Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jazzy survival

There is another type of survivalist I  was not aware of.  The Jazz survivalist.

The piece I am quoting notes that there are far more people who graduate from University music programs with a burning desire to make their living at playing Jazz.  Although there are a number of strategies, entertainingly noted, that can be used.  But naturally,we gravitate toward the one called
"The Survivalist".

Careers in Jazz
Bill Anschell, All About Jazz, 17 June 2012 (hat tip: MR)

Unlike the more highly trained and thoroughly moneyed Career Professionals, Survivalists typically bounce among unskilled jobs, taking them mainly out of desperation as their gigging income falls short. More often than not this sets off a perpetual cycle of gigging, falling into debt, washing dishes or working at a music store to get back ahead, quitting to gig full-time again, then falling back into debt. Few have the wisdom to leave the jazz world altogether; many are trombonists.
Artists in this group are envious of Gig Whores [jazz lounge lizards], who are more successfully able to troll the depths of the music world for scraps. They view Epiphytes [starving artists] with ambivalence, being reluctant to admit that they are separated from them only by a lack of talent.
Identifying Sign

  • Air of desperation
  • Bad teeth
  • Domino's car-tops
Survival Techniques

  • Pyramid schemes
  • Selling cell phones and sunglasses in makeshift mall kiosks
  • Drug-dealing

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