been playing since early in their childhood that have spent some much time learning their instrument that can not only play many complex pieces of music, but can also play them as soon as a piece is given them. Which is also known as “Sight Reading”. That is in itself is something many artists(including myself)can barely do if at all.Luckily these musicians usually are well compensated and receive medical and other benefits from the Musicians Union. Yes there is such a thing and it probably would be a good idea to at least look at that link and see how it could help you. Such as providing an immediate stand in for hire encase someone is unable to perform suddenly while you are on tour.
I am not trying to scare anyone out of learning music or playing. I am trying to give you a real insight into how the music industry really is, and all of your options. Do you really think these people that play in an orchestra spent years playing, learning, studying at a conservatory to do something they hate? Of course not, they probably even more competitive than musicians that play rock. Except they are told what to wear(you have never seen a member of a pit orchestra wearing leather, spikes or blue hair have you?) so we have to be creative and actually build an image, which is usually shaped and altered even more so once a band gets a record deal or a serious management firm behind them. The artist becomes the image that they have created in order to have the public recognize them and their music by it. The best way to start on creating an image for yourself is to ask yourself: “Does this image conflict with music that I am playing?” you don’t see Jazz artists wearing Mohawks and nose rings do you? Also look at what styles you are into and make something based off that, and ask people what they think. But most importantly ask yourself “Will I be comfortable wearing this for an hour on a hit stage will playing?”.
I figured in the Spirit of Halloween, I would talk about stage presence and costumes. Unfortunately KISS was unavailable to speak about how they developed their makeup and costumes. But I do know that they each individually decided on their own make up and persona’s. And as you know became popular Halloween costumes:
In Kiss’ absence, I was able to talk to one of the members of the band Nekronet, an Electro Industrial Metal band based out of New York that is known for their blood splattered stage presence. Here is what Nekronet frontman Keithtron had to say:
“For me, it’s really important to physically embody the message and emotion that I’m expressing in a song. It’s not just for the sake of attention or to look scary, it’s because I want to look how I feel when I’m performing. Our music is largely an indictment of the cruel and deluded world we live in, and when we’re on stage I want to BE the warrior lashing back against that. Also, I want make sure people are thoroughly entertained when they see us live. A slightly theatrical presentation really helps to capture the audience and immerse them in the message of the music. Give the people something interesting to see…. they don’t come out just to casually listen to the album!”
For those of you not in bands looking for a Halloween costume, try to have fun with whatever you choose to be and be creative. Maybe gather a small group of friends or your signifigant other and going as a famous couple or group. I did see some guys dressed as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and may couples have dressed up as Sonny and Cher. Also do make your choice the easiest for you, because after all there is always next year. However, I do I know many people that have worn the same costume year after year.
Whatever you choose to do or traditions you follow for this Halloween, I hope it is a fun and festive time for you. After this is actually a very spiritual time of the year in which the veil between world of the living and the world of the dead is thinner. So the spirits of your ancestors are surrounding you.
For those of you in New York City, I will performing live on Halloween for the first time ever More info here.
Until next time. Check out one of my costume choices from years past. Happy Halloween, Nate