In the very beginning, I imagined this blog on theowleyes.com to be a weekly (possibly daily) place of release; where the frustrations of my day could be spilled onto the digital page, with hopes that those out there viewing would get a true glance at the life of a working musician. In the end, it became more of a yearly place of release.
I want to be known as a punctual person – but perhaps this blog isn’t the best demonstration of my punctuality.
With that out of the way, I guess I should pick up from where I left off. Where do I begin?
Well, SXSW was fun. Here’s a video to explain:
Secondly, in the time span of one year, I got a full time job and a house.
Domestication – it’s a bitch ain’t it?
Not really. For starters, I got myself a wonderfully girlfriend that I know – beyond a doubt – I could spend the rest of my life with her – comfortable and happy. She’s geeky, she’s sweet, and she works in a candy store. JACKPOT BABY!
But in all honesty, moving-in with her and having this new house together gives me a sense of foundation.
All my life (not to paraphrase the Foo Fighter’s tune) I’ve been searching for that foundation: a job in the music industry that fully paid the bills, so with finances out of the way, I could devote myself fully to my creative endeavors with the downtime in-between my job.
Is my job an entry level job? Absolutely – I’m a customer service agent at a call center for a certain live sound/recording/lighting equipment retailer that I’d rather not talk about; just to tip-toe around their social media policy. Let’s just say, they were the same company that sold me my first drum-set when I was 12. The symbolic serendipity is strong everyday I walk into the office is strong.
It pays well, 8 hour days, 5 days a week, and I’m paid weekly; so the foundation has been set.
Now it’s time to nut up or shut up.
No more excuses, no more laziness, and no more burden of the hustle will keep me from doing what I love. I got the girl, I got the job, I got the degree – now I gotta focus on obtaining my dreams. All I have to do is be responsible, focuses, and calm-of-mind – and believe me, the paycheck definitely helps with that calming-of-the-mind.
Be that as it may, I am only human, and there have been specific musings that hinder the quieting of my consciousness.
Life is pretty funny don’t ya think? I mean, not in a “ha ha,” funny – but more in a “wtf?” awkward-but-relatable type of funny.
What sucks the most is the students that had just enrolled – only to have their lives flipped outside down. Can you imagine what this does to the spirit of the struggling musician? Believe me, even as a student with a drive and a will to succeed, there were plenty of moments where I simply wanted to quit. Of course, I was not in the right state of mind when those thoughts surfaced. Exhaustion leads to not thinking right, not thinking right leads to emotional turmoil, emotional turmoil leads to no sleep, no sleep leads into exhaustion – and the cycle of the daily college life begins all over again.
But during my entire 3 1/2 year run at McNally Smith, I never once felt that the floor of academia would drop beneath me. The sense of community was strong, and even if we felt at times that the modus operandi of our surroundings was entirely bonkers, someone had to be in charge. The teachers placed discipline and creative thinking above all things – they knew us.
But I guess Jack and Doug didn’t. I don’t know what to say about Harry Chalmiers. I know he sent the email, but from what I saw with my friends on Facebook it seemed like his hands were tied.
All-in-all, it’s a very troubling and stressful situation – essentially turning my degree useless.
But the knowledge I obtained is an insurmountable advantage for me navigating the current music industry. The knowledge I’ve gain will provide me with the career opportunities, not a sheet of paper.
This is why I say it doesn’t suck for me. It sucks for the students that just enrolled. It sucks for the ones already enrolled who couldn’t break their contract for the apartments they may have been living in in downtown St.Paul. It sucks for the students who lived in the dorms who had to be kicked out and homeless on Christmas eve. It just all around sucks.
And the fact that no one was getting paid is the biggest piece of salt in the wound. But the volunteer efforts of the professors, students, and local businesses provided the biggest healing. At the end of the day, it may have been a band-aid over a shotgun wound, but at least it was something.
Do I regret going to an institution that closed it’s doors just months after I graduated? No. Coming to McNally is what made me cross paths with the woman I’m madly in-love with today. I wouldn’t change that for the world. I have a nice job and a nice house.
Just gotta keep moving forward.
This blog post (and by extension, the youtube video) is my chance to move forward. I have the time and security now, nothing is holding me back save for my own self-doubts.
It’s time to quite my brain. It’s time to create again.
I promise y’all, Hallelujah Hysteria will be released sometime in 2018. That is my blood vow.
So…with that out of the way…..
Anyone know any good guitar/bass players?
-Ethan P. Teel