Of all the qualities needed to make it as a Musician in the Middle of Nowhere (or anywhere for that matter), humor ranks pretty high.
Humor gets you through the days when half of your students drop lessons.
Humor gets you through the times when no one returns your calls, emails, or even posts on your Facebook page.
Humor helps you weather those nights playing in bars when no one listens to a note you play. Here’s a true story—I once played my arrangement of “Misty”; as the last note was still ringing, a woman came up to me and asked if I would play “Misty”. I told her “Yes” and proceeded to play it again. I get a good laugh out of telling that one every time.
Humorous “road stories” serve as a universal bond between musicians; every real musician has stories about gigs that make Stephen King’s novels seem tame.
Humor puts into perspective the broken strings, lost amp cords, and ripped off songs; better than broken bones, lost love, or ripped off…well, forget that last. A ripped off song ain’t funny, and I speak from experience.
Jean Shepherd (author of “A Christmas Story”) once said that there is nothing funnier than obsession. And a career musician is quite often obsessive about music: writing it, recording it, performing it, and selling it. And the funniest part is that they are also obsessive about making a living from it. As in: “this is living???” But without the obsession, a musician might just as well go get that “real job” that everyone talks about.
Understand, I don’t mind being the brunt of a joke, but I do not want to be the punch line. Humor helps to keep that all manageable…thank goodness.