Phantom finished last Saturday. It was a really fun week and all the performances were completely sold out – and most got a standing ovation at the end! I was particularly impressed with the lad playing Phantom, must only have been 16 or 17 but he improved so much as the week went on…
I feel like the most important part of the whole week was the post show trip to the pub down the road. A lot of the players in the band asked for my number and mentioned that they knew someone who needs a harp for something or other. So I made lots of new contacts, which is great! All the internet-networking I do pales into insignificance compared with the work I get through word of mouth recommendations.
Phantom of the Opera is in fact coming to Manchester next month… I wonder who is sorting out the band for that… I’m pretty Phantomed out but I’d definitely get over that for a chance to play for a professional show!
Yesterday I was in Liverpool at the Liner Hotel for an audition for an agency that sends musicians on cruise ships, and to luxury hotels and corporate events etc. As I do lots of background music anyway I thought I’d give it a go and see what comes of it. Most of the acts auditioning were singers, songwriters, magicians or comedians. I was the only harpist, and I have been invited to take part in the agency’s ‘Showcase’ in October – which is a brilliant chance to play for the people who book musicians for cruises, corporate work etc. Personally I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there’s a luxury hotel in the Maldives that needs a harpist all Summer, that’s the dream anyway.
When I think about the place I was in a month ago, the difference between then and now is like night and day. In January, I went home to my parents and cried my eyes out – I was worried about work, money, where to live, if music was really what would make me happy. I had applied for a full-time job in arts administration and had two bar jobs. I had hardly any gigs in the diary and had no idea what I was going to do and if I’d be able to succeed. My parents have always had faith in me and are totally behind me, ready to fight my corner, they just told me to have faith and trust that things will pick up – no matter if it’s hard right now it will get better.
Now, my diary is filling up very nicely and there’s always something I’m working towards, something going in the diary. I am so happy that I’m doing what I love, and so happy that my life cannot be pigeon-holed into an everyday 9-5. I can sleep in when I want to, going to the pub can be justified as networking (brilliant!), I am my own boss and in charge of my own finances, I can never get fired! I hardly ever have to battle through rush hour traffic or be up before 8am, plus I decide how much to pay myself. I feel so free! I have a career that is interesting to talk about and I have no idea where it might lead, or what I might be doing in a year, two, five, ten years time. Sure, money is still tight, but I am getting by and I truly believe that if I keep doing what I love, the money will come.