Keeping Your Shit Together with Laura Cortese and Shannon Heaton: to arouse the creative spirits of self-employed musicians, helping more of us to be KYST every single day!


What a lucky thing to make a living performing music we love!


It can be a wild juggling act to make time for music and all the administrative work and pre-travel prep. But it’s possible to boil the job down to a few juicy basics and still build a strong and vibrant performing career.


Here are a few simple and effective ways to go about Keeping Your Shit Together—some of our darkest, deepest secrets. So, pucker up and prepare to begin Keeping Your Shit Together!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Enoying the Ride

Happy Spring! Just two things for you this month: 

First, we are gathering ideas for future blog posts (and PODCASTS!). Got something you'd really like to see covered? Send along your ideas to Laura at LauraCortese dotcom with KYST in the subject line. 

And second, we are each gearing up for Spring/Summer touring with our various touring projects. Our fresh resolve while we're on the road: enjoy the ride. When you build your own career/reality, you choose to enjoy your time off the stage and apply the same same creative joie de vivre that fuels your music to the rituals and realities of touring life. Five tips for joy-filled touring below:
  1. Plan ahead: spell out every foreseeable moment of your itinerary, including generous drive times, directions/specific addresses, pre-planned accommodations, ideas for food along the way. Think things through BEFORE you hit the road; and then (this part is for Shannon, especially) roll with things. When you plan a little extra drive time, you can relax if things take a little longer along the way.
  2. If you’ve chosen to be frugal on the road, make a sport of it. Find fun local markets and grocery stores for food runs. If you’ve chosen to live it up on the road, find a few great restaurants for nights off.
  3. You are what you carry around. All you need is a small, stylish suitcase containing toiletries, one or two performing outfits, one fun off-stage outfit, a few comfortable travelling/sleeping clothes, and exercise clothes/swimsuit. Enjoy being portable.
  4. When you feel good, you play well and maintain a sunny outlook. Eat greens. Drink water. Walk, swim, or run whenever you can. And take three super deep breaths when you start feeling bitchy.
  5. Keep your humor and sense of fun at all times: come up with something ludicrous (even fictional) to share onstage each night. Play find-the-nose-picker while stuck in traffic. Remember what brought you on the road—you’re creating YOUR music, YOUR career, in YOUR very own way. YOU ROCK!

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