While the life of a musician is often associated with a variety of vices, the reality is that engaging in these diversions too much can, in some instances, derail a promising potential future in the music business, and that making your career into too much of a party can be detrimental to longterm success.
Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix
Contrary to the iconic Daryle Singletary song, there is such a thing as “too much fun” in the music business
There are a lot of bad things said in regards to the music business and how it can sometimes appear to be an endless party where adults can act like perpetual children as long as actual young people continue to support their craft. There may be some truths to that, but as a whole, the industry is made up of people who know how to focus when it counts. That doesn’t mean the temptation to indulge does not exist, nor does it suggest that professionals always refrain. If anyone knows how to have a good time it’s music professionals, but it’s how people handle those moments that determines their career trajectory.
Commit this phrase to memory: Control your high.
What high am I referring to? A high is anything you do to cut loose. It is an escape from the current pains of existence. A high can be drinking, smoking marijuana, eating fast food, playing video games, combining all four, or doing something else entirely that makes you feel good and helps you unwind. Whatever that escape is that you think of when work is at its worst, that is your high.
A high can be good. Everyone deserves to relax and have a little fun after working hard. As long as no one gets hurt, including the individual, people should be able to do whatever they please to enjoy life a bit.
The problem is, not everyone can control their high, and some find themselves in a losing battle with the thing they thought was an aide. Addiction is a beast like no other. It has claimed countless industry lives, both on the artist and professional side. Attached to the monster, but also a creature in its own right is depression. There are more killers out there, but these two are in a league of their own, and many see the opportunities working in the music industry presents as a means to ignore the pain in their lives.
Let’s be clear: You should have a good time. There are perks to working in entertainment, and one of them is the opportunity to experiment with a variety of lifestyles and behavior.
If you want to drink, you should drink.
If you want to smoke, you should smoke.
If you want to spend a week driving cross-country in a van with a band cutting their teeth in the business while eating fast food every day and sleeping less than five hours a night, you should do that.
If you want to do anything that does not harm yourself or others, that is your decision.
AND – If you want to succeed in business and live a long life, you must learn to do all these things in moderation.
You have to control your high because you cannot afford to have it control you, and that is what will happen. People get addicted to life on the road the way others get addicted to their drug of choice. Others get addicted to gaming or exercise or laying on their living room floor binging their favorite series on their preferred streaming service. If you are lucky, there will be people along the way who help keep you on track, but you could as easily meet people who encourage behavior detrimental to your well being. You have to look out for you. Your life (and career) depends on it.