Some time back in the 1980s, I read an article in Modern Drummer by Rick Van Horn entitled “Show Up!”, hence the similar heading. Nevertheless, the message stands clear and has stood the test of time, as I’ve used this “one weird trick” to keep myself working as a creative for nearly four decades.
As a lifer in the music business, one of the most oft-asked questions I hear is “how does one get a gig?” My answer is always “Show Up!”. You gotta show up to practice your instrument. You have to show up to jam sessions, auditions, rehearsals and eventually you begin showing up for gigs. Then you’re showing up to recording sessions, and if you’re lucky, you show up on TV and larger stages.
And when you show up, make certain that “you’re all there”. Put your phone away. Be immersed in the moment and pay attention. If you’re rehearsing, remember the fact that “rehearsal is where you go to learn how everyone else’s part fits together with yours, not where you go to learn your part”, so going in unprepared is a non-starter. (Did I mention showing up for personal practice?)
It’s all about showing up. Make time for yourself and your instrument. Take the leap of faith and go after that part or chair or gig or job or whatever. Just show up and be all there. It’s that easy!
And if you don’t show up guess what happens? 😉 Spoiler alert: absolutely nothing.