The Way Forward

musings of a professional dreamer

I’m home after a month on the road and am planning my next attack. It’s been an intense ride so far and I’m pretty chuffed with how this year has panned out, but there’s still more to come. With seven tours to major cities around the country, a national tour, shows on home soil and a few festivals under my belt, there are still more tours and festivals to come before the year draws to a close, which I reckon is not bad going for an independent… even if I do say so myself.

I’m on the lookout for an agent to help streamline my touring schedule a little, and I’m hoping to get more involved in corporate entertainment over the next few months. I would love to say that living the dream pays the bills, and granted, to a certain degree it does, but the reality is that you need money to make money and let’s not beat around the bush, the corporate world is where it’s at. That’s not to say that the adventure so far has been entirely unviable, I wouldn’t still be going if it was, but there are limitations to an exclusively dream-focussed career. There are music videos to make, new albums to record, and many more tours, nationally and internationally, that require an increase in resources. I spent so many years in the corporate world struggling with these same issues so it’s not like my financial situation has really changed much. The good news is that tours have started paying for themselves, album sales have increased, and during my short stays at home between tours I’ve managed to add a few more notches to my voice over portfolio belt, which, apart from adding some extra income to my monthly kitty, has also been great fun.

And so the way forward… this month I’m performing at three festivals, the Hilton Arts Festival, White Mountain Festival, and Aardklop National Arts Festival, before heading back to Gauteng for round five. I’m currently in negotiations for an exciting event in November, which will mark my first venture out of South Africa and will, if all goes according to plan, put me in the financial position to pay for the next album which I’m planning to record at the end of the year in Cape Town. I’m desperate to get back into the studio with an album that’s been (almost) ready and waiting for a few months now, and am determined to find the resources to get it out there into the world. Aside from the excitement of being back in the studio with some of my favourite musicians working on this new material, I’m desperate to hear what’s in my head come to life! The wait is torturous!

As rock ‘n roll as this constant touring sounds, life on the road is not always what it seems. Some tours are awesome, and some are nightmarish. Sometimes, it just doesn’t pan out the way I planned… shows get cancelled, venues don’t always pay, and occasionally I’ve played to a handful of people which can be soul-destroying… but those times when it does work make up for all the times it didn’t, and somehow it wills me on to do it all over again. At the end of the day, it’s not about the money. It’s about the tapping feet, the girl who said she cried in that song when she heard her words in mine, the giggles at my sarcastic jokes and the moments that move me to write more honestly and more often.

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© Shannon Hope 2017