Peer Support

When I get depressed, it interferes with my creativity. What I need is an “art buddy,” someone who can offer support on an ongoing basis. I want to stay on track, not slog through the doldrums, but doing it by myself is so difficult that I often can’t manage it.

For reasons that we needn’t dwell on, I’m single and likely to remain so. Thus I have no support from a close family member in the home. (I realize that a lot of married people don’t have support either. That’s a slightly different issue.)

Even if I could find an online forum of like-minded artists, I’m not sure it would provide the kind of support I’m seeking. For one thing, reading words on a computer screen is not a social activity. For another, when posting messages to forums I occasionally let my impatience show. There are people who know me online who have concluded that I’m a jerk.

Face to face is better. You have a chance to work through that kind of thing.

I’ve tried doing it online. Last year Virtual Instruments started a Composers’ Workshop forum, for which I was (and still am, I suppose) the moderator. It never took off.

Ultimately, what I want is to have someone come with me to gigs. I have a couple of hours of music that I can play — solo cello with electronic accompaniments that I’ve recorded myself. It’s pleasant stuff, and I play it reasonably well. But the prospect of getting the gig, packing the car, driving to the gig, setting up for the gig, playing the gig, breaking down the equipment, putting it back in the car, driving home, and unpacking everything, and doing every bit of that alone … it’s just more than I can face. I don’t want to do it.

One way around this dilemma is to play in a band. I’ve done that, in the past. Bands have other issues. The guitar player has turned up too loud. The bass player wants to learn a tune that you think sucks. The drummer can’t make it to rehearsal. The guys don’t like your original material. The leader gets a gig that sucks, and you have to play the gig. It’s never-ending.

I just want to play the music that I want to play. I’ll take responsibility for it sounding good. But I don’t want to be alone at every stage of the process. If I have to do it alone, it’s just not gonna happen.

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