Like teachers, classical musicians tend to have summers off, and it's a time to relax and spend time with people or in places you don't get the opportunity to see during the year. I was always hounded for not doing a summer music festival, but for my sanity (and pocket book) I need to spend as much of my summer with Andy, and preferably making a little money at the same time. Last summer I was able to do both of those things in the Bahamas teaching at a music school. This summer, however, was a tad different.
Let me start by saying the job market is tough. We're constantly reminded how hard it is to break into a professional orchestra, but I think musicians tend to forget that it's a challenge for anyone seeking a job. I'm sure it goes without saying that I looked into other summer jobs before accepting a position as a pizza driver, and with this being the only job I could manage to snatch, I was led to my first lesson of the summer: DON'T TAKE YOUR EMPLOYMENT FOR GRANTED!
I went into the job with the attitude of being too good for it. I mean, I'm an accomplished musician with a Master's from one of the most coveted schools in the nation. On top of that, I'm great to be around, a snazzy dresser, and an all around bad bitch! This attitude quickly disappeared, though, upon meeting my co-workers, who included teachers, actors, graphic artists, and various other "professionals" looking for a few extra coins. When you're in the arts, a survival job is necessary from time to time, and it was oddly reassuring to know that I was not the only one taking an at-work vacation from my career. This gave me my second lesson of the summer: DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO - YOU'RE NOT TOO GOOD!
No matter how much I tricked myself into a care-free, "this doesn't really matter" state of mind, I found myself stressed from time to time worried about the transition back into the season and time away from Memphis. Over the past 4 years I've been trying to ind my way back home full-time, and it just doesn't seem to be in the horizon yet. Sometimes I even thought, "I could just continue this no brainer of a job so that I'm home year round, right?" WRONG!!!!!!! Being home for the summer is something I wanted no matter what, and the professional (and mental) sacrifice of this job was a part of that package. There's no way, though, that I could be derailed from what I believe is my destiny. Yes, I miss Andy and home everyday I'm away, but there's no way I could forsake the gifts I've been given. Lesson #3 is: NOTHING GOOD COMES WITHOUT SACRIFICE!
This wasn't the most fabulous summer of my life by any means, but I'm thankful for the life experience despite it all. I have to say, though, that I'm even more thankful to be done with it. When the KSO welcomed us back with a pizza party, I enjoyed it as if I hadn't been starring at pizza for 2 months straight. You'd think I'd be done with that stuff after this summer, but some vices can't be erased. Music keeps my life crazy and unexpected, but I wouldn't have it any other way, leading me to my last summer realization: NOTHING CAN TAKE AWAY MY LOVE FOR MUSIC (OR PIZZA).