It’s an era of many over-trained and over-skilled musicians and fewer and fewer opportunities. You, as the samurai musician, have to be as professional and dependable as possible only to survive in a competitive artistic environment. Producers and conductors don’t only look out for ‘absolute pitch and innate musicality’, they are also looking for dependable and serious musicians. The people who may put a bet on you are not looking for people who see themselves as stars; they are looking for warriors who can handle lots of shows, know their gear, play in tune and in tempo and do all that with a smile. Try to be responsible: use your knowledge and skills to be the best version of yourself. Know your gear as if it was an extension of your body so the people who hired you know exactly what they can expect.
A musician’s life is made of harsh battles no one can or will go through instead of you. When you are aware of that, being forewarned will always mean being forearmed. You have the right to hope for the best but be prepared for the worst even if it does not happen (and it probably won’t). The purpose is to become the best of you instead of trying to be some version of the cool parasite guys from junior high school.
The samurai’s path is filled with the idea of fierce action with strong determination to make it through. In our modern world, being good at music isn’t enough to build a career unless you are able to create your own opportunities. Immerse yourself completely and do whatever it takes to make a breakthrough. Otherwise, you will always see yourself as a victim, spending your life whining and saying it isn’t fair and you didn’t have a choice.
As a General Samurai, don’t let anything to chance and make sure to have a backup plan. It’s a part of your responsibility because, if you are prepared enough, you will have the space for fun, feelings, improvisation, connection with the rest of the band and especially with the audience. Careful preparation will bring serenity to the samurai artist you are. Talent usually explodes when supported by professionalism and seriousness, not laziness and amateurism.
Even for an amateur band, ambition to give the best performance makes a hell of a difference. No matter how small it may seem, that can be the beginning of success.
The Weakened Samurai
The steroid syringe is packed in your bag. You took it from home in a case of emergency. Tonight, you could make a steroid fix since you are completely out of voice. You are entitled and it could be so easy: after twenty shows in a row, it would smooth everything in your throat. It’s a reward and you deserve it. With such help, you could be like Freddy Mercury on stage. There is no reason to make a big deal out if it, since you would use it for a professional purpose. It totally makes sense and there is no reason to feel ashamed or guilty. It won’t make you a bad guy. After all, you are just a professional who wants to figure out the best possible way to do what he’s paid for.
So, why didn’t you already take it? Because you know that if you start this without strong and conscious mindset, you’re likely to need a shot every single further night.
What about alcohol, heroin or cocaine? The problem with drugs is not drugs. The problem is addiction and a desire for feeding the addiction with constantly looking for the warm and relieving sensation of the first shot. Drugs are the reason why you could fall out of shape (not being as sharp as a blade during the show) or delve into psychological suffering (to wander from reality because you can rid of a personal sorrow you are harbouring way too long).