Friday, August 23, 2013

Getting Back Into The Game.

Steve Schalchlin's soon to be released CD,
Tales from the Bonus Round.
Artwork by Peter Grundy.
Though I've kept my diary going, I've been staying mostly out of the spotlight, preferring to support Jim in Zero Hour and, now, Character Man.

Behind the scenes, though, I've been doing a lot: Writing, Studying, Practicing, etc.

I told a friend the other day that I have been attending the University of Steve in New York. Studying advanced musical composition with Mark Janas and studying acting and theater with Andy Gale.

I've sung around a bit. A song here or there. I've kept my chops up by singing in the Christ Church Bay Ridge Church choir.

But I haven't put on a formal, actual concert in a long time. The last time was in Olympia a couple of years ago. The last one in NY was a night with Amy Coleman.

Which means I have to sell tickets, for the first time in forever. Ugh. I hate asking my friends to buy tickets because, here in this city, everyone I know has THEIR own show, and I get invites almost every day, and nothing is cheap. There's usually a cover charge and a 2-drink minimums, which is okay if it's a special night. But to do it every night? Impossible.

So, that means I have to find people outside my little circle of performer/friends, though many may come if I ask them to sing with me, which I know I will do. (But then, if they're going to sing, I can't make them pay.)

And that's where all of us hit that wall. How do you find an audience? How does your audience find you?

I'll tell you a little secret, reader:

I'm not actually famous.

I know. Shocking. But true. I'll prove it: Walk out your door and go up to the first 20 people you meet and ask them if they've heard of me. I promise, you won't find one.

It's just you and me, here doing this.

I have two big events coming up. On September 21st, I am being honored as Musician Of The Year by Christ Church Bay Ridge on the occasion of their 160th birthday. Since it's a fundraiser, tickets are $160, though they said they'd work with people if they can't afford it.

Earlier that day, Jim and I will be singing at Fall Cabaret fundraiser at the Unity Center.

But the big show, for me, has now been set. I've made the commitment to the Metropolitan Room. I need to sell 100 tickets. That shouldn't be so hard, right? $20 plus two drinks.

There are so many tourists in this town on any given day, surely I can sell a few to them.

But who knows?

I have completed the recording of the new CD, live in the studio exactly as I promised. You can even hear the pedal when I let off the sound. You can hear my foot hitting the floor, keeping time. It's intentionally organic.

I did this in reaction to the fact that, with electronics, even the worst singers and players can be made to sound good. So, no pitch correction. No overdubs. With headphones, it will feel like you're inside that magnificent Yamaha piano.

It will sound exactly as if you're sitting in the room with me, jamming and singing on the songs like I do when it's just me alone, letting the sounds of the piano fill my body with its healing vibrations. With headphones, you'll be in heaven.

And that's it. That's me getting back into the game. Will it lead to more touring? I don't have the physical ability for a lot. But I'm scheduled to go back to Olympia in January, paired again with the Righteous Mothers -- one of the best concerts ever, when we did it several years ago.

If you want me to come to your own hometown, help me make it happen. Because, until and unless Tales from the Bonus Round sells or streams in the millions, there's only you and me. And I'd much rather sing for you. 

No comments: