Life is stealing my breath a bit right now. I worked 16 days in a row, and in that time I had a fantastic documentary come out about me, I booked Relay For Life, and shows in Louisville and Cleveland. On Tuesday, I was added onto a show in Columbus, OH 3 hours before I was supposed to be there. I packed up my stuff, drove the 2 hours and played to a responsive crowd. The next day, I booked my plane tickets to California. I’ll be visiting L.A. on August 12th and 13th (I lived in Anaheim from the time I was 2 until I was 4, and don’t really remember any of it, so it feels like I’ve never been to Los Angeles), and then heading up to San Francisco the 14th-19th of August. At the very least, I’ll be doing an open mic in each city, in addition to seeing the sights.
You can watch the documentary on its official Facebook page here, Mission Man: Do What You Love.
I’m also trying to book as many shows as possible. This is actually the single most difficult thing for me to do, because I’m a risk. There have been plenty of shows where I’ve played to empty rooms, and obviously bar owners don’t like have empty bars. No business really enjoys not having customers. So, I rely heavily on other bands to put me on their bills. Thankfully, I’ve met some great bands along the way that enjoy my music and like me as a person, so sometimes this is easy. Sometimes, it takes years because when I’m touring they aren’t, vice-versa, or we’re both touring and the dates don’t work. I also contact venues directly as much as I can, but that has a very low success rate, even when I’ve played a place before. That’s why I’ve done so many open mikes over the years. I still love performing, and open mikes give me a chance to play to some regulars that love me, and some new fans that are there to see another performer, or are just at the bar because they like it there.
Still, I’m working diligently to perform as much as possible, and I plan on performing somewhere every week for at least the next year (except Christmas and Thanksgiving), even if it’s only an open mic.
I am focusing heavily regionally right now, with shows booked in Louisville, Lakeland (Cleveland area), and Oxford, and recent shows in Cincinnati and Columbus. I’m constantly looking for shows in Chicago, Dayton, Cincy, Columbus, Toledo, Akron/Kent, Cleveland, Athens, Oxford, and Louisville, and hope to expand from there before the end of the year.
Also before the end of the year, my musical career turns 20! I started rapping in October 1992. I’ll be releasing my 11th studio album, M”, in October 2012 to celebrate two decades of finding my purpose in my life, to understanding what commitment is all about, to taking the great things in life and making them unbelievable, and to allowing the bad times to let me appreciate the good ones. I’ve met a tremendous amount of supportive, wonderful people because I have chosen to pursue my dreams, and I know I’ll continue to meet more. For that, I’m feeling tremendously blessed.
I am funding the release of M” through Kickstarter. I’ve never used Kickstarter before, but it seems to be growing tremendously in popularity. I just made the Kickstarter project live a few hours ago, and got my first very generous pledge! If I can successfully fund my CD release through Kickstarter, I will use it one more time, next spring, to go on the biggest tour of my life!
You can help fund the CD release through Kickstarter here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/missionman/m-cd-release-with-accompanying-t-shirt by pre-ordering the new album, buying old albums, pre-ordering M” t-shirts, or getting 166 songs for just $25 (through a discounted membership to Music Fan Forever).
I plan on building as much as I can from now through January, and on January 19th taking the huge step again of quitting my job. My birthday, January 19th, will be my first day of independence. In addition to building, I will save as much money as I can from working, and from music, to survive 3 months without income so I can perform every single day. Hopefully that builds me up enough to go on a ridiculous tour next summer, and ultimately make a living from my music.
Here’s to having tremendous fans, and to working as hard as I can to achieve my freedom through doing what I love! I hope you are fortunate enough to do what you love, and to have tremendous friends who love you.