In November of 2003, I returned for a second year as a Panelist and Mentor at MEIC 2003, the Midwest Entertainment and Industry Conference in Lexington, KY. One of the keynote speakers at this event was David Carradine, and in my opinion his address was one of the highlights of the Conference. Listening to him speak about his career, his life, all the trials and tribulations he has faced over the years pursuing his goals, was very inspiring to me. As he addressed the conference attendees, one thing he said in particular, inspired me to write this article.
David spoke a lot about his ups and downs encountered pursuing his very lengthy and diverse career paths. He talked about his good fortune to have been involved in some wonderful movies, TV shows, Broadway productions and such, but also about hard times he had faced along the way. The times with no work, no fame or fortune, no food on the table or jobs to pay the rent. His career path led him to the top, then back down, and then to the top on numerous occasions. He basically told his life story, and very candidly I thought as I listened. I was able to relate to many things he said, in regards to my own career and I really enjoyed listening to his address.
As David spoke, his musings brought him around to asking himself why he had stuck with it for so long. Why he hadn't quit or given up when times were bad for him and all seemed lost. What was it that made him keep going back for more despite the odds and negatives he was facing each of those times that things didn't go as planned? He answered himself as he continued on, and that answer was, his intense and undeniable passion for his craft.
Passion - The driving force, the spark that ignites and fuels the creative soul.When you meet someone who has it, you can sense it immediately. If you possess it, you know exactly what I am talking about.
When you make the choice to seriously pursue making a living as a songwriter, musician, or as an artist, you face incredible odds against you at each and every turn. Over and over you have to recommit to your goals and make choices that will ultimately decide your fate. No matter how talented you are, so many outside factors that you have no ability to control, will play into whether or not you will manage to be successful. As the years pass, time and time again you are given reason to just throw in the towel and quit.
Over the years I have met with hundreds of very talented individuals who looked me right in the eye and told me how committed they were to achieving success with their music. They said they knew it would be hard, but they knew they had what it took to bust through all those negative odds, no matter what. Each one of them assured me they were special and willing to do whatever it took to "make" it. Out of all of them, I know of maybe a dozen who are still in the business, and half of those have chosen to reevaluate and adapt their career path in some way to make that possible. Like me.
So why do so few people manage to survive and achieve success in the music business? What is it about them that makes them able to hang in there and keep going for it despite all odds? I think David Carradine answered these questions quite well that afternoon in Lexington. It is their intense and undeniable passion for their craft. They are driven and motivated by passion for their music so strong, that they have no other choice but to keep on pushing and working to achieve their goals. Doing something unrelated to music isn't an option. Period. They know they have something to offer creatively and are willing to make the sacrifices and put in the long hours and hard work neccessarry to achieving success. Whether anyone else agrees with them or sees things the same way, they are determined to keep on keepin' on. They believe they really have no choice, for music is their passion.
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