Found: The Next Level

I’ve been so stressed. Everything happens all at once, and our previous drummer (Chris) taking off put very real pressure on me. I’m proud of how I’ve handled this particular challenge. Not all of my recent challenges, but I did help find us a kick-ass drummer. And, oh man, she is SO kick-ass.

But, first, the failure. Before my drummer jumped ship I had the FINAL shoot for our music video organized for last weekend. I was so excited to finish up this video I had been imagining for months now. Then, when Chris left, I went into a super-focused mode. Unfortunately, it wasn’t super-focused on the video shoot.

My videographer has also been very busy, and she didn’t have an opportunity to meet with me ahead of the shoot. We tried to digitally figure out the shoot as much as possible, but I didn’t give the shoot OR my videographer enough attention. Predictably, it didn’t go as well as I wanted. My videographer did what I wanted, because she’s a professional, but we didn’t get it as polished as we could because I had heaped everything on her last minute.

It wasn’t fair. I should have cancelled the shoot as soon as Chris quit, but I wanted it so bad. I’ll definitely remember this lesson for next time I have a huge project thrust upon me. Focus on what needs your focus. Push back what you can. The people around you will appreciate you whole-assing one thing vs. half-assing two things (thanks, Ron Swanson).

Parallel to this frustrating shoot, was a success story. I worked so hard on drummer auditions. I wanted Nick and Elliott to feel confident in my ability to keep this band running, but I’m not sure they were. One of my band members suggested we ask Chris if he would consider coming back, just for the 1 gig.

Ouch, my pride.

Especially because I had already asked Chris if he was out for the 1/24 gig at Milk Bar, even though he had previously agreed to the show. He was out, he stated. and I didn’t argue, people have a right to quit and that’s fine. But I do struggle with the idea of chasing a drummer that obviously wasn’t interested in playing with us anymore. What would he contribute to the show at that point? Would he care?

I wanted to be angry, but there wasn’t time. Instead, I let another band member reach out to Chris (my pride wasn’t worth not having a drummer, and there’s no harm in asking) and I went into overdrive finding someone NEW to be our drummer. If my team wasn’t confident we could find someone, that was on me. I needed to prove that I am a leader that can find someone. And not just someone, someone that will bring us to the next level.

My BFA is in Theatre, Acting/Directing, so I know a few things about auditions. If you want great people to audition, you have to make those great people aware of your auditions. I went to Gig Salad and found some local drummers that looked promising. I asked them to come to auditions, and they agreed. We had 2 drummer auditions signed up before we had posted a flyer anywhere.

I did post a flyer on our social media, asking for drummers, and I was so grateful to all of my music friends! Everyone I know that has music connections in the area shared it! It was an awesome reminder of how great the community I’ve found is. We filled out more audition slots, and I felt reassured in my own abilities. I also couldn’t believe how amazing the talent we had auditioning was. Suddenly, we had a full night of professional auditions coming up, when previously the band was worried no one would audition at all.

The auditions were such a success! As soon as we arrived for the auditions and set up, I knew we would find our drummer that night. We had an extra audition show up early because they enjoyed our music and wanted to make sure they had an opportunity. We played with talented musicians and struggled at the end of the night to talk through all the pros and cons of each drummer. We landed on the perfect candidate, though. Genesis Valentine.

She’s incredible, a true professional. I feel the pressure lifted from my shoulders because I trust her completely. The rest of the band knows how great she is, too. Hopefully we all learn, improve, and move to the next level as a band. While we won’t have Genesis forever, we definitely could work with her on our EP! Come to the gig and let me know how great you think she is!

Check out our calendar for more information on our gig at the Milk Bar in SF! I’m so proud of the work we’ve done and I can’t wait to share it with you!

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