Since I quit my corporate desk job a few months ago, artistic opportunities have been coming my way rather promisingly. The problem with freelancing is that there is not always the guarantee of a constant workflow and being spoiled for choice is not always the norm, straight off the bat anyway. However, my desk job had drained me to such an extent that handing in my resignation was one of the best things I could’ve done for myself.
Two months into my new direction as a freelancer, four articles I had written were published in a new jazz magazine called B’Jazz, also South Africa’s only jazz magazine at present – as far as I gather. I landed the job on a whim after I picked up the mag in Grahamstown (where I took a week off work to attend the National Youth Jazz Festival). That tally has now risen to 8 articles (4 in the September issue and 4 in the coming December issue). We have already begun planning for the February issue as well as a long term project on the history of jazz in South Africa. You can read my article on Nicky Schrire here, Melanie Scholtz here, National Youth Jazz Festival here and Kaleidoscope Cafe here.
While that was going, I landed a role in an industrial theatre roadshow that annually tours around the Western Cape to nursery schools and daycare centres for two and a half months. We are now in our 2nd month and safely in a great half-day routine. We see our first school at 9am and the last at 11am. What I do after 11:30am each day is my prerogative. The money is great in comparison to what I’m used to and a 4 hour work day is nothing to cry about considering my 10 – 13 hour work days at my previous job.
In regard to Brother & Brother (my band), we’re scheduled to play at RAMfest 2014 – one of South Africa’s biggest rock music festivals – something that we can hardly wait for. It’s great knowing that we were selected out of 500 applicants to play at this prestigious festival.
Last week I also had a fruitful meeting with Eric Alan, radio personality and owner of the online All Jazz Radio – a very exciting grassroots initiative aimed at cultivating music and arts & culture appreciation in Claremont, Cape Town. I am in the process of brainstorming my own weekly show, which I’m tentatively referring to as The Soapbox. More on that in future posts.
The Soapbox Jam Session & Open Mic initiative I run on Sunday’s from 3-6pm at Cafe Art is also picking up well, with more and more people attending week after week. I also find more non-musicians finding their creative voice or rediscovering a dormant urge to express themselves once again at the jam session – which is more than what I can ask for, as curator.
I am seeing a great acting agent on Thursday in regard to securing more work in the field of drama and also have an audition coming up for a new 2014 musical on November 18th. If all goes well, I really can’t wait to post an update right here.
My Brightly Clothed Boy EP (my solo project) is nearing the latter phase of the production process now and all I can say, is that it’s sounding really good. I can’t wait to see it all come together in the way that I envision it in my mind.
Clearly with all that’s going on, things are on the up. However, not everything is sadly. Last week Saturday I submitted one of my Afrikaans songs called Man Sonder ‘n Naam (Nameless Man) for a big songwriting competition/course. The good news is that I was selected as one of 10 finalists, who are going away for a week in December to get schooled on songwriting by some of the biggest names in the Afrikaans songwriting world. The bad news is that I won’t be able to attend this once in a lifetime opportunity – due to a scheduling conflict. My roadshow contract ends on 6 December, and the songwriting bootcamp is the week of 1-6 December. What a humungous bummer! Anyway, you can listen to Man Sonder ‘n Naam below:
I suppose you can’t always have your bread buttered on both sides. You win some and you lose some.