How do people who love you know who you are to love? How do people who hate you know who you are to hate? Of all the thousands of sights, smells, thoughts and ideas that their brain is bombarded with daily how do you stand out? What makes them remember you and what makes them think about you?
There's a reason you're at the forefront of their mind. It's not necessarily because you are amazing, or because you are horrible. You may smell good or you may smell bad. It's not that one singular thing. It's because at some point you connected with that person. At some point there was synchronicity.
In a perfect world of our choosing everyone would remember who we are; there would be something magnetic, something electric, some spark that would imbed itself on the brains of those passing by and we would be remembered. The reality is that most of us are just one in a million; one in a million people, one in a million sights, one in a million interactions. One in a million.
I'm a firm believer that if you are out of sight, you are out of mind. How can someone know you if they can't know you? If I was a musician looking for work and spent all my time practicing in a remote cabin by the woods never leaving, I would not get much work. Despite being this amazing guitar player no one would hire me. How can they hire me if they don't even know who I am? You have to get out there. Your name, your face, your legacy, whatever it is that you do, it has to make a connection and has to be experienced!
I've spent as much time at jams nights hanging out and jamming as I have at paid gigs (work), and I've played a LOT of gigs over the years. A lot of those gigs have come from being out at jam nights or just being out and being scene. Yes scene. Someone would see me play or we'd have that connection on stage and they would be like "Ohh right he plays bass and we need a bass player". Next thing you know I'd have a gig. As the wheel starts to turn the momentum grows. In art it's not so much about the talent, although that plays a part, as it is about momentum. Get out there, be scene. Network, play, if you want to get more work. All the players I know who are in the highest demand don't stay at home every night. They are social creatures, personable, they are out there making those connections and being scene.
Tonight I went out to a jam night for the purpose of reminding people that I was back and hoping that by going out and restoring old connections and making new ones that it might lead to work down the road. Before leaving the jam 2 hours later I was offered a gig for Friday night (and Friday night is a good night to have a gig). Don't assume that everyone know you're amazing or that they need you. They may remember, they may not. Show them. Get out there. Be seen and be scene. Connect.
There is an old story about a small town doctor who would be seen quite frequently dashing through town in a hurry in a doctor's horse and buggy. The townspeople were so glad to have such a dedicated person who worked so tirelessly to serve the community. Many years later the doctor spoke about going through town just to make it known to people that they were on the job, even if there was no real place to be. It was just being out and being seen. Did that doctor have a job for life? Absolutely. There is no need to be dishonest but if people see you doing your thing with passion and commitment you will make that connection.
I hope this helps someone out there to go out and go after what you want. You're only stopping yourself if you don't.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, speaking of time...I am out.